I’d like to meet the man who invented the subwoofer. I don’t want to shake his hand; I want to slug him in the solar plexus. It is hard to think of any other innovation that has done as much to make life in the 21st century needlessly unpleasant. I feel lousy tonight, and I’d like to go to bed early. However, the inhabitants of my neighborhood believe that it is their inalienable right to party all night long on weekends, and that includes playing bad music loudly. I cannot not listen to music, no matter how stupid, and low bass notes can penetrate ten feet of concrete. Sometimes the neighbors will turn the garbage down or off if I ask them, but I have to get out bed and dress first, and when I get back home, it can be an hour before I’m drowsy enough to think about sleep again.
I’ve observed many times that the worse the music, the more loudly it is played. My hypothesis is that the chief pleasure in playing rap, techno ((“Disco for robots”)) and the like lies not in what minimal musical virtues the recordings might have — you’d have to be pretty damned stupid to find such drivel intellectually or aesthetically interesting — but in tormenting those who cannot escape the exaggerated, mindless beat.