March 1, 2004
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Houston, Texas has won this month’s “Noisy Dozen” award from Noise Free America for tolerating constant audio assault from boom cars. Given the level of noise pollution in our nation’s fourth-largest city, one might guess that ear-crushing subwoofers are given out with every driver’s license in Harris County. In Houston, traveling any distance over a few miles virtually guarantees being shaken to your inner core by boom speakers.
Jan Johnston, a Houston resident, commented that “Houston has a lot to be proud of. Space City, USA boasts of world-class medical facilities, a thriving art scene, a growing theater district, internationally recognized academic and research facilities, and enough restaurants to satisfy any appetite.”
“However,” Johnston continued, “Houston is also recognized for its poor air quality, traffic gridlock, and noise pollution. The air and traffic can be avoided by staying indoors. Unfortunately, the noise is unavoidable. Even residents of River Oaks and Memorial–two of Houston’s most exclusive neighborhoods–are not immune from the audio assaults. People sitting in half-million dollar homes are subjected to violent speaker attacks. Booming speakers can be heard in Houston’s classrooms, hospital rooms, restaurants, and churches. There is seemingly no place that these speakers can’t reach.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, stated that “Houston officials do not seem to understand that noise is a serious quality of life problem. Noise is linked to criminality and chaos. The United States Department of Justice encourages local police departments to crack down on this growing menace to peace, quiet, and order. Boom car boys have violent, aggressive, hostile attitudes toward society. Houstonians should insist that the police department take back the streets from violent boom car thugs.”
Jan Johnston noted that “city officials literally stand by while obnoxious drivers defy Houston’s noise ordinance. It is commonplace to see a police officer stopped at a light while an adjacent car blares ear-splitting bass. The lack of enforcement leaves the speaker-terrorists feeling immune, and the problem seems to be growing exponentially. Given the rapid increase in boom car boys, the decline of Texas civilization is imminent, and world domination by acoustic terrorists may be just around the corner.”
Johnston concluded, “Although my complaints will almost certainly fall on deaf ears, I will not suffer in silence–as that’s not possible in Houston.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Its web site is http://noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Congressman Darrell Issa, Dollar General, Circuit City, and Youngstown, Ohio.