Noise Complaint or Creative Suppression?

I don't know about you, but I deal with a lot of inconveniences in my life. Some I can control, but mostly, I just have to deal with the annoyance. One thing that I have to deal with from time to time is annoying music being blared loudly while I try to shop or eat. There isn't much I can do about this other than maybe complain to a waiter or manager. Since I hate complaining to anyone who might do strange things with my food, or have me standing around waiting for someone to speak to when I could just be hurrying out of the store, I keep quiet.

Too bad more people don't have my same "it's not a big enough deal to bother anyone" mentality, especially when it comes to loud music. Trust me, I'd love to walk into a grocery store that isn't blasting adult contemporary, but do I get to complain about that? I mean, yeah, I could, but I'd likely look like a jackass. I can see the odd look from the cashier now, "Sir, we can't change the station, but we could turn it down a little once the manager gets back later today." I walk away and hear mumbled complaints about my complaint, and nothing is solved.

However, if you're upset about a faint snare drum in the distance, you can call the police, and usually, people do exactly that. If you're lucky, the cops show up only briefly, and don't harass anyone. By the way, I'd advise sending the soberest, prettiest white girl at the party to go talk to them, that seems to help. Let's think about this situation for a moment: it's 8pm on a Friday night, and you hear music in the distance between the commercials coming out of your TV. This angers you so much that you call armed policemen to go shut down someone's good time. Does this make sense to you?

Surely those cops have better things to do than worry about loud music on a Friday night, but no, how dare anyone interrupt your Andy Griffith reruns with their fun! You demand satisfaction! You won't be happy until everyone else is as boring, and miserable as you. "Look at what they've done to the neighborhood on this quiet evening, even our children are outside dancing to the faint sounds of their devilish gathering! Help, police!"

I understand the purpose of noise ordinances, and for the most part, I'm okay abiding by them. I get it, people have to sleep at some point, but I don't think that a few people should have the authority to shut down an event just because they don't like it. Do I get to call in a complaint when that one lazy woman drives down the street pressing her horn every Sunday morning? No, I don't, and she's really lucky I haven't screamed at her to get off her ass, and go knock on the door like a halfway civilized person.

High School football games can be heard for miles, churches cause traffic jams when they release their herd after service, and I already mentioned how I can't buy groceries without getting bombarded by moldy oldies, and modern elevator music. These annoyances are perfectly acceptable, there are even laws to allow some of these things, but don't you dare perform music for your friends after a long week of work, that's a nuisance.

Here in South Carolina, and I'd imagine all throughout the Bible-Belt, anything creative is suppressed. Unless you're playing music at church or for a crowd of yuppies, you shouldn't be playing music at all. The jocks who didn't turn pro, and the bullies who never grew up become the police. Old, often racist, "Christians" make all the rules, and all you're really allowed to do is go to work, school, and church. Some places even have all these things on their "campus" so you never have to leave their watchful eye, and deal with the temptations of the world. God forbid you actually get out into the world, and see it for what it really is; don't you know living life is a sin?

This is home though, and for better or worse, it's always gonna be home. One day, all the uptight, elderly people who control everything will be gone. We can only hope their kids aren't as bitter as they are, but it's not exactly something I'm counting on by any stretch of the imagination. In the meantime, we'll keep on doing what us "counter-culture", "outsider" types keep doing: putting on shows, getting shows shut down, and making the most out of the life we have available. The important part is that we never allow our spirits to be broken by the way things are set up. We've got to keep having crazy ideas, and keep going after big dreams, especially when they seem impossible. Otherwise, we might end up bitter, old farts who call the cops on everyone.

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