Saturday, October 06, 2012

Rage Against the Machine

There used to be some advantages connected with living in a small midwestern college town. I just returned from a walk on this beautiful fall day, and found that the huge sound system that the local university installed at the end of its athletic field effectively covered up the sounds of nature I might have heard. The banter from athletic events now permeates the air on weekends. You can hear the voices clear as day from two miles away, and the city itself is only about four miles long and four miles wide, and the stadium's speakers are sitting pretty much in the physical center of town. I do like to listen to the sounds of nature when I walk, but I also like to listen music or podcasts. Today the sound system was (and is, I can still hear it blaring through the closed doors and windows of my house) turned up so loudly that I could clearly hear the names of the people competing in the athletic event of the day through my Bach, Handel, and Haydn. I imagine that these sounds send the birds elsewhere.

That this state-of-the-art sound system was set up by the university athletic department using money donated by alumni, including the rich and famous Tony Romo, a distinguished alumnus of the university. I imagine it was designed for use in a large city stadium, where the audio for athletic events has to project over the sounds of car traffic, trains, planes, sirens, people, and general city noise.

On my hour-long walk today I saw half a dozen cars. There are places for sound systems like this one, but this town isn't one of them. There's nothing anyone can do about it either.

Rant over.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

Amen to all that.