Things Straight Guy Hates Immediately: Voice Prints

Gay Guy,

I enjoy talking to you. You're smart and you say funny things.

Please don't be insulted when I tell you that you have never said anything smart or funny enough for me to want to immortalize those words. For eternity. On canvas. In my living room.

If it helps, I don't think I've said anything that makes the cut either.

Readers, the folks at VoicePrints (slogan: Your Voice Is Your Art) have come up with a business model where you forward an audio file of your voice and they create a waveform representation of those words. Perfect to display in your home or office, or, if you suffer from a more extreme self-importance disorder, to give as a gift.

It's possible to get ripped off at rates ranging from $59 to $459. But you do get to pick the colors.

Here's the kicker: These sound wave images are not captioned, so you'll have to explain this exercise in ego gratification to every single visitor who makes the mistake of asking. Please let them know how important it is that your words be preserved for future generations.

Reception on the web has generally been positive, along the lines of "novel idea," and "strong sentimental value." Hometone went so far as to say the final product "gives your home a unique classy touch." InStash says "These paintings give your words the credit they deserve." Barf.

Am I the only one who sees how tacky and self-absorbed this is?

I don't care if it's your valedictorian speech, marriage proposal, your baby's first words, or your dying mother's last... don't fall for this.

I'm not completely unsentimental. Please save and cherish your memories. Save that sound file, and back it up. It's priceless. But it's not art.

Possible exception: Quotes from Young Frankenstein.

--Straight Guy


Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'm just wondering how anyone's going to remember exactly what the painting means. It's not like you can look at it and go, "Oh yeah, that's what so-and-so said to me on my birthday. What a riot!"

Dorn said...

They're only a few squiggly lines away from a heart monitor read out. Then again, biorhythms worked for The Who as art in Baba O'Riley.

Brenda said...

And here I immediately thought it would be the mirrored closet featured in the photo. Nothing says stroke my ego, like a wall of mirrors.

Straight in Upstate said...

This is in the same category as soul paintings. Some local woman, i.e. Jane Smith, went off to India and came back with a turban and a very long name and started painting people's souls...or maybe their chakras, I can't remember.

When Pigs Fly said...

Must agree with you on this one. The novelty factor would wear off for me pretty quickly. How do you even know it's your own voice up there?

Brutalism said...


Betsy (formerly Gingerella) said...

Oh my. I'm not sure whether to be sad or amused at this. I can think of only one thing I would want to display as art in that format....someone uttering the words "You've just won the lottery!" ;)

Straight Guy said...

Thanks everyone, I'm glad I'm not on my own on this. I'm all for free expression and being heard (look, Ma, I got a blog!). But this just seemed overly commercial and tragically expensive.

If you must, there are about a thousand cheap ways to make this a fun DIY project using free audio software and photoshop.

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