For Whom The Yell Tolls

You have to be a person of a certain age to remember when yelling was utilized in the literal sense of the word. As defined by Meriam Webster, to yell means to utter a loud cry, scream or shout. There was no shortage of the stuff when I was growing up.

My pal Joey and his family would yell about everything. I considered it a miracle they attended church, simply because it didn’t seem possible they could spend ninety minutes together without yelling. They lived on the second floor of our apartment building and yet, it was as if they were in my living room when they got to voicing their opinions on something.

NO YOU DON'T !!! MEOW !!! | Woman Yelling at a Cat | Know Your Meme

My friends yelled for me to come downstairs and my parents yelled for me to come upstairs. The only person in my building who didn’t yell was the creepy old bachelor who whispered and stared at us kids as if we were double cheeseburgers.

Being yelled at was the norm. My father yelled at me for interrupting conversations with his friends. My sister yelled at me for making fun of her friends. My girlfriend yelled at me for flirting with her friends. Teachers, coaches, store owners, cops, neighbors . . every single person I grew up around, yelled. Maximum volume delivery, and unlike texts . . I always got the message.

My neighbors were yelling so loud at their kids to clean up their room that  out...

I grew up and got married and I was alarmed at how my wife rarely yelled. I blamed it on her liberal tendencies and the fact she was an artist, and so I didn’t take it personally. By the time we had kids, the tradition seemed to be going out of style completely. Sure, I still enjoyed yelling at my kids from time to time. What parent doesn’t? But it wasn’t anywhere near the volume or intensity of my childhood. Parenting had become more nuanced, or more to the truth, boring.

And then it happened one day. Yelling was refashioned into something else entirely. To yell became to reprimand, which is a low key way of saying it ain’t yelling. At all.

I'm not yelling!! - The 300 | Make a Meme

When did yelling get so quiet? I’m not sure when it happened, but if I were to hedge a guess I might wager a US Grant on the window of time otherwise known as the aughts of 2000. Reason being, I get to blame Obama . . who the history books will show never raised his voice. He couldn’t even bring himself to raise his voice in the purchase of Al Green’s soul standard Let’s Stay Together. He got away with it because he can carry a tune just fine, but if you ask me, his example relegated yelling to the shush heap for good. His was a presidential pardon me. The nerve of that guy, not taking full advantage of the bully in his pulpit.

You might be wondering if I forgot about the current occupant of 1600, and of course I haven’t. But Old Yeller hasn’t moved the needle when it comes to influencing the rational minded thinkers among us, who I can only hope are aware of a national election taking place in a few weeks time. Because if they fail to show up for this round, I have a feeling yelling in the old school vein might become all the rage.

Hell, I’m sure of it.

52 thoughts on “For Whom The Yell Tolls

  1. Shudder the thought. While I’ve been guilty of yelling over the years, I’m convinced it’s a lazy way to communicate. Volume should never substitute for reasonableness. And for the record, ‘Barry’ can sing or communicate quite well, thank you very much. I’d be more inclined to actually listen to what he has to say as opposed to the current occupant whose third grade vocabulary and superlatives underscore his inability to actually communicate cogent thoughts as opposed to just making a lot of noise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a simple, lazy time. And it was everywhere, in Dolby sound, with threats implicit. Interestingly, it was always the peeps who didn’t raise their voice who scared me most of all.

      Barry has jumped in on several tunes over the years. From this tease to the John Kennedy Center and even on Fallon. He’s got some buttah going on, no doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yelling was not really tolerated in our house – mostly there was quiet seething going on. Mom and I did belt out the lungs in a few occasions though.

    Nice little bit of satire there. I need to go check the mailbox for my ballot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My family was the opposite. Think library. I once scared the stuffing out of my cats when I yelled at the TV screen. I don’t think they’d ever heard me raise my voice. I will admit I did laugh quite loudly. I have an evil weevil living inside me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I grew up in a house where yelling wasn’t a thing. Not just yelling, but generally speaking visible disagreements or arguments simply didn’t exist out in public. I never saw my parents argue or disagree with each other, and I certainly never saw them yelling at each other. The only yelling that happened was when my father would have enough of the noisy antics of his four kids and he would yell, “Qo-iii-et!” That pretty much did the trick. When our mother had to talk to us about something, it was done quietly behind closed doors.

    Then I met my future wife and was exposed to a family where yelling is how they communicate. My mother-in-law and father-in-law simply didn’t know how to talk to each other without raised voices. And to me, raised voices mean anger and frustration. So I didn’t understand how they could possibly love each other if all they ever did was yell at each other. At family get togethers, I found ways to remove myself from where they were because their interactions just seemed so … unpeaceful and toxic. So much so that when my father-in-law died and his wife spoke of how much she missed him, I said very quietly in my head, “yeah, right. That simply cannot be.”

    Another story … A couple of years ago I hired a new attorney for my huge staff of two. During the second interview, he asked me what the environment was like and asked specifically whether I yelled at people. I laughed and said the only people I yelled at were my kids — which is more or less true, unfortunately for them. But at work? Yelling? Not me. I told him that if I ever yelled at anybody at work it would be the day I walked out of the building and never came back. Fortunately, I was able to retire before that ever happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am sure my parents had arguments, 58 years of marriage. But I have no memory of any. If anybody was yelling it meant there was an emergency. Oh, no wait. I do remember yelling, lots of it. Saturday night hockey. Yep, our window panes would shake! Ah, good memories.

      Liked by 2 people

    • My parents couldn’t stand each other, so it was the theatre that made every day feel like a movie. We found it entertaining as hell, but I’m sure the neighbors weren’t quite so amused.

      I don’t think my ex wife’s family ever raised their voices. I got along well with them, even if I always felt out of my element. I mean, to not yell? At all? They were very exotic to my shell shocked self.

      In some ways, I miss yelling. But when I really feel the need, I can take in a game. So I hope to do so next season, unless COVID life has another chapter.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. B,

    I (fondly) remember a friend telling me that coming to my house (my parents’) was always fun and we were sooo loud. It’s not that we yelled, we just talked over each other. Loudly. Raucously.

    My sister often tells the story of when she got laryngitis and whispered to her kids that if they made her yell… scared the shit out of them way more than her regular yelling (and she is rather adept at it) did. She is the major yeller of our family. Hell, when we lived at our old house, which I bought from my parents, I could hear her yelling from the school – a block away – while I was hanging up my clothes. Would tell the kids that if they wanted to go visit their their aunt, who worked at the school as day care monitor, she was at the park. The girl’s got a voice that carries; know what I’m sayin’?

    My husband wasn’t much of a yeller either, come to think of it. Like you said, yelling at/for your kids is part of the fun of being a parent but to say it was our method of dealing? Not overly.

    Now? When things get too loud, I back away. I’m just not into it anymore. Go figure.

    Course, I can’t see your video… so for your other peeps who also can’t… here is a version!

    Gotta say, Obama does carry a tune rather well.

    Hell… I sure hope you’re wrong and that yelling à la Whatshisface who resides at the White House does not become all the rage.

    Perfect song, of course.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      I think NOT yelling led to my hypertension later on. I lost that steam valve and thus, it was decades of not having that release that finally caught up with me. So it was back to meditation, since there’s no one to yell at.

      My parents were host-people. It was the only time they didn’t argue, so of course I didn’t dig those get togethers because it was all pretense and no payoff. The yelling on the non-party days was great theater.

      Of COURSE there is no video for Canada. That’s Trump’s invisible video wall.

      I don’t mind his yelling. It’s WHAT he yells that I have a problem with. Joe was a yeller in his time. Entertaining as all get out.

      Can’t go wrong with Billy


      Liked by 1 person

      • Funny how it helps to release, to yell. There are therapy sessions where they ask you to let it out with a rebel yell. And if not possible, meditation works, too…

        Ahhh… that’s too bad. Thought I can imagine the whole theatre thing.
        My sister called me earlier today asking me why I asked her about yelling in our childhood. We agreed this was not a yelling family but a loud one. Her daughter gets all uncomfortable at her boyfriend’s house because during supper, it’s silent. “Mom. No one speaks over the other, it’s all calm and… awfully quiet” she told my sister!

        No, no… we have it… just not the one YOU shared. Stoopid.

        Yelling as yelling does. What is more important than the fact it is in a loud form. Was Joe? I’ll have to look it up.

        That you can’t.


  6. Dude. Gonna be more than old school Big Mama yelling I tell you what. Our hood was so loud, yelling to eat dinner, yelling that there was no hot water, yelling because you were I trouble, yelling because you were happy, yelling at piñatas, yelling because Fernando and the Dodgers won, yelling be they lost. Everybody knew everybody’s business. Now I so love the quiet. I wasn’t a huge fan of the loudness. The morning quiet. I love it. The night time quiet, Zen. I so fight the urge not to be an old school yell parent but I fail at least once a week for sure. And my kids? Dude they wake up with the dial set on 100 already and I’m like duuuuuuuude turn it dowwwwwwn. But they got the loudness yell gene in there. It’s the universe laughing at me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew old school Big Mama, quite well at that.

      EVERYTHING was yelling am I right? There was no first thing in the morning or quiet time at night. There was awake and asleep and it didn’t matter which one you were doing because yelling was still going on.

      Fernando and the boys, twice. And now, who knows, maybe for the first time since 88.

      I get that, LOL. I remember my kids getting up and playing the TV at stupid volumes and being like . . nope.


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