Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Putting the Pygmies aside for a moment

Tacoma has decided to try something new in an effort to keep those crime-causing ruffians from hanging out at bus stops. They are going to pump classical music in over loudspeakers. Seems classical music drives gang bangers away. The feed will be coming straight from Classic King 98.1 FM, which just happens to be one of my favorite stations (so, if you were worried about it, that ought to prove that I'm not a gang banger).

The expert says (warning- the following quote uses a lot of confusing but smart-sounding words): “It’s based on routine activity theory and situational crime prevention. You mix different types of activities in locations that are crime-ridden to change the composition of the environment.”

Says a localite: "There are plenty of people who dislike classical music besides gangbangers, and any one of them might want to take a bat to one of the speakers. So many people who hang around here don’t listen to that kind of music. They won’t like it – any of them.”

Says another young local person: “They’ll say, 'This is whack,’ and go over and hang out at the mall or by Babies ‘R’ Us. The music isn’t going to change the attitude of the kids.”

I'm not sure what to think. Part of me wants to be offended. Classical music is a wondrous thing that can call out the best in all people. Now it's being used like an insect repellent. I've spent years studying and playing the best music ever written. To hear "Well, this stuff is so repulsive it will drive people away" is a little painful.

On the other hand, the fact that 21st Century Society is arguing about classical music can only be good. It shows it still has some relevance.

But here's the question: what if I'm waiting for my bus, and it arrives right in the middle of the final movement of the Beethoven 5? You can't just get up and leave before the final chord comes crashing down. I would be stuck there, waiting for the next bus, hoping it didn't show up in the middle of the Mozart 40.

1 comment:

Kim said...

So long as my bus comes after that F major chord on "Gott"...I'm good! :)