[Originally published September 9, 2016]
Hey Mark. I’m just a boy with a dream. You’re just a man with an even, soothing voice. Together, we can change the game. I’m sure you’re familiar with ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Oh, you’re not? That’s okay, that’s okay. ‘Soft, textured sounds make your brain tingle,’ is the general idea.
IT’S NOT A SEX THING, I PROMISE.
ASMR-types describe it as a pleasant tingling in the back of your head – a shiver down your spine. A bit bizarre, I’m sure, but completely probably harmless. And you’ve got the voice to make it happen. That’s right, Mark. You’re special. Do you have a good mic? Of course you do. Do you have a pop filter? For sure. Throw it out. Right now. Put it in the garbage. I’m serious. Where we’re going, we don’t need pop filters. This is no man’s land. This is –
A List of ASMR Things I Would Like To Hear You, Mark Cerny, Do In My Ears
1. Mark I’m Glad You Stuck Around. Maybe You Could Start by Reading Through the Pages of the PS4 Pro User Manual?
Hey Mark – can I call you Mark? Yes? Good – I know that you know that I know that you want me to buy the PS4 Pro. We’re on the same page here. I’m open to this page. It’s a decent page.
Do you know what’s a better page?
The page of a user manual. It’s coarse. Maybe a little rough, even. When you turn one, it grazes its partner, emanating a sheer, soft, scrape. Then it flips – popping, cracking a bit. It’s ASMR gold, Mark. But I can get that sound anywhere. I’ve got a PS4. I could just hold my user manual up to my ear and go to town. But you’ve got something I don’t. You’ve got access.
I’m talking – of course – about juicy deets, Mark. Juicy PS4 Pro user manual deets. Only you – harnessing the quiet power of your genteel voice – can give them to me. To us. Let the manual be your bible. Become the PS4 Pro ASMR prophet. Speak its writ. Support its natural ASMR qualities with your voice and juicy, juicy DEETS.
We can corner this market, Mark. You can speak yet-unheard syllables to an audience crying out for more. We can make this happen.
2. Brusquely Tap and Scrape Different Parts of the Dualshock 4 with Your Fingernails
It will not surprise you to learn that I’ve done extensive research for this piece. I’ve dismantled and reassembled my PS4 multiple times. I’ve picked at its bones and viscera in an attempt to maximize its ASMR potential. This may have voided my warranty, but I can’t be sure (if only someone had explained it to me in an ASMR recording, MARK) (it’s okay. I can’t stay mad at you). Part of my research included the Dualshock 4. I’ve come to believe that it’s the single most versatile ASMR tool of the modern age. It has different grip textures. A speaker vent. A unique touch pad texture. FIRM PLASTIC BUTTONS.
You must have known. You must have.
Well, now the taxman’s come to collect. You’ve got fingernails. The Dualshock 4 has textures. What I need you to do – and Mark, I can’t possibly stress enough how important this is – is perform fingernail play with a Dualshock 4. It has to happen, and it has to happen within millimeters of your recording mic. You can talk about whatever. I don’t care. Talk about how the PS4 Pro can output to 4K. Describe the HDR patch coming to original PS4 consoles. It doesn’t matter. You made this monster, Dr. Frankenstein, and now it must destroy you.
3. Cook Some Chicken. Just Get Up to a Little Cookin’ of Everybody’s Favorite White Meat. I’d Love to Know Your Recipe.
I like chicken. I like cooking it. I like eating it. Sometimes I use barbecue sauce. Sometimes I use taco powder. My favorite spice is Cajun. What’s yours, Mark? Just walk me through your favorite chicken recipe. How you cut that shit up? Meat scissors? Or Knife? I bet you’re a knife guy. I see you, Mark Cerny. Respect. Knife is old school. Tell me how you cut it. Put another mic next to the chicken. Lemme hear that sweet raw chicken cutting noise.
You use salt? Boom. Record it. Record salt hitting chicken. Throw salt on chicken, hard as you can. And you KNOW I wanna hear the crack/sizzle/pop of chicken cooking in a pan. You up on that Pam shit? Nah. I bet you use margarine. Margarine be some classy shit, my dude. You’re a classy kind of guy, Mark Cerny, you know that? Classy guy.
4. Fuck it. Just Talk Some French to Me. You Like French, Mark? French is Dope. I Took a Year of French in College, and it was Hell Because the Professor Hated Me, but I’ll be Damned if it’s Not a Beautiful Language.
I mean, that pretty much says it all, but – for real – do you know French? This is, obviously, extremely important to the core of this request. If you don’t know French, would you be willing to learn? I saw a bunch of Rosetta Stone infomercials play before Looney Tunes as a kid, and that seemed like it was on the up and up. Maybe a phrasebook would be more to your liking?
Listen. I didn’t learn a lot in that French class. If your accent was less than perfect, I don’t think I’d notice.
Anyhow, thanks for reading, Mark (I’m so glad you’re okay with me calling you Mark). Let’s do lunch sometime and talk about your options. I’m sure we’ve got a lot to discuss. If you need to get in contact with me, my DMs are open, and my schedule is clear.
Let’s make this magic happen.
When he’s not worrying that Mark Cerny might one day see this and feel SUPREMELY creeped out, chaboi – Tom Loughney – writes about games, records LPs, and podcasts. Follow him on twitter @tloughnessmnstr