donderdag, juni 10, 2004

Mayor Bans Noise In NYC

Noting that he wants New York to become "the quietest place on earth", the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has vowed to make sure that anyone who makes any noise, from barking dogs, chirping birds, car horns, pounding music and ice cream vendors to cheering fans at Shea and Yankee Stadiums, people speaking aloud and wind blowing, will face heavy penalties.

Echoing his idiotic smoking ban to destroy the nature and pace of what was once the world's finest city, he has proposed a series of measures ranging from the practical to the preposterous, covering everything from how long a dog may be left yapping to the jingles permitted on ice cream vans to whether people will be allowed to voice their opinions louder than sotto voce.

"Complaints about noise are not frivolous," he said. "Noise disturbs my sleep and I don't like noise anymore. I used to like noise, but ever since I quit smoking, like everything else in my life, I've started to become more and more intolerant of it."

So his 45-page proposal includes allowing dogs a one hour window between the hours of 10 and 11 in the morning, to bark for a period of up to, but no longer than five minutes. Violators will be taken away to the pound and put to sleep. He also proposed a ban on birds chirping and pigeons cooing as they are "sufficient distractions" to the well-being of every New Yorker. "We don't really need birds chirping. Just looking at them is enough." All birds caught chirping will be shot without further notification by the NYPD anti-terrorist sniper squad.

But wildlife and domesticated animals aren't the only suspects. People too, will have to learn to stop talking aloud. "When you think about it, we are many millions of people in a small area and if everyone starts talking aloud, the noise is nearly unbearable." From now on, neighbors will only be allowed to talk to one another in shifts and there will be a city-wide imposition of sign language on residents.

Lest one think all of Mayor Bloomberg's ideas are idiotic, useless and impractical, he also announced a ban on car horns to be replaced by a surge of electricity which will be propelled from the horn-honker to the offending vehicle causing the horn-honking to begin with. All vehicles registered in NYC will be required to have this new electrical shock soundless horn fitted or will face being banned from the city streets.

The police will be able to issue noise tickets and drivers with wayward car alarms are among those liable, along with barkeepers and restaurateurs who let their din spread 3 ft (1 metre) through an open door.

Vibrations are also being considered for inclusion in the same law, a relief to thousands of city dwellers tormented by footsteps in hallways and the shaking of the earth by gently rearranging the furniture and "heavy bass sounds", the last in particular, which has sparked anger among the city's minority population who decry the ban on heavy bass sounds as being "racist" and "inherently biased".

"It is not necessary for such person to determine the title, specific words or artist of such music," reads the proposed law.

"We like heavy bass in our music and whitey don't, because whitey can't dance" complained Yolanda Ramirez, of the She-Bitches Loisada Social Club. "This is a racist law against us!"

Noise is the number one complaint in New York, far ahead of problems with landlords. The city's information and help line deals with about 1,000 calls a day on the subject. The city hall defines an offensive sound as one that takes place between 10pm and 7am and is seven decibels above the general sound level of the given area.

Between 7am and 10pm, the threshold rises to 10 decibels.

The proposed regulations require noise management plans on building sites, sound barriers and noise jackets for jackhammers and other loud tools, and free earplugs for any resident requesting them.

And they will let police officers issue noise tickets without recourse to sound meters, relying on a "plainly audible" standard. "If we can hear it," Bloomberg said with a smirk as his cravings for a cigarette drives him progressively madder by the day, "Then it's too loud!" he whispered.

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