Noise Culture AttitudesToday, many feel booming-bass cars and home-theater systems, yapping dogs, screaming children, fireworks and high-pitched leaf blowers all make up the landscape of ordinary sounds of life, and the only noise they don’t want to hear is that from complainants and good-neighbor advocates. Consider some of the hate mail sent to the NoiseFree.org web site for Noise-Free America – a group advocating substantiation and enforcement of noise laws (these are presented as written by adoring fans):
· what the hell do you think your doing you worthless son of a bitch. thats the gayest thing ive ever seen in my life. if i find out where you live ill personally move in right behind you and get the biggest stereo ever and blast it 24/7 you are worthless. you are an embaressment to our country, thats why people think USA is pussys is because of little fags like yourself
· Im tired of you whiny little fuckers whining about every little thing that makes "too much noise". Are you aware that louder motorcycles are safer???? Most people do not look for motorcyclists like my self. The only thing that keeps me from being killed by some dumbfuck is the fact that my Harley is LOUD ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO HEAR ME. And if you dont like it... TOO FUCKING BAD!!! Do you realise that the sound of those "loud" Harleys is a 100 year old tradition??? That sound is as fucking american as apple pie and napalm.
· THANKS TO YOUR NEED TO CONTROL OTHERS MY SON HAS JUST RECIEVED 5 DAYS IN JAIL AND FORMAL PROBATION FOR SIX MONTHS. THIS WAS HIS FIRST NOISE TICKET, ISSUED AT 5:32PM IN A BUSINESS AREA, FROM A STOCK STEREO. I HOPE IN THE FUTURE YOU ALL ARE SUBJECT TO SOMEONE ELSES \"NO TOLORENCE LAWS\" AND YOU SPEND TIME IN JAIL AND THAT YOU MUST BE SUBJECT TO ARREST AND SEARCH AT ANY MONENT.
· (The following was submitted to the site in March 2003 by Terry McKenney, a member of the Maine State Legislature:) After visiting the web site of the organization you purport to represent I am elated that there is no chapter in Maine. The Draconian measures advocated would be better suited to the era of the Salem witch trials or might make good reading as a futuristic science fiction novel.
· Yes, there will be a day when there will be no loud motor cycles, stereos, concert venues, neighbors, or anything else. The day you die.
That potentially dangerous mind is yet another factor that weakens our credibility when we decide to knock on the neighbor’s door when he or she is too loud. People with such animosity toward noise complainants may seem to be in the minority, but just one next-door neighbor who feels justified in harming those intolerant of nuisance noise is all it takes, if he’s next door to you.
I was a guest on a live call-in show in New York City when a woman called in with the story of her friend’s murder at the hands of a handyman to whom she’d complained about his noise. He was working in an adjacent apartment, she came by to complain about the noise, and he followed her back to her place and beat her to death.
The noise-acculturated have learned that we who complain deserve retaliation – the ads and movies leave it at belittling or upping the volume, but the line drawn for less intelligent people is unclear.
Perhaps no other type of neighbor problem, be it trespassing, squalor or pet issues, is actually worsened by current popular culture and its media influences, the way noise is. Those who expect traditional neighbor values about keeping it down have become subject to ridicule and, more and more, seem to be in harm’s way.
Noise culture is gaining such momentum that it looms as a potential 21st century American melting pot – the singular brand of assimilation that can survive as diversity agendas and disparity celebration have hung the old pot on the rack. The Good Neighbor Underclass is unprotected; it’s okay for traditional-minded neighbors to be harassed. After all, the media messages championing noise culture and embracing trashy attitudes say so.