Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Spring 2008 - page 6


From Pipedown - UK: Muzak-maddened man runs amok!

“A man named J.S. Brook today confessed to 200 crimes of destroying musak systems in shops and other public spaces. He explained that his actions, while damaging property, had hurt no one, unlike the noise pumped out by such machines which wrecks people’s mental health. The case was adjourned to let psychiatrists examine the man and his strange demand for ‘freedom from piped music’”.
 
From Pipedown - Germany:
 
Headline over article about ubiquitous background music: Served without being ordered


“Music at all hours of the day is no longer perceived as music.”     

—German author Erich Limpach

“Quiet area” not so quiet

The cafeteria “Food Fair” in the Pattison Pavilion of the Vancouver General Hospital provides a quiet area without muzak. A sign that invites patrons says:

QUIET PLEASE
This is a designated quiet area. There are meetings in progress and offices close by.
Thank you for your silence.

This quiet area is very much appreciated, although one can tell that it never was part of the original plan.
 

It was relegated to some space in a short, fairly wide windowless corridor, which leads from the cafeteria to offices and the kitchen. While the absence of muzak is pleasant, one can frequently hear people yakking on their cell phones. When there are meetings in adjacent offices, these voices are pouring out through the open doors, and so does the clanking from the kitchen. All that noise is often louder than the muzak in the serenaded dining room; a well-meant effort with a poor result.


Prisoners in Argentinawere tortured with exposure to incessant, loud music.

—CBC Radio One, Dispatches, January 20, 2008

A U.S. federal judge ruled that the use of sonar for military experiments is not exempt from the law.

—CBC Radio One, Newscast, February 5, 2008.




Members report:
 
In White Rock, B.C., E. Bell made some very good suggestions to her city council to reduce the noise from lawn care, so that the enjoyment of one’s garden, patio or balcony could once again be a more relaxing experience, as it was prior to using all the noisy, polluting machinery.
 
In Vancouver, M. Friesen made several complaints to the authorities last summer about the very loud pre-fireworks musical entertainment, as did Dr. R. Dunn. The response from the authorities and the event organisers was that “everyone enjoyed it” and that it would continue. Complaints were also made about the drummers on English Bay, who often drum on for hours. Playing of “music” in Vancouver’s public parks is not well regulated at all. Particularly with loud music, we have to deal with addiction as well as progressing hearing-loss. We urge everyone to speak out against all this cacophony to show that not “everyone enjoys it”.

St. Jacobs, Ontario, F. Buehler took advantage of one of those “suggestion forms” of his member of parliament to make comments. He enclosed a letter requesting to do something really meaningful and beneficial for all Canadians and start working at the problems with noise pollution. Public address-systems, boom-cars, leaf-blowers and loud mufflers were stated as some of the worst offenders that ought to be strictly regulated or outlawed.

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