is the first I've heard of the new Tim Robbins flick about a Manhattanite who becomes obsessed with ridding the city of car alarms and faulty doorbells through vigilanteism with a baseball bat. I can sympathize on an abstract level - being able to sleep through the boys playing Rock Band
four feet from the foot of my bed renders most other noise scenarios equally meaningless. I do, however, believe in jamming cell phones in classrooms and mandatory ring tone changes every two weeks if you work in an office with no vibrate-only policy, so there is a whole other world of noise pollution I lament.
Anyway, it's a real world story I wanted to write after this incident
, but couldn't get the editors' support on it. It didn't help that the couple did not want to speak to me, likely on the advice of counsel, but I had more responses to that short story than most feature pieces. People hate noise, compounded by the fact that unlike lobbying their city council for a signal or stop sign at a dangerous intersection, they feel there is no recourse for loud cars. The police, when they do come out because often they don't bother, saying the offenders likely will have left by the time they arrive, either tell them to move along or give them a warning. Now, I understand being roused from sleep can lead to demands of capital punishment, but a "move along, sir" is hardly an acceptable compromise, too many nights of which allegedly led Mr. Hyde (no pun intended, but oh, the irony) to point a shotgun at his tormentors.
We're surrounded by noise all the time - ambulances, police sirens, iPods, children, cell phones, car alarms, muzack, elevator dings (can you tell the Ramee Garden has made me bitter?), car horns, air conditioners, radios, TVs, construction, etc. But how many of those very things can we live without? Granted, some of the ones we can't change, we can move away from - quiet streets, suburbs, cooler climates. God knows the world needs farmers
, but moving to a spit of land in Idaho shouldn't have to be the solution. The movie, and Mr. Hyde, have a point, although a pair of noise-canceling headphones may do wonders for both?