Updated: Jul 16
I want it all. All of it. All of them. All of everything. Does that make me an American, or does it simple just make me a regular person?
Life of Excess
We as humans CRAVE EXTRA. It is within our biology to want more. Excess sends a signal to our brains that we are safe and can survive. This want for all the Bells and Whistles today has created a culture where we need to be elaborately festooned to achieve maximum happiness.
All purchases today seem to be fancy'fied with more gadgets, tools, and novelties. Whether you are buying a car or a computer, there are always a million ways to dazzle your eyes and amp up your purchases' power and efficiency. Not just a seat, it also warms your ass. Not just a pair of shorts, it wicks your sweat. Not just a fish taco, it fixes erectile dysfunction.
Origins of the Phrase?
"belles and whistles" circa 1968
The phrase may have originated in the 1960s or 70s, but it matches perfectly with an incredible artist by the name of Rowland Emett.
He is famous for creating elaborately dazzling drawings and sculptures that would wow adults and children alike. His work was a collage of objects and ideas that embodied the idea of Bells and Whistles. Nothing was left out and all that could be added was added to his elaborate designs. His Dr. Suess esque style was appreciated and makes you stop and take a second look.
What are Whistles?
Whistles have been around for hundreds, neh, thousands of years. They are known to age back to China 2,000 BC but are considered to go even farther back. Some archeologists have studied and dated that whistles that were made of wood and bones way before China started to perfect the craft and designs.
Whistle uses range greatly. They are used to celebrate the birth of children and the death of loved ones. Whistles are used for celebrating a sports goals, to warn of impending danger. instruct children on a field, direct traffic, signal the end of a workday, and control our animals. Bells and whistles have become a sonic tool that helps us communicate and probably won't be going out of style any time soon.
The bell rings~ students scurry into classrooms.
The bell rings~ firemen run toward a fire.
The bell rings~ dinner time and children sprint home.
The bell rings~ stockbrokers end their trading day.
The bell rings~ church notifies the townspeople.
The bell rings~ horses are off to the races.
Humans seem to be conditioned like Pavlov's dog when it comes to Bells and Whistles. There is a command element to intense and specific sounds. They tend to alert us to do something specific RIGHT NOW! Don't wait. Go Go Go.
Today there seems to be an increase in whistleblowers and the phrases are being used by media and newscasters frequently. These blowers of hot air are protestors. They are vigilantes living among us. They learned of some injustice and have taken it upon themselves to draw attention to the wrongdoings of the world. Is whistleblowing good or bad? Hard to say. All I can deduce is that people seem to care very much initially about the presented evils then get bored and focus on something else within a month.
*It is important to appreciate when someone is taking a stand, but don't feel daunted when positive efforts lead to little to zero results.
Final Noisy Whistle
Culture and people are a circus of explorative expression. Whistles and Bells are just two ways people have communicated over time. They can take you to a surprising and ethereal place filled with music, peril, control, and release.
Blow hard and chime even harder!
If you made it this far... MERP DERP!
What is the internet?
I don't know.
But I created, and I shared.
Thus, I have contributed?