Saturday, May 16, 2009

Noise--the asbestos and allergies of the future

Interesting note in one of my husband's architectural journals, "Schools of the 21st Century," Supplement to Architectural Record, Jan. 2009.
    "But one thing that is universally true [in designing buildings for children] is that the senses of a child are nearly always more acute than those of an adult. Poor air quality, bad lighting, extraneous noise, and rooms that are too hot or cold are enormously distracting, especially if one is struggling to learn." Welcome, p. 11

I don't see any Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) on the list of top 20 songs used as "torture," but I've left services, or even the building, so if I were confined to a stroller, or baby holder, it would be uncomfortable.
    Music as a means of torture became commonplace in 1989, during the effort by US troops to force Panama president, Manuel Norriega to surrender. The brutal practice was also a regular part of interrogation tactics authorized by then commander in Iraq, Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez in a September 14, 2003 memorandum.

    Since then, music torture has become the norm in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay in particular, where it is blasted at high volume over PA systems to create fear, disorient detainees, prolong capture shock, induce sleep deprivation – and to drown out screams. Link
Some Christians worry CCM lowers standards (actually lots of public domain, traditional old timey hymns have terrible theology); I worry about it raising decibels. Architects can't do much after the building is occupied. The music speakers at our X-Alt services blast the fragile and developing and elderly ears alike. I think parents who bring babies and young children into those services, carefully watching for peanut allergies, carrying hand sanitizer, and checking for ear infections, will some day realize they created hearing impairment and auditory processing disorders--especially if universal health care is expected to supply hearing aids to 30-40 year olds. The boomers barely notice, they are already hearing impaired from rock concerts and want the music cranked; the gen-x-ers have never known anything else and think we're just old fuddy-duddy fun spoilers. Those of us in our 60s, 70s, and 80s, are more sensitive to it than the younger people. Someone needs to show those pastors and parents (and musicians) an ear chart.

And I guess it will be me!

1 comment:

Sherry said...

A little bit off-topic:

I'm doing a Hymn Project this summer ---just because I want to. You can read more about it at this address on my blog:

But basically, I'm asking you to send me a list of your ten favorite hymns. List these hymns in your order of preference. So your #1 hymn would be the one you feel is the best, and so on. I will be giving your first choice 10 points, your second choice 9 points, and so on. Submit your list to me at sherryDOTearlyATgmailDOTcom. Write “Hymn Survey” in the subject line.

If you like, you can submit a justification for each hymn. Or you can send me a link to an audio or video version online. Include the name of the hymn’s author or lyricist and the composer of the melody you prefer if at all possible, especially if you think I might be unfamiliar with your particular hymn. At the beginning of June I will tally up the totals, and I will pull from the submitted pieces why one reader or another liked a particular hymn (naming the reader, of course). That way we’ll be able to hear from a whole bunch of people why they love one hymn or another. I will then count down from 100 to 1 on my blog over the course of the summer the top choices of what folks feel the best hymns of all time are.