January 1, 2003
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Jesse Ventura has won January’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for embracing loud car stereo systems, motorcycles, snowmobiles, jet skis, and all-terrain vehicles, and for failing to take action against the scourge of noise pollution in Minnesota.
On New Year’s Eve, Governor Ventura parked his new, $50,000 2003 H2 Hummer in his State Capitol parking spot. He cranked up Led Zeppelin on his 10-speaker sound system, asserting, “It’ll knock your socks off!” Ventura said that if he had sought and won a second term, the Hummer would have been his official state vehicle.
This is not the first time that Jesse Ventura has violated the public’s right to peace and quiet. In his autobiography, Ventura writes of blasting down the highway as a member of motorcycle gangs. He chuckles about vacations filled with “generators and stereos and tons of fireworks.” At his Inaugural Ball, Ventura showed up surrounded by an entourage of motorcycles. Ventura’s self assessment? “I’m loud.”
“Jesse Ventura seems to love making noise,” said Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director (and a Minnesota native). “He opposes any restrictions on snowmobiles, jet skis, or ATVs. He seems to place the highest priority on his own right to pump up the volume–with little regard for anyone else.”
Rueter, a Tulane University political science professor, also noted that Governor Ventura failed to pursue an anti-noise agenda: “Ventura did nothing to promote quiet classrooms in Minnesota. Studies conclusively show that students attending noisy schools do worse than students attending quiet schools. Also, he did little about airport noise. He failed to act against the proliferation of boom cars and leaf blowers in Minnesota. He did little or nothing to make Minnesota a quieter place. Our nation’s political leaders should be taking steps to reduce noise–not celebrating it.”
Mark Huber expressed concern about Governor Ventura’s health: “The man has a noisy lifestyle. He loves to crank it up. He spent years as a wrestler, being exposed to pyrotechnics and deafening sound systems. He made thunderous action movies in Hollywood. He loves motorcycles and loud car stereos. I’m afraid Jesse is going to end up with hearing loss–just like Ted Nugent, Pete Townsend, William Shatner, and Richard Petty.”
Huber also noted Ventura’s poor example for our nation’s youth: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 8 children between the ages of 6 and 19 suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. Many of these kids idolize Jesse Ventura. No one who can’t hear can become a Navy SEAL.”
Arline Bronzaft, a New York City psychologist, stated that “noise is hazardous to our mental and physical health and diminishes our quality of life. Studies have demonstrated that noise impedes children’s cognitive and language development, as well as reading and learning skills.”
Previous “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Viper car alarms, Flowmaster, Circuit City, and the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to reducing noise pollution. Its web site is http://noisefree.org.