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BIN THE BASS: MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD GETS EVEN

01-11-2007

Fed up of hearing the thump thump thump of drum n' bass from cars parked in your street. Lynn Hawthorne proposes aversion therapy.

I have written before about noise pollution and about how annoying I find it when people force their own 'musical' tastes upon you. The only advantage I can see to the dreadful summer we've just experienced is that I haven't had to listen to other people's stereos and radios whilst trying to enjoy my garden.

I'm not saying we should all be deathly silent when outside, but showing respect for others would be nice occasionally.

We don't seem to be plagued quite so much with the booming bass of souped-up sound systems in cars these days, but drivers still sit at the kerbside whilst picking up or dropping off with the music cranked up. How anyone can have a conversation over music at that volume is beyond me and they never seem to consider the residents whose houses they're outside.

Driving with music pumping out at high volume must be dangerous because it distracts attention and, depending on the beats per minute, it can have an effect on the heart. Why do gyms have heavy beat tracks blasting out but to make you work faster and harder?

Having this type of music on while driving could lead to faster and more dangerous driving and contribute to accidents. Similarly, low bass frequency has been found to slow down reaction times.

I've only seen police officers protest once, when a WPC on foot glared at a driver in a car that was slowing down for a junction. She gestured to the stereo and the young male driver was so taken aback, he complied! How long that lasted for, of course, was another matter.

According to Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2 recently, police in Ohio, USA, are taking the issue of loud music in cars a stage further. They are punishing miscreants by utilising a music immersion program in which offenders are forced to listen to music not to their taste in order to demonstrate to them how irritating their noise is to other people.

Now this appeals to my twisted sense of humour. But how do you choose the music to which to subject them? It's all a matter of taste, after all. In Ohio, they've chosen Barry Manilow and Dolly Parton. This got me thinking of types of music and artists that I think would leave these youngsters reeling and begging for mercy.

Here are my top 10 suggestions.

  1. Opera
  2. Brass bands
  3. Anything depressing by Coldplay, Travis or Leonard Cohen
  4. Daniel O' Donnell - particularly his version of Save Your Love
  5. Black Lace's Agadoo or The Birdy Song
  6. Chris de Burgh's Lady In Red
  7. Celine Dion - her heart swill go on, of course
  8. Bagpipes
  9. Bierkeller 'oompah' music
  10. Mariah Carey - anything she warbles

No doubt, over here there would be some European directive that would not allow police to do this, citing human rights or other such nonsense. But what about the human rights of those forced to listen to thud thump or the poor accident victims?

Personally, I like opera, but it does fall into the same taste camp as Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Perhaps Stirrer readers could come up with a list of their own? It could keep you amused in the pub!

Go one then…what's your idea of musical aversion therapy?

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