Friday, October 10, 2008

"Fried Fridays: Music to my ears..."

Because I travel a lot with my windows down, mainly a consequence of a broken A/C compressor, I am often reminded how unpleasant it is to do so in city environments. Floating along a gravel backroad in North Dakota with the scruff of gravel under the wheels and a constant symphony of beckoning of Meadowlarks is one thing; diesel exhaust, throaty engines, and general noise, especially at red lights, is noisome.

But if there is one annoyance above and beyond any other to me, traveler of windows down, it's that stupidly (and rude) excessively loud stereo shaking the sheet metal on the car cradling it, with unwanted super-deep percussive thuds invading my 'space'...


You know it's bad when you can't even hear your own stereo thanks to someone else's noise pollution. Andrew Vactor, 24, is one of those master blasters, and was recently slapped with a $150 fine for playing his rap music on his car stereo too loudly.

Ah, but a golden light shone from above with a forward-thinking judge at the bench...Champaign County Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott has a knack for coming up with creative solutions that just might help deter future offenses.

In Andrew's case, she had an innovative idea that, if agreed to by the offender, would reduce his fine from $150 to just $35. All he had to do is 'listen' to what she had to say...

...or, rather, listen to what she wanted him to hear: 20 hours of classical music to the likes of Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, et al.

Her reasoning was brilliant and worthy of a standing ovation: since he was forcing other drivers to listen to his obnoxious 'music' (an arguable stretch), she wanted him to be forced to hear other types of music he didn't like, in the hopes of either causing him to think twice and care about his actions, and, just maybe, to 'broaden his horizons.'

The result?

After just 15 minutes of listening, he basically said to hell with it and immediately paid the $150 fine in full.

Techinically speaking, with that fine and conviction, does he now have a rap sheet?....

No comments: