NoiseAfter attending the May, 2012 Franklin/Clinton Block Meeting with the featured issue of a variance request by the Harp establishment to host outdoor live music, I have the following comments and thoughts to share and strongly suggest that those who ultimately make a decision on granting a variance, DO NOT do so, for many reasons which will be outlined below.

At the meeting, I was not surprised to experience the indifference, dismissive, smug, arrogant, and entitlement attitudes of some of the persons attending in favor of this variance. Some were musicians, another a bar owner, I believe. I have been dealing with and have been pro-active with quality of life issues, noise being a number one, for several years, and what I have learned is that those who make the most noise, seldom act any other way, and because they’re used to living loud all the time, simply cannot understand how loud their establishments can be to others. They are often wrapped up in their own little world of deafening themselves without regard to anyone else outside their music zone–where such sound encroaches on private property–and hence becomes NOISE to someone else who does not wish to be forced to hear it.

Today’s ultra loud high technology that amplifies this “music” denies such a person the right to enjoyment and  reasonable peace in their own home. It can be very damaging to the body as it is very unnatural to be exposed to today’s amplified sounds. The body was simply not designed to be subjected to this kind of noise. Excessive noise exposure has many adverse health affects. Additionally, it is linked to many social, economic, and environmental negatives. I will not use this letter to prove nitty gritty facts, but invite anyone to do their own research. But, in short,exposure to excessive highly amplified sound is a public health issue, and NOT a mere nuisance. It can contribute to hearing loss, learning disabilities, sleep deprivation, nausea, anxiety, headache, hyper-tension, aggressive indifferent behavior, rapid heart beat, and even aggravate post traumatic stress disorders. It results in what audiologists refer to as “Flight or Fight” responses.

According to the US Census Information, it is among the number one reason peaceful law abiding citizens move out of a given area. Cleveland, like many other cities across the nation, have their fill of an already overly-noisy sound scape. Granting Harp a variance simply adds to this already full quota of noise pollution emissions.With regard to existing noise levels in the city, why add more to creating an eventual acoustic sewer? Even in tough times, the least we can have is a good night’s sleep.

It amazes me at how many businesses, as did spokespeople for Harp,  attempt to argue about “all the wonderful things” they brought to the neighborhood, or even how well they keep their property maintained. Wait a minute! This should be expected anyway when you maintain a curb front business and should not be rewarded extra kudos, or met with an attitude that suggests that because a bar or club keeps up their property they should be given some special pass to be extra loud! Such to me simply demonstrates how low standards/expectations have sunk.

It amazes me how often, in Cleveland the last few years, that a neighborhood’s taxpaying stakeholders, seem to be held in less regard than loud establishments. When I kept hearing how much Harp contributes to the neighborhood, I had to ask, “What about the neighbors?” Don’t they ALSO pay taxes and contribute to the fabric of the neighborhood?
It amazes me that some who operate or are associated with places that feature live music, seem to think that just because they pitch in some money into the hat of benevolence/charity, that it somehow relives them of their personal responsibility to respect and obey noise ordinances and therefore can be as loud as they wish and for as long as they wish!

It amazes me at how many times I have witnessed establishments being granted variances for such outdoor music, and then over time, abuse their privilege. One’s so called right to be loud, should never supersede another person’s basic human right to domestic peace and tranquility in their own home. Even the constitution is supposed to assure that right.

I wonder how many bar or club owners take the time to consider the fact that people who live in the neighborhood, have children, jobs, and responsibilities that require a healthy living environment for them to perform their duties well, just how much noise can affect them from doing their best? They have a livelihood to uphold as well, just like musicians who lament they’re living is being affected!

At the meeting, I was not moved by Harp’s, or other associates attempts to gloss over the pointed issue of noise encroachment by offering a palette full of all the good things they have done for the neighborhood. I viewed this as the pointed issue being twisted into a “the people are picking on us and we are victims” thing.

I hope many who attended that meeting supporting this variance are reading this and hear this well, that is, if their hearing is not already damaged! (I will comment on that as well in a moment) This is NOT and NEVER was an “anti-music/musician” thing. I heard one ridiculous rationale from one woman at the meeting that suggested something to the nature that because she now hears music from Harp, she no longer hears other crime related noises/sounds. Uhhhh… that’s just great.. Let’s just cover the noise the real crimes are making, right? Let’s do the individual trying to break in a house a favor by covering the noise he makes! Nonsense to say the least! Her testament should in NO way help a cause for granting a variance.

Only an irrational non-critically thinking selfish fool would twist this whole topic into such “anti-music” directions as above. I repeat: The subject is as mentioned above… excessive noise emanating off a given premisses and violating the rights of others peace in their own home. It is a simple common sense and courtesy issue that should not take mountains of debating to understand. I also witnessed attempts to stray off the topic of the particular kind of noise at hand, to point out a host of other noises in society. Again, ridiculous. The point of the meeting was to address one issue at a time, and this issue at hand happened to be this particular kind of noise and granting Harp a variance.

Other excessive noises are also not good and have their own negative contributions, but this was not the forum for such discussion. The attitude of those who attempted to articulate that, was one of “Oh, well they make this noise over there…..so I can make my own noise over here” That attitude also reaffirmed my belief they they knew very little about the ill-effects of particular kinds of noises and most importantly, the differences! It suggested to me they, like most people, knew little if anything about the psychology of noise. I would suggest the well crafted book.. “WHY NOISE MATTERS”.

In an attempt to compromise, I attempted to suggest that establishments stop jumping on the bandwagon of louder and bigger is better with this cookie cutter approach to music delivery in a venue, that simply follows a “blast it as loud as you can” game plan–AND,  instead, why not tailor the sound for the particular size of the venue? Too often these days, in bars or clubs, you cannot decipher instruments in music, ups and downs, because it is so loud that it is all jumbled together and simply becomes unidentifiable–and NOISE.

Now I want to get back to my mention of hearing loss as stated earlier. It is important to note that those who are exposed to loud music or any noise long enough, cannot hear as well as someone who has not, and therefore really cannot fathom how loud they are really being! They often speak very loudly as well because their hearing has been temporarily disabled to a degree where they cannot even hear themselves speak.

With respect to hearing loss or damage, the following information is from Dr. Louis Hagler. This portion is taken from a  summary, prepared by Louis Hagler, MD, and taken from a 100+ page World Health Organization Guideline (Guideline for Community Noise) that provides information about the harmful effects of noise on human health. This document can be seen in its entirety at:


“Given the importance of the problem, occupational noise exposure is fairly well regulated and controlled worldwide. Environmental noise exposure, especially that related to leisure-time activities, has not been controlled in the same way. Given both the increasing number of noisy activities and the increasing exposure duration (such as in loud cars) regulatory activities are to be encouraged. Whereas dose-response data are lacking, based on the limited data that are available, there appears to be no risk to hearing with exposures to 70 dB or less. Daily l hour exposure levels should not exceed 85 dB. It is recommended that exposure to sound levels greater than 100 dB should be limited to a 4-hour period and should not occur more than four times per year. Exposure to higher sound pressure levels and greater duration of exposure are significant risk factors. To avoid hearing impairment, impulse noise exposure should never exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure in adults and 120 dB peak sound pressure in children.”

I am in the opinion, despite the numbers above, that hearing damage can result over long periods of time to even lower decibel levels, much like eating marginally fatty and unhealthy foods may still result in a longer term or slower weight gain. If you have ever walked out of a concert and were temporarily affected in the hearing, you will understand what I am talking about. But, no worries because the deafer they become, let’s just turn it up another notch until we are stone deaf by 40 and then need to go on some sort of public assistance! Indeed, that’s where we’re headed, folks, in the culture of loud.

In regard to the whining “But we might lose business” Another unsupported battle cry of the loud, I have to wonder, are venue owners so narrow dynamic in their creativity that the only thing they can come up with to offer a good time for patrons is to offer mega loud? This is not just happening in night clubs, it is happening in local pubs and eateries too. People are frequently assaulted with audio they did not ask for nor need. You would never hear of someone walking OUT of an establishment because it was NOT loud enough, but you likely WOULD hear about someone waking out because ambient sound levels are just to loud. So, I have to ask….Where are the places where the background music enticed you to want to hear more… and perhaps even buy the record somewhere as you listened closer? Where is the place you can have music playing, but still be able to have a dinner conversation with friends and family, instead of being acoustically assaulted by cacophony?

My concern for Ohio City, and because I have been considering investing in a home in the neighborhood after renting for so long, is that it is over-the-top catering to such uncreative overly-loud music venue types for the sake of quick money and a mostly non-resident party-type crowd between 21 and 34. Sure, there are many short term gains to be made for a few, and it is good to have a healthy scene for such a group, but short term gains is NOT how elected city leaders or neighborhood movers and shakers should be thinking.

They need to be thinking in long terms of creating a neighborhood environment conducive to people wanting to live in it, not just eat and party….then go back to a suburb. Let’s also cater more to those who wish perhaps to raise a family—-OR cater more to the age bracket that actually spends the most in the economy, between 35 to 55. This is a largely overlooked and ignored demographic. I do not want to see the neighborhood become mostly what are essentially glorified bars, but unfortunately, that seems to be where a lot of the agenda of OCI, the neighborhood’s supposed premier development group, has ventured lately. Its seems they have become a marketing group for such establishments in question, rather than a community group that promotes healthy balance in the neighborhood with respect to quality of life issues such as noise. .

Granting of a variance sets a bad “we did it for them so we have to do it for everyone else” precedent. It should NOT be granted now…or at least until existing establishments have proven they can respect the existing rules/ordinances which govern noise. The burden of proof about what is overly loud should not be on residents shoulders….nor be left up to the hearing damaged bar owners or musicians to decide! Most of us know very well what too loud is and if we cannot exercise some common sense in this issue, then I shudder to think in what direction this neighborhood is going.

Afterall, we would not have had to craft new guidelines, rules, and ordinances to govern noise if not being too loud was being respected in the first place. And bar owners who testify that they are not really responsible for what happens outside their establishment: You most certainly are responsible for what goes on outside your premises when the origin of the issue is on yours and in this case we are talking about sound emanating from your property, that goes on for too long and is simply too loud.

At the meeting, I heard some pro-variance folks bemoan that if this “too loud” thing was a problem, why didn’t they (residents) come to meetings, or call, or why they (bar owners) didn’t get any complaints about it. Well, I have to answer that question by saying that just because no one may complain does not mean the problem does not exist. Second, you can easily say no one is complaining, but that does not make it true. I beg to differ because noise is among the top complaints the police receive.

Interestingly enough, their questions to such, in turn, beg the question from me….and so I ask, WHERE are the establishment owners at block meetings? I only see them there when they feel they are being picked on! Many have overstepped their boundaries and privileges in regard to offer live outdoor music, and then cry when new rules or stiffer ordinances need to be crafted to remind them that they need to exercise a little more personal responsibility and common sense, courtesy, and manners. Its really simple folks…. all the residents want is for you to respect their right to peace in their homes. Do you get it? Why is that so difficult to understand? Or does it take someone acoustically assaulting you when it is NOT convenient for you… to finally get it?

Finally… Be a good neighbor… and respecting basic rights to reasonable peace goes a long way, for no amount of charity, curb appeal and so on excuses obnoxiously and continual in-your-face loud that violates current laws and ordinances, and ultimately another’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their own home. Your rights, END where theirs begin and this is about respecting that concept. Clearly many of you do not, or you would not be at such a meeting defending your sound invasions in other people’s homes.Hey! I have an idea for a charity…. How about the right to peace, comfort, safety, and enjoyment of, in one’s own home?!

No variance granting for Harp. Enough is enough. Its nothing personal.

I am amending this article with the following final thought……

I would like to note that much of this issue is about the amplified OUTDOOR music and its impact on the nearby residents in being intrusive and denying them the right to peace and enjoyment of their own home. It is about addressing the impact of the kind of outdoor “entertainment” that is so often offered at venues these days that have been gentrified away from the small neighborhood social clubs or bars they used to be when the loudest components were just a juke box, or an maybe an acoustic band.

These former venues shared neighborhoods with residents and were gathering places for locals, but were rarely as loud as these newly fashioned venues which may occupy these former social halls or neighborhood pubs. The technology just perhaps wasn’t this loudly evolved or so often used. THAT’S the difference! This new sound we hear is NOT tailored with respect to proximity to residences. This is another part…and POINT which many who defend LOUD just seem to not get!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:25 AM No comments:

America–You are too loud, please quiet down, its simply obnoxious!

Please sign the petition in the link following this letter to re-instate ONAC! This is the body of the Federal EPA that regulates noise pollution.

Reagan killed funding for EPA’s ONAC in the early 80’s and now communities everywhere are experiencing the effects of what is essentially a kind of “acoustic assault” and “audio terrorism” via a virulent ongoing cacophony of illegally modified exhaust systems (also compromising clean air quality) boom cars, lawn equipment, low flying aircraft, and a host of other sources–all of which can and should be quieted.

Noise issues are affecting us more than many realize as I will note some effects in this letter. But to first address the environmentalists working hard on saving the environment: Isn’t a better, cleaner, healthier environment also entitled to a quieter one? At least it was thought to be at one time when grass roots activists and politicians from both parties worked to create a system of standards for anything that created artificial noise.

Environmentally speaking it may surprise the green movement that noise is among the number one complaint in communities everywhere…and among the top reasons people will move away. So, it is easy to see how left unabated, it can also contribute to habitat and wildlife killing urban sprawl.

But wait…there’s more!…..

Sadly… socially…The louder we become as a nation, the number and dumber we seem to become. So another obvious by product of noise is fostering an ultra numb and idiotic society where “loud” is good. Because of this , police respond to noise complaints daily. In the USA, each month, someone is usually shot, beaten or stabbed over a noise incident not taken seriously by law enforcement. Most of the time, someone tries to ask one who is making noise to “please turn it down… I have to work in the morning and my kids are trying to sleep”….then all of a sudden, the noise offender, says “BLEEP you I will do what the BLEEP I want!” and resorts to violence. Certain noises surely tap into the primal aggressiveness in all of us.

So, there is also worst case turn out crimes that can result from communities NOT taking noise as a serious issue. The pro-noise culture is brought to us by self serving, indulgent individuals who seem to feel they are entitled to use their freedoms any way they wish, no matter who or what it hurts. The collective result of corporate unaccountability paired with social ignorance is destroying citizens quality of life by stealing away the right to reasonable peace and tranquility in one’s own home.

Want to be loud? Be loud on this issue! Keep reading…..

Economically speaking, there are many jobs–AND an economy to be created through achieving QUIET technology, just as their has been in doing the destructive former of imposing LOUD on a helpless population. Are we too stupid in the USA to develop more peaceful communities via quieting down all things mechanical? The obsessive lawn care nut playing with his loud leaf (I mean DIRT blower) for hours chasing a single leaf down the street while stirring a tornado of dust that includes mold, pollen, feces, and other nasties, should help you get the picture of why quiet is important at a neighborly level. (That’s NOT paprika on your potato salad, folks!)

The obsession with loud has me ponder the question…. Have people forgotten the experience of the joy in peace? To think, listen to what the natural world really sounds like? Sadly, even in rural areas these days quite often one cannot escape excessive noise, as those areas are experiencing sources such as loud trucks, chainsaws, ATV’s or even fireworks being =set off by morons who think the 4th of July is a year round event!

As I hinted above about an economy being created by quieting down communities, I feel it is important to mention because pro-noise lobbyists who represent industries such as electronics or after market exhaust companies have–and will do all in their power to thwart national and local efforts to quiet mechanical sources of noise and holding their companies accountable. They have no other function than to protect the corporate interest no matter the cost. The cost of your ignorance results in their profits. They will use the archaic, tired… and appealing-to-the-mental midget banter of “you are going to kill jobs…and deny people’s rights”

Oh really? Meanwhile, they deny your right to peace in your own home and neighborhood! A helpless population most adversely affected by the noise (infants, elders, students needing to study, young and old) is often forced to just live with the noise as city councils and police departments are forced to spend time and money creating new ordinances and fielding a barrage of complaints. Mr. Noise Lobbyist is very effective in getting politicians to smell his ass–and even in convincing them to like it! Yeah, that’s what we’re up against, as crude as that may sound!

You can help!…..

Please help to take back our communities from socially irresponsible/unaccountable corporations and inconsiderate individuals unleashing a torrent of excessive and unregulated noise devices on our communities. Excessive noise, left unabated, contributes to hearing loss, learning disabilities, depression, and other physical ailments. It harms pets and wildlife, and even sets the stage for natural soundscapes we find peaceful like birds, breezes, waves and other calming sounds nature needs to communicate—to become extinct–drowned out by the din of the acoustic sewage!

Again, and lastly, I want to remind that I am hoping to tap into the interests of the the environmental and animal rights movements which have largely missed the boat on this issue and how important it is to creating a kinder, compassionate, and more peaceful society for all living things and the many benefits such can entail. Noise is a public health issue, NOT a mere nuisance. Since the EPA office on noise pollution regulation has virtually been absent since the early 80’s, its little wonder why the public and law enforcement sector by and large lacks an understanding or education as to just how impacting noise is and how it adversely affects communities economically, socially, and environmentally. I call upon all the conscious people to take action.

Please learn more and read about the quiet communities act, or visit websites like Noiseoff Dot Org or Lower The Boom Dot Org to become educated and informed as to what a real problem noise is. You may also email me for a bounty of information sources about the negative impacts of noise. Thank You!


Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 4:27 PM No comments:

Eliminating Boom Car Noise Paul Kersey Style?


Noise, excessive or totally unnecessary, loud or not loud is still unwanted sound, by definition–and a major attack on quality of life in neighborhoods across the country and around the world.

To date, and what we will talk about today is “boom car noise” from those loud car audio systems. It is a kind of noise that is especially irritating, as low frequency, high decibel and vibration are combined to make you feel there is NO escaping it. This is but one form of noise that has become a virulent plague in neighborhoods everywhere, robbing people’s right to reasonable peace, quiet, and safety in their own homes. Some seem to think their “right” to behave anti-socially like this supersedes a constitutional right to domestic peace and tranquility!

This form of noise, I heard it described “as something that reaches through the walls of your home, grabs you by the neck and will not let go.” It is obnoxious and all courtesy of some selfish attention starved individual who has some perverted idea of the definition of “freedom”–who thinks he/she can do whatever they wish, no matter who it harms!

Contained in the link included below, I would like to share a story I found at random about a noisy neighbor’s incessant audio assault on the whole neighborhood—AND, how one neighbor who could not tolerate it any longer after a year, decided to protect himself by taking maters in his own hands. While I do not condone correcting wrong with a wrong, I do understand what could drive someone to feeling the way this person did in the story.

At the end of the story, it is dismissed as “junk” but I know such a device IS possible and perhaps the author was protecting his tail by making that disclaimer—and leaves it up to us to read between the lines. It is a shame that because of irresponsible and/or de-regulated corporations making these products–despite KNOWING the problems it will cost communities–that we have to see people become vigilant to protect themselves. (Just get off the corporation’s back and they’ll do right by us, eh Rush, Sarah? Oh well, just remember… there would be no need for regulation had the river not caught fire in Cleveland!)

Furthermore, the cost it levies on councils everywhere to have to make new laws and ordinances to deal with this form of audio assault is a sobering thought. Some places law enforcement is not an option, such as Warren, Ohio. In places like Warren, neither the city council or law enforcement body wants anything to do with dealing with this issue correctly–that is, until it results in a worse case scenario–when someone gets shot, beaten or stabbed because the noisemaker felt he was entitled to do whatever he wishes, and attacks someone for asking him to please turn it down……

OR the other way around: The person being assaulted by the audio terrorist, pulls a Popeye on him and proclaims…. “That’s all I can stand and I can’t stands NO MORE!” and perhaps resorts to a violent way of dealing with it.It is either a flight or fight response, in other words.

Typically, according to what anti-noise activists know who are associated with organizations like Lower the Boom Dot Org or Noise Off Dhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifot Org, it is the noise maker that is not only assaulting someone’s senses to the point of insanity with audio terrorism–but resorts to further assaulting someone with physical violence who may have respectfully pleaded with them to simply turn it down!

But isn’t our hearing part of our physical being? Yes it is… So, wouldn’t torturing that sense be a form of physical assault? You would think so, but due to a very under-informed legal and judicial system as to this subject, we may just have to deal with it for now, unless you are this guy… read the story in the link below!


Also take some time to listen to the Pod Cast included on the right hand side of this blog page, titled “BOOM CAR NOISE POLLUTION DISCUSSION!” There are so many aspects as to why this noise is dangerous and why it should stop, and many are covered in this very educational podcast.Let’s find out who will pay to take care of the plague of ensuing deafness in this country’s future? Hmmmm… Listen and share your ideas!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 2:42 PM No comments:


As I walk the dog through various neighborhoods, I cannot help but be attentive and observant to the world surrounding us–and to the behavior of the humans who inhabit these neighborhoods. Let’s take the case of yard maintenance in the Fall. In the Autumn, I am walking frequently through suburban style neighborhoods with stately trees and larger yards—And what I notice the most in these neighborhoods at this time of year is the obsessive and anal approach they have towards controlling leaf litter and other beneficial organic yard matter on their lawns—And the overall yard obsessive maintenance approach in general.

Ever since the invention of various machines–what I refer to as “technology run amuck”– gas powered noise and emissions pollution producing lawn care products, the suburban environment does not stand a chance against the wrath of the ideology of “man versus nature” or “we must control nature” I believe this sort of fearful thinking takes root in the disconnection from—-and the lack of understanding or appreciation of how the natural world works, how it is interconnected to us, how what we do either negatively or positively affects it……OR how we can work with it and not against it to achieve a healthy co-existing balance. After all these years since the crying Indian, we still haven’t learned much.

Why do so many people seem to think that their yard has to appear completely sterile all throughout this particular season—a season that is inherently messy? As someone who has been in the carpet cleaning business, I have observed lawns cleaner than carpets! I never really understood the logic in removing leaves from a specific piece of land year after year, denying that specific ground its nutritional due.

I have also witnessed people still placing leaves in plastic bags which is totally counter productive to the natural process of natural breakdown whereby nature recycles itself back into itself 100% I have observed people trying to blow soil out from their lawn and even suck leaves off the tree with the same machine! Woah! I see this behavior as a form of insanity.

Where does it say that the yard has to be devoid of all beneficial humus such as tiny bits of twigs, leaves, grass clippings, nuts and shells, and so on? These are nourishing products for the soil, in fact are components of healthy soil, as well as an important survival element for backyard friendly wildlife such as birds, squirrels, earthworms, and harmless insects. Sort of like the “Home Depot for animals” What may seem “dirty” to you, may be a food or shelter creating source for an animal trying to survive in the up-coming cold winter months.

What I find really astonishing is that so much of this organic material that nature provides free of charge, is then purchased in the spring in the form of in-organic carcinogenic lawn chemicals, compost shipped in from far away in plastic bags, low quality birdseed (that most birds won’t eat …hence a waste of money!), fertilizers, toxic sprays and so on. I shudder to think that as this oil dependent lawn care war wages on to achieve what essentially is a worthless-to-nature mono-culture 50X75 plot of bland green turf grass–where the only thing you can find moving in it is a lawn mower—that all these chemicals involved in the effort, will eventually end up in our water resources; and our drinking water! And for what? A mere lawn?

The anal obsession with yard care, especially in the Fall, even makes the “selfish act” of walking a nightmare when each time you step out the door for what should be a reasonably peaceful stroll, you are immediately greeted not with the sounds of birds or breezes….but instead the acoustically assaulting sounds of war on the yard with the incessant running of mowers, blowers, chainsaws, and a host of other weapons, as the boys fire up their engines and unleash the daily attack. Some of the commercial maintenance services with trucks, trailers, and a host of lawn care weapons even resemble SWAT teams about to attack the neighborhood!

Seeing that we have such an obesity problem in this country today, and if people still think they MUST do this, then perhaps getting some exercise with a rake or some other non-gas powered tool may not only be healthful, but also much more respectful and less anti-social to the neighborhood. I really pity those who can find no other fruitful or enlightening way to spend their time other than obsessing about a few leaves laying in their yard — that would be ground up in a mower and recycled back into the soil by next spring anyway—if simply given the chance!

They will not be happy unless every last speck is removed from their property so that we never really know what season it is anyway. I also see the results as a drab yard, lacking in diversity, color and vibrant life, that exists in a truly healthy self maintaining yard. In a word, I see it is BORING! Could this final achievement be a testament to the personalities of the people? Afterall, we allow a lawn care industry commercials shape our opinions on subject and rarely do we stop to ask if all this obsession with thinking we can keep a yard spotless 365 days a year is really necessary. And if so, at what cost? The peace in the neighborhood? The quality of your water, soil and air….Or, your very own body? Personally, I find the behavior quite disturbing and rather scary!

Finally, I want to include a forwarded email classic that about sums it all up completely! Whoever wrote this must have been thinking exactly like me.


GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have they scheduled for us tonight?”

ST. CATHERINE: “Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a really stupid movie about…..

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:37 AM

RTA-Please…Pull The Plug On the Beeping and Honking!

Dear RTA,

My name is Robert Carillio, local contact for the national anti-noise pollution group Noise Free…and Noise Off. Regarding your new policy to have buses beep and honk at intersections, I would like to explain to you why this is an irresponsible and thoughtless decision on your behalf.

I want to state first and foremost that by state law—and contrary to the fact that pedestrians have been bullied into thinking that vehicular traffic owns the road with drivers often disregard for pedestrians—-that it is the responsibility of vehicular traffic to watch out for pedestrians at crosswalks/intersections—and not solely the responsibility of the pedestrian to be on the constant watch for vehicular traffic as if they have no right to cross the road!

First of all, the unfortunate situation where a pedestrian was killed was NOT the fault of the pedestrian….it was the fault of the driver. Had the diver been more attentive and NOT talking on a cell phone, this would not have happened. I have witnessed several of your drivers operating their vehicles in a less than responsible way on the streets…and more so, a ‘bullying’ one.

Now comes your decision to ‘alert’ pedestrians of your presence at intersections by horn honking and the use of the beeping device. If there is one thing we do NOT need to add more of in the air-scape is NOISE. Cleveland, like many other cities already has their hands full of enough of the kinds of noise that contribute to people leaving their communities because of the audio assault excessive and unnecessary noise contributes to the community. I suggest you research the US Census Bureau’s statistics on some of the top reasons people flee any given community, be it rural or urban. You will find noise at the top. You will also find it amongst the top complains fielded by police departments.

Unnecessary noises such as illegally modified exhaust systems on cars, trucks, and motorcycles….audio equipment that violates noise ordinances, incessant and unnecessary and/or irresponsible uses of motorized lawn care equipment are the top three most complained about sources of noise to date—about which we at the noise pollution awareness movement—receive hundreds of emails on a monthly basis…from people crying out for help—Mostly because local law enforcement bodies are unaware of the ill-effects of noise on the body, mind, soul—And on the community, socially, environmentally, and economically.

Now we have RTA making this brilliant decision to add their fair share of noise to the mix. This decision could very well backfire because the beeping and horn honking startles drivers and pedestrians and could result in an accident. There is a big difference between alerting pedestrians/drivers—which should be alert from the overly loud noises of bus engines to begin with—and startling them to experience a sudden and frightening adrenaline surge. You really need to sit down and educate yourselves on just what a noise situation actually does to the body. Instead, we should be promoting a quieter world, where we can all be heard….and do not have to live life louder and louder over an ever increasing nosier world.

Lastly, noise pollution is REAL form pollution and it is time more people become informed about it to realize why this is so. For now, I invite you to educate yourselves by visiting our websites at www.noisefree.org and www.noiseoff.org Then, I suggest you pull the plug on this very irresponsible decision to make noise. In a city striving to be more environmentally sustainable, these are not the kinds of decisions that such an effort needs. Instead, try screening your drivers better…and answering or listening to complaints when they’re reported. Then, remove them from behind the wheel.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 9:14 PM

Warren, Ohio—Welcome To Acoustic Anarchy!

Welcome to Warren, Ohio, the wonderful world of Acoustic Anarchy!

If you love illegal and unnecessary–or obnoxious and excessive noise, we’ve got it all right here! If you are a loud and disrespectful person to your neighbor, this is the place for you! Oh hail all ye noisemakers…. Warren is calling all of you! There is NO enforcement of laws relating to, or regulating such in Warren, Ohio!

Come to Warren, all motorcyclists who have illegally modified pipes on your bike—who simply like to be loud under the guise of safety—and who like to call attention to yourselves with your brain splitting, gut wrenching, terrifying noise assault that can be heard for blocks on a calm summer day! You can get away with that here!

Come all you boom car thugs who are so deprived of self esteem that you have call attention to yourselves by robbing people of their right to peace in their own home—by shaking and rattling their windows and bodies with your self indulgent noise weapons disguised as stereos! You can get away with that here, too! Warren LOVES audio terrorism and acoustic assault!

Come to Warren ALL of you who think the fourth of July lasts all year long and who love terrorizing animals with fireworks. Our very own High School sets a wonderful example for 10 weeks out of the year, draped with the label of “school spirit and tradition” with their cannon fire for every gain on the field no matter how minuscule! If you’re a war veteran, no one cares about the post traumatic stress disorder factor here! So, if you love unleashing cannon fire on your neighbors, you go right ahead! If the school can do it under the premise of “spirit and tradition”, all you need as an excuse in Warren is to say that “you’re entitled and you have a right!” Eventhough freedom without responsibility is chaos—-and eventhough we discover it wiser to use freedoms to help, and NOT hurt people! But in Warren….ANYTHING goes!

Come all of you who refuse to get your exhausts repaired on your vehicles, or have illegally altered or amplified exhausts fitted onto your vehicle. Who will notice? Afterall, in Warren, 2 out of every five cars has an exhaust falling off anyway! You’ll love it here, because there is no enforcement of the law on this either!

Come to Warren, all of you who are anal and ocd about your lawn and who think your driveway needs to be antiseptic as you relentlessly blow that ultra loud dust blower for hours upon hours! Look at the extra opportunities here! How fun is it for you to spoil an otherwise peaceful summer afternoon for your neighbors who are having a pic-nic by blasting a loud torrent of filthy dusty air their way! Not to mention the fumes from the machine itself! You can take great pride in knowing that not only have you produced an especially irritating and loud noise–but in the bonuses too–in that you have stirred up pollen, mold, rodent feces and spittle, lawn chemicals, and other nasties, so that it settles on people’s cars, windows, gets in their homes through open windows, and worse, in their lungs! Asthma is a big cash cow here and you help the drug businesses while sending people’s health down the drain simply by choosing to not have common sense!

Forget those other 400 communities across the nation who have chosen to place restrictions on uses of these machines and those communities who have chosen to get serious about noise issues because they have learned through statistics that they are far more than a mere nuisance issue—because In Warren, with noise, you can do whatever you wish whenever you wish—even if it means blowing swine flue in your neighbors face with a loud dirt blower!

Yes, there is so much opportunity in Warren, Ohio if you love assaulting people with your noise and invading their right to reasonable peace in their own home! This city prides itself upon being one of the last bastions of anarchy on noise and quality of life issues, because we don’t enforce the laws that do exist, let alone create new ones to keep up with the times.

Indeed, if you have never learned common sense and manners in your life about respecting others around you… Warren, Ohio is the place for you! Please settle here, because we LOVE noise! We LOVE acoustic anarchy and love how it has contributed greatly to the decline of the quality of life and property values! We want you here!

Thanks to your behavior, we’ve seen the spawning of a thriving new economy of noise machine outfitters for boom cars/motorcycles, tattoo parlors, tobacco outlets, fast food joints, and pay day check advance type businesses! Such businesses greatly foster a healthy populace, body, mind and soul–and have people from all over the nation wanting to re-locate in lovely Warren, Ohio! Thanks to your anti-social noisy behavior, we’ve also become the premier recruiting grounds for The Jerry Springer show!

Please come to Warren, Ohio if you love imposing your noise on your neighbor, or, if you think you are entitled, or it is your freedom to do so. We want all of you acoustic anarchists. We are the town of acoustic anarchy! Throw that quality of life issue down the drain.

Afterall, in these hard times when we don‘t have much, why not be the best we can be to make things even worse, by depriving people of that one little thing they are all entitled to…the feeling of peace, safety and comfort in their own homes! Who needs that in Warren? Mad Max would be proud that examples of lawlessness in Warren have been nationally acclaimed as fueling an ever growing aggressive and mentally disturbed society! Warren, on behalf of all who lack common sense and manners, we’re so proud of you taking the lead in making the laws on quality of life issues non-existent!

Thank you!

Signed…The, “I’m entitled” crowd!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:55 AM


Here are my rather repetitive and ranting thoughts shared with The Cleveland Cavaliers front office.

Dear Cleveland Cavaliers front office,

I am enjoying the success of this ’09 season and have supported the team for several years, however, I have an issue that I would like to bring forth. This issue is about the overkill with the automated noise in the arena from start to finish of the game–either when the Cavs are on offense or defense.

If you take close notice, fans KNOW when to get into the game; they are not stupid! How many times can you notice, that while you insist on playing loud and obnoxious music constantly, and urge fans to ‘clap their hands’ and say ‘defense’ ….. that most of the fans simply ignore this childish attempt to generate enthusiasm? Why? Maybe it is because we are tired of having it forced down our throats.

I am not saying that what you do is not at all acceptable at times in the game—but you are completely operating in an overkill mode to the point this may do the opposite of what it is supposedly intended to do, and that is, generate enthusiasm—BECAUSE…. Why should fans make the noise and control the level of cheering when the machine is doing it for them?

I strongly urge you to ease up on this a bit and let us do what we do best, and that is, make our own noise to cheer on the cavaliers to a win. We are not baby’s that need to be told ‘everybody clap your hands’ Nor is everyone keen on having rap and hip hop crammed down our throats! Teams won championships for years without this nonsense and maybe it is time the Cavs entertainment people allow the fans to concentrate on the game and learn how and when to get loud to give the team the extra edge. You are producing the ultimate in stupidity in a fan; treating them like robots!

Imposing your agenda from start to finish with no break is truly insulting to our intelligence. The artificial noise assault on us from the moment the ball its tipped is just plain stupidity. If you think I am the only one who shares this feeling, you would be surprised to learn what you could learn if you asked many fans about it.

Who asked for this, anyway? Let me repeat, just as you keep repeating the same nonsense at the games…..If you are not already DEAF from the overkill of artificial noise, please listen up: We know how to get up and get loud without your constant ‘patty cake, patty cake’ attempt to tell us what to do!

Please see the article below from a Mets fan and you will see that in NY, the same is happening in their baseball stadium and quite a few of us are over it. If the Cavs are as a professional organization I think they are, they will not defend this nonsense, but rather, get back with me and assure me they just may try easing up on it just a bit. When you do, you will see what we can do best on our own from start to finish.

By the way, I don’t want to hear how your surveys on ‘game presentation’ indicate that all the fans love what you’re doing. Any “survey” can pose questions in such a way that would give the entity offering the survey, the results they want. I could ask the same fans who the Cavs say approve of the presentation about game in my own way….that would have 90% agreeing that they could cut back on the overkill of artificial noise during the game.

I am ok with the intros, LeBron’s chalk toss and all……but the constant pounding during the game is where the problem is—whether it is needed or not. You really need to see what you are contributing to in causing a future drain on health care in this country by helping to produce deafness. Please learn more about the negative effects on the body induced from unnatural and excessive noise at www.noiseoff.org

Finally, you seem to have this preconceived notion that constant artificial noise is what all of the fans want, or that somehow, it makes the players play better. As the old saying goes, however, too much of anything is not good. In reality, no one asked for what you do. I think your agenda more so represents the corporate pandering and kissing up to a certain media market. Again, please stop force feeding it down our throats. GO CAVS!

Here is the article that echoes all the above… Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback and not a brush off…

What makes a great baseball park
by Frank Nunziata

Imagine going to a Major League Baseball game in 2007 and experiencing the joy of the game as you did when you were a child, while still being regarded by your favorite team as an adult. If you visit Shea Stadium in New York City, that’s not going to happen. But a funny thing happened to me at Wrigley Field in Chicago recently.

I realized that baseball, for the sake of baseball, still existed.

I own a partial season ticket plan for my beloved New York Mets. I attend over twenty games a year. I have seen the “Shea experience” deteriorate year-by-year, and I’m not talking about Shea as a structure that needs to be replaced. A new stadium will not repair the chintzy, childish and downright obnoxious ancillary entertainment the Mets organization produces 81 times a year.

I spend so much time at Shea that I had almost forgotten what it was like to fully enjoy a baseball game. Wrigley reminded me. Each time a batter stepped up to the plate, music did not blare at an excruciating volume over the public address system. If that same batter happened to reach base, the only sound you heard was cheering proportionate to the game situation; you did not hear the loud, celebratory music that you might hear, say, if the home team had won the World Series. The fans make the noise at Wrigley. They control the volume. They are trusted to do their jobs as fans.

You will on occasion hear music, other than traditional ballpark organ music, at Wrigley Field. Background music. Music so subtle that the public address announcer can speak over it; gentle enough so that you can speak to the person next to you without screaming. At Wrigley, the only music that takes center stage is that day’s unique rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” an ode to why everyone showed up to the park in the first place.

The absence of a giant television screen at Wrigley Field goes unnoticed. Eyes are constantly affixed on the field save for mandatory glances at the small electronic scoreboards displaying the count and the outs. The manual scoreboard in center is a sight to behold and not a distraction of gaudy graphics and foolish requests for crowd noise or worse, a beckoning to “do the wave.” The Cub fan is encouraged to watch the game in front of them.

I realize that it’s impossible to replicate the Wrigley Field experience anywhere else on earth. The unique event is a perfect storm created by a committed fan base, a wonderful old ballpark, a rich baseball history and many other factors. Cub fans own it and it’s theirs to keep. But the Cubs organization clearly helps cultivate and encourage it. They are partners with the fans and in no way insult them, “dumb them down” or attempt to provide anything more than a beautiful and fun place most conducive to watching the game of baseball.

The Mets, on the other hand, have hit rock bottom. They officially jumped the shark this year when they added a “Sweet Caroline” sing-along/ video montage that takes place in the middle of the eighth inning. This is something they do in Boston’s Fenway Park and was featured in a scene of the horrible movie “Fever Pitch.” Yes, the New York Mets, playing in the so-called capital of everything, have resorted to stealing cheesy, overwrought foolishness from New England and Hollywood.

The question of course is, who are they are entertaining? The loud music that accompanies every aspect the game, the silly contests between innings, the constant nonsense bouncing off each and every corner of the stadium; who is enjoying this? Who asked for it? When did this major league city become enthralled with minor league entertainment?

Perhaps the Mets would respond with something along the lines of “we’re appealing to younger fans.” But the Mets should do themselves and their young fans a favor: They should introduce them to baseball for the sake of baseball. Young fans have plenty of other outlets to hear loud, crappy music and to be inundated with foolishness. Encourage them to learn to appreciate the game of baseball and the simple joy of a day at the ballpark. A scan through any section of the stands was proof that everyone, young and old, enjoyed themselves during my visit to Wrigley.

I am not suggesting that the Mets turn back the clock and turn Shea Stadium, or Citifield in 2009, into a faux mecca of a bygone era in baseball. What I am suggesting is that the Mets start exercising some common sense and strive for stadium decorum appropriate to the great game of baseball. They can start by turning down the volume. And when the eighth place hitter knocks a two-out single in the seventh inning of a 10-1 game, they can remove the music altogether.

The Mets have my personal guarantee that fans will still attend their games, even if the thunderous voice of MC Hammer is not coaxing them to clap their hands every ten minutes. I can also guarantee that fans will still have fun, even if cheap t-shirts are not shot from a bazooka between innings. I can guarantee this because I know that even though New York City may be behind the times, baseball for the sake of baseball still prospers across the land.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 12:01 PM


The following letter was written by an associate of mine in the anti-noise movement. I am posting it because I unequivocally share the thoughts expressed in the article. Based on personal experiences, I have come to the conclusion that what is expressed in the following article is a part of what contributes to the declining of the day to day peace and quality of life in neighborhoods across the country.

The promotion by “The Merchants Of Cool” of noise and loud behavior, disrespect and regard for the law and rules, and the disrespect for other’s right to peace–has been for a long time, unprecedented by any previous generation–and with no end in sight. Please read the following and share your thoughts if you can see the problems in promoting bad behavior as ‘cool.”

I am likely going to share personal and deeper thoughts about this issue in another post, but this was so compelling, I had to post the article below right away. Thank you Mike Smith of Pulaski, Virginia. To my understanding, you have endured more noise assault in your neighborhood than should ever be humanly expected to be tolerated.

Glamorizing Disaster – Today’s Hip-Hop Culture

By: Michael W. Smith, January 11, 2009

The past couple of decades have been witness to the making of a new culture amongst young people – known as the Hip-Hop Culture. Never before have young people from every walk of life been as easily influenced as they have been during this time. Every generation since the beginning of human kind has had their own identity and popular culture – known as right of passage.

Today’s youth, and that of the past couple of decades, suffers from social ills like no other generation has in the past. Young people today have been raised by TV shows, violent video games, computers/internet and Gangsta RAP music compounded by absent parental guidance. Peer pressure amongst young people today has taken on a whole new meaning as it has formed the very character of our youth – not to mention their legacy.

Peer Pressure has given over to the “Cool Phenomenon” thus once deemed cool the youth adopts that way of life regardless its social characteristics. Regrettably such cool trends center on loud music, defiance, aggression, violence, sex, drugs, disrespect, rudeness, and dumbing down intellectually. Culture Spies infiltrated the youth underground and determined these cool trends only to market them back to the youth regardless the negative social impacts on society. Corporate America has become “Merchants of Cool”.

Corporate America has realized that use of “cool” marketing concepts reaches the easily influenced youth today. Thus Corporate America has stooped to the lowest possible social level in promoting everything from cars to hamburgers as being cool. Knowing that the word cool is a cash-cow, Corporate America is now influencing young people as early as 2-3 years of age as they plant that seed glamorizing “cool”.

Now the matured Hip-Hop Culture rips at the very fabric of our society as they inflict our neighborhoods, city streets, and even department stores with loud anti-social behavior. Our streets and neighborhoods have become loud and violent all across America and the innocent suffers silently in their homes. Most police departments across the country suffer from budgetary restraints and out-of-date laws as they yield to this activity.

America has been reduced to the lowest negative social norms in history and suffers form ills like “the broken-window syndrome” that has degraded quality of life for everyone. The broken-window syndrome was brought on by out-of-control youth as they glamorize the Hip-Hop Culture with no end in sight.

Many have approached solutions to the ill affects of the Hip-Hop Culture only to be accused of making a racial statement. But the truth is that the Hip-Hop Culture in America has nothing to do with race whatsoever – thus playing the race card is inappropriate. Blacks fathered RAP music that the Hip-Hop Culture embraced as the main genre of music but now more White Rappers are joining the ranks of those so-called artists of mayhem. Main Street America suffers from the loud anti-social behavior of this culture without discrimination and regardless the ethnic recipe.

The fact remains in any society that our youth is our future. The Hip-Hop Culture is refused by the majority today so how will it be accepted as our future? America is doomed unless new laws are enforced and this anti-social trend reversed. Corporate America needs to be held accountable for their promotions and marketing strategies.

To Glamorize Hip-Hop is to Glamorize Disaster on a grand scale.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 12:24 PM


A fellow colleague of mine involved in the anti-noise pollution movement who has worked ever so diligently to restore reasonable peace in the neighborhoods, recently had the following article to express about the problems boom cars are creating in neighborhoods across the country. Shame on the manufacturers of such who promote the kind of anti-social behavior which tears at the very fabric of societies–our neighborhoods.


It’s five minutes after three in the morning and here you come, booming and thumping down my street, rattling my windows, shaking my doors, and making sure, as you cruise by ever so slowly, that no one sleeps while you’re on the prowl. My double-paned thermal windows are closed, my ear plugs are in, but there is no defense against your invasion. Love those lyrics, too – the one four-letter combination that functions so conveniently as verb, noun, gerund, participle – the one-word-serves-all approach for the poet of limited vocabulary.

You are breaking the law, violating the peace, damaging your ears and those of the helpless babies you strap like sacrifices into the rear seats of your tricked-out cars. In 4 or 5 years your hearing will start to go but you won’t notice because you live life so loud all the time, it won’t be a problem to just ratchet up the decibels another notch or two. Your children will go to school with impaired hearing and learning disabilities because your selfish addiction to loud is more important to you than their wellbeing.

All over the country police departments strain to respond to complaints for what used to be soothed over with an apology, a polite request, a little courtesy. Tax dollars now go to field a constant barrage of angry citizen complaints, night and day, because no one any longer gets a good night’s sleep, or keeps a thought in his head at the computer, or enjoys his front porch or even his back yard because of your relentless barbaric yawp. Whole towns have lost their sense of self because of you and your unholy racket.

Hospitals, school zones, libraries — these are all the same to you. You do not discriminate. Everyone gets to suffer.

Car alarms go off. Babies wake up shrieking in the night. The sick and the dying call out, “Make it stop, make it stop.” Sensitive humans find themselves with nausea, trembling, chest pain, a racing heart; blood pressures soar. Innocent animals are frightened. Police, fire, and EMT vehicles go unheard by you at intersections because you’re too busy imposing your little hobby on those who never asked for it, in your roving night club! Yes, you do good work. You are efficient, you are thorough, and above all you are as constant as the morning star – we can all go to bed every night confident that you will come by, regular as the newspaper carrier and the mail man, but a whole lot louder.

And should you get a ticket, how you scream! It’s freedom of speech! you bark. I have a right! you shout. I paid a lot of money for this system and I’m going to use it! you protest. You resent being picked on, singled out, noticed. But if you don’t want all that attention, why are you making so much noise?

Why are you making so much noise? Do you feel unloved? Unwanted? Unsuccessful? Unnoticed? Do you have to call attention to yourself to be sure you’re really here? Or maybe you’re just young and foolish and think making a big racket is just harmless fun. Whatever your reasons, noise obviously works for you, satisfies you, makes your life worth living. And the rest of us, well who cares, right? It seems you use your so called ‘freedoms’ to hurt and not help others–and you actually think you’re entitled to do what you do. It seems the angrier we get, the more pain we feel, the happier you are. And that is good enough for you.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:03 AM

The Culture of Loud-Notice Loud Music Everywhere You Go These Days?

Have you noticed that it seems everywhere you go these days you are having to shout over loud music or some other kind of noise? Think for a moment. Here is a list of places to name a few: Restaurants. No such thing as a quiet dinner anymore. Fuel stations. Why do I need to hear screaming speakers blaring at me when I am pumping gasoline? Convenience stores, clothing stores, book stores… Yes, I said book stores! I thought this was one place I could go for some peace and quiet to be alone with my thoughts…WRONG! Oh well, I guess the marketers in America don’t want us to be alone with our thoughts anymore because we might just THINK about the purchase we are making and discover we really don’t need it!

OK, lets continue with that list….We hear loud music in department stores, on the streets from those KA-THUMP….KA-THUMP noise making machines installed in cars. The list could go on and the only way I can explain it is that we are cultivating a population addicted to noise. The more we are subjected to the noise the more some of us think we need to have it. Some people are exposed so much to noise that they don’t know what it is like to enjoy giving peace and quiet a chance.

Of all my experiences in learning about the American culture of loud and rude, I can only come to the conclusion that once someone becomes so used to hearing loud music filling the ear canals–a strange phenomenon occurs–and that is, once the sound is turned off—the sound of silence is deafening!

I don’t know how to explain this in scientific terms, but I know audiologists can–and may refer the following phenomenon I describe as “ACOUSTIC OVER-STIMULATION”—-AND….from what I have read and experienced—when someone becomes addicted to loud music in their….ears and once it is turned off, the sound of silence becomes a loud hissing sort of noise–and is less tolerable than the loud music itself in their ears. Woah! That was a long winded explanation but I hope it made sense!

Why are restaurants contributing to the noise culture? Is there some kind of strange pre-conceived assumption that customers want loud music? I am talking about a restaurant now…Not a night club. I don’t know about you, but I never walked OUT of a restaurant because the music was not loud enough. I may also add that in these restaurants, the loud music is NOT calming background dinner music, rather it is a loud thumping sound.

Why have so many restaurants joined this trend? Is there an assumption that it will drive people nuts, make them eat faster–or MORE–and thus, somehow create a higher turnover rate? I know a lot of people who will walk out of a restaurant if it is too loud. I often wondered, how is the loud music supposed to enhance my meal? It certainly doesn’t help my digestion, rather, it makes me want to spew all over the dining room like that fat guy in the Monty Python movie!

Anyway, there is definitely something different surrounding us these days with being acoustically assaulted everywhere we go. I am not someone who expects my surroundings to be as quiet as a funeral home all the time, but if you have any inkling as to what I am writing about, you have to admit the loud music assault EVERYWHERE we go these days is a bit much–and soooo ‘in-your-face‘ obnoxious and rude! A most recent experience was in a Best Buy store. It prompted me to write the letter below to one of their corporate bots. It was a follow up letter in support of a fellow noise pollution activist.

Dear Amanda,

As a fellow activist in reducing unnecessary noise in my community, I fully support Judy Ellis’ platform in her letter on noise inside your stores. It must stop. I walked out of your store at least three times without a purchase due to this nonsense. Judy is right—It is NOT music coming from these devices, it is noise, period. You do not have the right to impose on all of your customers, what appeals to only a few in the anti-social bunch—who will then purchase the equipment you sell and turn loose on a helpless public—this imposing noise which starts inside your stores. Thanks to that nonsense, I have lost countless hours of quality rest needed to perform my job well. I am only one of tens of thousands who can claim the same, young and old alike.

I have wondered often…..Are you (Best Buy) happy being a part of driving the public crazy and inflicting the kind of physical damage that can result from particular kinds of unnecessary and excessive noise? I suggest you get an education as to what you are doing to the public by visiting www.noiseoff.org. Regardless, I am sure you and your colleagues will find some way to rationalize the noise addiction and your decision to impose it upon your customers, but the fact remains, it is wrong. If the few who purchase such noise making products, packaged and marketed as ‘music delivery systems’, want to ruin their hearing by 30, so be it, but the rest of us do not wish to lose ours–or pay for their future disability in some way.

I suggest you offer those addicted to the noise a private room with headphones for demonstrations if they want to ruin their hearing. Because of promoting such products, you are in part, responsible for countless communities nationwide to have to spend time and public money re-writing ordinances to curb this noise. It is corporate irresponsibility all the way–and such that depends upon a buyer making the irresponsible decision to unleash the noise on the public.

You can at least take immediate action by stopping the noise assault on ALL your customers to lure the few. I cannot shop in your store and make an important purchase decision because of your decisions to assault customers with loud bass. I cannot even hear the salesman! Secondly, warn customers that if they purchase such products like the car audio devices, they may be subject to heavy fines for using such equipment illegally on the road.

Lastly, I have a question… How many people can you prove—have NOT walked into your store because of LACK of noise? Probably none! On the other hand, I can tell you that many will walk out because of too much noise. The deafer the public becomes, the louder your equipment will get—and when they become totally deaf…you will no longer have a customer base, will you? Hmmmm.. How much will this cost the social system? Please stop behaving like corporate brats out of control. Please grow up and turn the noise down!

Robert S. Carillio
Cleveland, Ohio

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 7:23 PM