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Monday, April 18, 2011

Hey! What's the Thing with Loud Radios at Campgrounds!?

At a couple of parks I've been disturbed by the sound of someone's radio, thumping and hissing in the background, not blasting but certainly loud enough that I'm forced to hear it and be immensely irritated by it.

Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy music.  Hell, I'm a musician... no longer full-time but I still file a Schedule C every year cataloging my music income (which isn't very much anymore).  So this isn't an anti-music thing with me.
Definitely NOT what you want to see at your next camping trip.

I find two things disturbing about someone who'd turn up their radio to that exact volume where it isn't overwhelming... and yet other campers have no choice but to listen to it.

1.  I thought the whole idea about going camping and getting out in the country was to enjoy the peace and quiet.  Is that truly just me?  Isn't there a general consensus that part of the enjoyment of the outdoors is the lack of noise pollution such as one finds in the city?  If that is the case, wouldn't you agree that the act of turning up one's radio is an affront... an insult... to everyone else in the campground?

2.  Sometimes I wonder: would I feel as indignant if the radio was playing... oh, let's say Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor?  Or some Count Basie?  Or Stravinky's Rite of Spring?  Truthfully, I don't think I'd find that situation terribly distressing.  But these morons who play their radio too loud at campgrounds... it's always the worst crap!! 

When I was staying overnight at Camp Jennings I could hear in the background... Fleetwood Mac.  And not cool Fleetwood Mac (a la Peter Green) but that campy Stevie Nicks crap.  Who in the hell thinks everyone in the campground oughta listen to this?  At Green Valley Falls someone (I strongly suspect it was a tow truck driver) had Free Bird going.  Free Bird!  You know, I was embarrassed to admit I listened to Free Bird back in the '70s.  Who'd go around advertising that today?  Only the most clueless ignoramus in existence.

I don't appreciate pollution of any kind, including noise pollution.  In campgrounds located in the city, okay, it's sometimes difficult to avoid.  There's nearby traffic.  There's construction crews.  At a couple beach campgrounds there's the Amtrak which insists on blowing its horn at midnight.  I'm okay with these.  That noise in unavoidable and it is at least productive noise.

But only the most talentless, inconsiderate, moronic slob thinks he or she is making a personal statement by turning up the radio and subjecting everyone to crap.  To these people I say: do us all a favor the next time you feel the impulse to inundate the surrounding area with your noise.  Forego the radio (which anyone can "play", there's no statement there because there is absolutely nothing about it singularly you) and instead carry a sign that says, "I am a Jackass."  Because we... meaning those of us who have to listen to your garbage... have already reached that conclusion.  Carrying the sign simply puts us all on the same page.

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