I went to a lovely wedding this weekend. Two splendid people who rejoice in each other (when the groom called the bride his best friend, his sincerity left not a dry eye); their friends and relations similarly splendid – interesting, amusing or both. (One taught me how to murder a chicken. I shall be trying this out.) The music in the service was good. The food and drink at the reception were a thousand (at least) times better than any food that I’d ever had at this, my alma mater. The whole afternoon was lovely – just what a wedding really should be. I was looking forward to a nice post-prandial ceilidh, just to round off a perfect arvo. But. It was a Band. Not a proper ceilidh at all. In fact, I had to leave. The ‘music’ was at 100 decibels at least (according to my app, anyway). I asked the Band to turn it down, but apparently they couldn’t, because of the drums. ????? I love music. I love birdsong and the rustle of leaves and crickets in the grass. Becoming deaf is one of my greatest fears. If I lose my hearing I lose my life. I resent my hearing being impaired by these amplified morons. I also find it outrageous that children as young as one are having their hearing impaired completely involuntarily. If someone were shining a light into people’s eyes, it would be classed as torture. Yet somehow loud ‘music’ is socially acceptable. I had to leave. I really resent being made to feel unreasonable and a social pariah when the perpetrators are the ones who are being unreasonable. The Health and Safety Executive (yes, I know, but hear me out) states that employers must supply employees with ear protection for anything over 85 decibels. Nuff said. I had this problem the other day, too. I was helping out at a ‘kidsfest’ – a nice day of craft activities and so on for children and their appendages. I was outside, next to the bandstand, helping 250 children make things in clay. In the bandstand, some godawful karaoke-style crap was being blasted at 98 decibels (again, at least), with hideous teenagers and tots singing out of tune and horrendous drum-beats THE WHOLE DAY. Relentless. Soviet torture springs to mind. Again, I asked them to turn it down; they didn’t. By the end of the day I was exhausted – not because of all the children happily getting their hands into clay, but because of this hideous noise. Various psychological studies have shown that loud noise increases stress. And it is a MEDICAL FACT that loud noise harms your hearing. (Has anyone noticed the increase in volume at the cinema, too?) WHY, oh why do we allow this amplified music crap? People aren’t allowed to smoke in public places any more, but it’s fine to deafen your fellow man. Do people really not care about their ears? Is deafness not a disability? Does it not require greater NHS expenditure on hearing aids?
I can hear my own volume going up, so will turn my amplifier off now.