On a press preview for a Mitsubishi something-or-other a few years ago, a representative from the Rockford-Fosgate audio company was describing the wonders of the sound system in this particular vehicle.
It generated some unconscious number of watts of power. If you cranked the volume up to 11, the car would probably go 50 km/h without the engine even running.
It made me think of the very clever feature in Ford’s high-end stereo systems which automatically switches the volume setting to the middle of its range every time the ignition is switched off and back on again, so Mom and Dad won’t be blasted into the back seat when they fire the car up after Junior has last driven it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I own a tee shirt which reads “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.”
My rock ‘n’ roll band (“The Compleat Works on their Mid-Life Crisis Tour”, free plug, and yes, we are available…) has been known to crank it up.
But I suggested to Mr. Rockford-Fosgate that any car equipped with a sound system this powerful should have an interlock that prevents the volume from being turned up more than half-way unless all the windows are rolled up.
How many times have you sat at a traffic light beside some slammed Honda Civic, the kid driving it is sitting on the floor, with some misogynist gansta rap bellowing out, the bass causing your eyeballs and ears to start bleeding - because the kid has the damned windows open?
OK, I understand he has already lost his hearing (seriously; this IS becoming a genuine problem amongst our young people.)
But does he need to inflict that crap on the rest of us?
I’d make up a big sign reading “Thank you for sharing!”, but I doubt he’d get the sarcasm.
It’s not just that what he’s listening to happens to BE crap. If I’ve got Bob Seger or The Eagles turned up to at 11, I try to remember to roll my windows up because maybe there are musical cretins out there who don’t appreciate true artistry. It’s not my job to educate them.
I confess; most of the passengers on the Boston - Toronto flight the other day were getting pretty cranky about me drumming along on the tray table to Clapton’s Greatest Hits. But as soon as it was pointed out to me, I stopped.
What’s it going to take to get the backward-baseball-cap crowd to do the same?