Dispatch 5: Hold Please

This week I found myself making a few customer service calls and it made me think about hold music. And of course, the top result for "hold music" on the ol' Youtube and found what is, quite possibly the most famous hold music of the 21st century:

From the info on the Youtube post:

“The song is called Opus No. 1, by Tim Carleton and Darrick Deel. It’s never been on a Top 40 list or gotten radio play, and yet it’s heard around the world by the millions of people who are placed on hold each day.

Darrick and Tim’s story actually begins back in 1989, when as teenagers and friends they recorded a song in their garage. Unfortunately, they didn’t go on to rockstar fame and fortune, but years later Darrick would go on to take a job with Cisco. In his role building Cisco’s first version of IP phones, he was aware of Cisco’s need for a piece of music to use as the default hold music for the new system. Cut to several years later, and their high school composition has become the hold music for the world’s most popular phone systems with over 65 million IP phones sold. With that, Opus No. 1 has left the safety of Darrick and Tim’s childhood recording studio and entered ear worm status.” — Cisco Blog

You can read more about Opus No. 1 at:

Listen to the This American Life episode about it at:

These piece in itself has now become something that falls under the "aesthetic" umbrella of ephemera that holds an almost totemic importance to a subset of millenials. (yes, that is hyperbole, as is everything in aesthetics.)

Also, something about those chords makes me think of Toto's Africa... go fig.

Point, Contrapoint

Youtube has a problem with the alt-right. Or, at least it should be treated as a problem. It’s hard to look up any pressing social issue and not find ultra conservative talking heads dominating the search results. Fortunately, a few stalwart folks are putting some work into pushing back, and using even better style and aesthetics.
ContraPoints is a genderqueer genius doing the work of educating the masses, and delivered humorously.
They recently released a video that directly addresses the signalling and messages that the alt-right and fascists use to appeal to ‘moderates.’

Once you’ve finished enjoying that, i highly recommend Contra’s more personal video essay about coming out as genderqueer and what that means to them.

Happy Labor-Doom

Being that we’re looking at a long weekend, I plan to spend some of that time with an old friend: the venerable first person shooter, Doom. thanks to speedrunning and modders, many groundbreaking games have fandoms that continue to this day. However, I was surprised to learn of a mod that was created a few years ago named, appropriately, Brutal Doom.

Brutal Doom is basically everything we feared of the original Doom. The violence is cranked up, the enemies are harder, the sound is bigger. Where in the old game monsters would collapse in a gross meaty pile if exploded, now you have proper “gib” effects as well as massive blood splatter effects that cover walls and ceilings. It’s most recent updates came just a few months ago, so it’s still actively being developed and I can’t wait to give it a shot.

Doom is now almost 25 years old and, like a classic film, there are certain qualities about it that have stood the test of time, despite advances in the underlying technology. The first episode in the series deftly introduces the player to the mechanics of the game with very little (virtually no) overt hand holding. In this regard it is similar to the original Super Mario Bros.

That'll do it for this long weekend post. If any of these links have sparked a thought or response, share them below.