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Miranda van Tilburg wrote:
> > ----------
> > > From: Sorrento95 <Sorrento95@aol.com>
> > > To: email@example.com
> > > Subject: Re: Question
> > > Date: dinsdag 16 december 1997 15:09
> > >
> > > In a message dated 97-12-16 02:12:29 EST, Bob S writes:
> > >
> > > >So, are people bothered but reluctant to complain -- or just not
> > > >bothered at all?
> > >
> > > As for your question, some of it might be explained by the
> > > fact that people don't like to admit to being powerless. Rather
> > > than admit that they hate the noise but don't know how to
> > > stop it, they just pretend the noise doesn't bother them.
> I do not agree with your reasoning. It is well-known that people react
> intense to uncontrollable stressors. When one is able to stop the
> for example an electric shock, one can endure the stressor for an longer
> time period and higher frequency or intensity. In the case of
> uncontrollable stressor one is also less able to act on them and will use
> more emotional coping styles. Noise can be a stressor, therefore I expect
> that uncontrollable noise is more difficult to 'reason away', and one will
> be more stressed. However, people will be less inclined to do something
> about it like complain. That is why people generally complain more at
> landlord about loud music from their neighbors than about noise from
> airplanes, which is more uncontrollable.
If people don't complain because they think the noise being generated
cannot be controlled, e.g., airplane noise, then the issue becomes as
simple as: why can't it be controlled?
I think we'll all agree that airplane noise is going to happen, and if
you choose to live near an airport, well... On the other hand, I live
about 6 miles from an air base and for many years the only time I heard
planes was when they were practicing for the air show. This past year
or so, that has all changed. Day and night, our boys are out there and
the helicopters at low altitude -- especially at 2 in the morning -- is
a real PITA. During the day I don't like it, but it seems a reasonable
thing for our military to do. At night, I don't like it, but our guys
have to practice in the dark, so... But at 2 a.m. I get angry because
there is no need for helicopters to be flying a couple hundred feet
overhead of a residential community 6 miles from their base of ops. So
for the last problem, I have notified the Township Mgr. and requested
Boom car noise is perceived by many to be "uncontrollable." I hear from
people that "there's nothing you can do" and I have to ask, "Why?" In
Cleveland (1996) they ran a successful program whereby offenders had
their stereo systems confiscated (to varying degrees). Now, the ACLU
wasn't overly thrilled with this solution, but it is an effective way to
solve the problem. Also, as I've mentioned to our Township people, the
boom car boys make easy targets. Simply follow the bouncing car and
you'll likely find the driver engaged in some form of illegal behavior
(alcohol, drugs, sign violations, muffler violations, etc.). Stop 'em,
ticket 'em and keep doing it until they get the message or lose their
license. Of course, confiscating the stereo makes even greater sense,
as it hits them where they live.
That said, if you suggest this solution many people say 'you can't do
that.' So I'm left to ask, do they just feel power-challenged, don't
really care, don't want to be confrontational, or still believe the
problem is uncontrollable. From my perspective, it can be controlled
provided society is willing to to something (write very clear and
specific ordinances that address sound/noise and provide specific
Ultimately I am led to the conclusion that people feel they cannot "do
anything" because their experience with the power structure is that it
does what it wants, not what you want it to. They don't like to admit
that feeling and prefer to avoid doing anything that will confrim their
deepest fears (of societa/political impotence, if you will). My, this
kind of sounds like why people don't vote.
P.S. I appreciate the opinions -- thanks!
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