Not at ALL What You Thought

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Closed-Captioned for the Hearing Impaired

I don’t reckon I’m any more hearing impaired than the normal 45-year-old, but, then, I’ve listened to music At The Appropriate Level for at least thirty years. Yeah, it was gospel music, but it was loud, just the same. As soon as I understood what an equalizer was, I was fiddling with every one under my authority, and, of course, before that, fiddling with the volume, lookin for a particular, personally satisfactory sound.

I remember drivin a new friend around in Virginia, tryin to find MacArthur Mall, and shoving one of my home-made homages to Fred Hammond in the tape deck. Friend was half asleep, having planned to sleep on the way to the mall, but he quarter awoke long enough to say, “See? This is why I don’t like the new gospel: too much emphasis on preaching, and not enough on the music. I don’t hear anything but drums and bass.”

(Passing lightly over the fact that “gospel music” without the Gospel is not gospel music, but something else entirely) I have to point out (though I didn’t then) that the reason Friend heard only “drums and bass” wasn’t necessarily because Fred Hammond loves drums and bass (and, actually, I think he does), but because Friend was riding in Gine’s car, and Gine, though a vocalist by lineage and inclination, likes drumbeats and bass licks (and, we might as well admit, is attracted to drummers and bassists). So, to make a long story even longer by one clause, when it’s just the girls and me in the car or the house, the music’s LOUD.

Which may offer, in a roundabout way, one reason why, when I watch TV or a DVD, I prefer captions.

So I was watching Bishop T. D. Jakes this morning, who, if you’ve never heard of the man, is a really entertaining preacher of the Gospel to listen to, even featured once on the cover of Time, and while reading (and marveling at) his charismatic, seemingly off-the-cuff delivery of a message about the unborn babies Jesus and John the Baptist “meeting” for the first time, I noticed this: “[glossolalia]”.

And, honey, I got tickled.

See, glossolalia is a term (mostly) used by atheists/agnostics/other Protestants to describe “yet more bizarre behavior of Pentecostals.” So I got to giggling at the idea that some captioner, no doubt in the employ of The Potter’s House, working hard to be conscientious (or “manifest excellence,” as we put it) in every aspect of her job, tryin to find a nice, professional, non-churchy term for the occasion when, during the sermon, her pastor would get excited in a particular way*, going to, and, God bless her, finding glossolalia, thinking, “What a professional-sounding word!” and plugging it in the captioning every chance she got.

Okay. It is just funny to me. Never mind. Ignore this post entirely.

Lord, Jesus, my brother, a blessing, please, upon the folk who work those captions.

*No, honey. Not that way.


  • At 10:59 PM , Blogger ribblefizz said...

    I think it's funny!

    I've decided if I ever get tired of medical transcription, I'm gonna try to get a captioning job. But only for movies/TV, not for anything live, because you know how I am. I'd be closed-captioning the State of the Union Address and type "In this great nation where - ?silly putty? sounds like silly putty to me - thrives..." and that'd be that.

  • At 4:42 PM , Blogger Gine said...

    I couldn't do closed-captioning. My spelling's not the best, and I'm slow as molasses!


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