Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Friday, January 30, 2004

The Hellish Future Orwell Predicted 

An hour ago a police cruiser showed up at the house behind us, as it does every month or so, because the house is infested with college kids and someone has complained about the noise. I was already stewing because I'd just asked them the other night to turn down the music, and I'll get back to that in a minute because it's the real point of this rant. Anyway, the cops sounded like they were being harder than usual, as if something involving penance was actually going to happen. I paced around the kitchen a few times, and then went out to help piss in the kids' cornflakes. I opened by making it clear that I'm not the one who calls the law on them, though I'm sure they assume I am since we're the closest house. I don't believe in siccing the police on a noise problem when there's heroin dealers, thieves, pimps, and telemarketers they should be chasing down. After getting that measured intro out of the way, my mouth suddenly released a string of obscenities that I've must have had bottled up for months, asking what's up with all the goddamn shouting and I've got a baby trying to sleep right there and oh I bet you're sorry. The cops asked me to go back inside and they'd come over and talk to me when they were done there.

A few minutes later the 'Force comes over to my place, and I apologize for yelling and reiterate that I'm not the one calling them over and wasting their time (it's Owen, one house over, I'm pretty sure). They take down my info, say they're building a little case against the lads that might get them each fined $500, and they're going to lean on the landlord. That's who I'd like to see fined, the guy who thinks it's okay to inflict this on the rest of the neighborhood with his careful tenant selection process.

Don't think I'm being a Mr. Wilson about this. I was cutting them plenty of slack for awhile, thinking back to parties I had in college. Then I remembered that we only did that on weekends, very infrequently, and would even warn the neighbors when one was happening (and of course, invite them). The more I think of it the more angelic my antics of then seem, to the point that I was practically providing a community service. And our parties were just better somehow. Really though, they must have some clue that the rest of the world works and thus needs sleep. They see us bring Allison in and out, and should know that waking a sleeping baby justifies capital punishment. If they'd just stay in the house they all chip in ten bucks a month in rent for, the neighborhood probably wouldn't complain.

Going back to the music I asked to turn down... it was again a weeknight, and some of the stooges were out in their garage playing ping-pong louder than you would think ping-pong could be played, and blaring out of the cd player was... Van Halen's 1984 album?? Yep, I heard right. There's "Hot For Teacher", and here comes "Panama", and "Top Jimmy" must be about to start-- vas ist? In fact, most of the music they share with the block comes from the early 80's. Does not compute. I remember when we moved in and I saw Slackers slacking out in the driveway over there thinking that at least I'd get a better idea of what the kids are into these days. They seemed to be fairly hip, wearing current styles, constantly skateboarding all over the damn street; etc. But from the music I hear, I'm expecting mullets and sleeveless shirts, maybe some acid-wash jeans, or even JAMS. Forming a hypothesis, I changed my tuner from the NPR station -- which rarely happens, hence I didn't know this-- to a "classic rock" station. And behold... classic rock is now all the crap I didn't like in high school. Back then it was just an endless barrage of Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, Boston, Santana and the like (didn't like much of that either). Every few years I'd check in to one of those stations and find out they were still playing the same thing, so I assumed all the bands were locked in. But it seems ClearChannel or someone has updated what's classic rock, and now Van Halen and Journey fall into the category. Maybe it's like cars, where after 20 years a model is eligible to be a "classic".

It's an especially cruel twist. In October, I realized I was in for noise from time to time, but I thought maybe I'd be hearing The Strokes, Outkast, White Stripes... groups from this century. But no, it's the same crap everyone around me played way too much when I got my license the first time. The hell if that's fair. That's grounds for Eviction. Or at least give me somebody's $500.


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