Pharyngula

Hey, I’ve got this wonderful forum that’s read around the world, so I’m going to use it to unload on one of our local idiots, Ted Storck. Storck is one of those insufferable self-important Christians who makes the whole religion look like a lobotomy ward. His wonderful contribution to the cultural life of Morris is that he donated a set of ghastly electronic chimes to the nearby cemetery. And he writes letters to the Morris Sun Tribune.

This Memorial Day weekend, the chimes will play more hymns and patriotic songs at the cemeteries here in Morris.

We hope the few who dislike chimes will tolerate them as we honor the brave men and women who gave their lives to protect this great country.

Ted Storck

U.S. Navy, retired

Morris

Let me count the ways in which Ted Storck is an obnoxious jerk.

  1. Pushing a button to play amplified, sterile hymns over a cemetery honors our dead about as much as slapping a magnetic yellow “I support the troops” ribbon on a hearse.

  2. He knows that there are residents here who find the chimes loud and annoying, yet he announces that he’s going to fire those suckers up anyway.

  3. This cemetery is next door to the university, six blocks from the center of our town, and only a block away from my house. It’s well-positioned to annoy a large number of people.

  4. Ted Storck lives nowhere near the chimes.

  5. He didn’t just start ‘em up for Memorial Day weekend. They’re playing this weekend, too. He’s probably hoping to drive us mad all summer long.

  6. And the major reason Ted Storck is a contemptible hypocrite and curse on our community: they’re playing these damned hymns and patriotic songs EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES. ALL DAY LONG. LOUDLY.

I also live two blocks away from the Catholic church in town. They ring their bells — real bells — a couple of times a day on Sunday, I presume at the start of Mass or something. That’s no problem. It’s even a pleasant sound, and I rather like hearing it—it’s a classic reminder of small town America.

But I want you to imagine this. Even if you are a devoutly religious person who thinks Christianity is the essence of all that is good and true and loving about humanity, try to imagine spending a quiet weekend at home with your family, out on the deck with the barbecue or relaxing in the easy chair with a good book, and every 15 minutes a set of cheesy chimes blares out “Onward, Christian Soldiers” or “Stars and Stripes Forever”. Now imagine being atheist or Jewish or anything other than a blithering Christian sheep and getting slammed with the same noise incessantly.

Ted Storck’s legacy to our community is that he is going to have conditioned lots of us to puke on your shoes if we hear you humming “Rock of Ages.” Thank you, Christianity, for training your members so well to be insensitive, inconsiderate, pushy, arrogant dimbulbs. And thank you, Ted Storck, for personifying one reason why I despise your religion. I still wish you’d shut those damned things off.

I’ll be at City Hall tomorrow to complain, not that I have much expectation that anyone there will do anything.

Comments

  1. #1 Graculus
    June 3, 2007

    A pair of wire cutters and I’m sure those chimes could be fixed* in no time.

    *”fixed” in the veterinary sense.

  2. #2 Vitis
    June 3, 2007

    http://www.fieradisantorso.it/sabot.jpg

    Sometimes it’s the only way.

  3. #3 sailor
    June 3, 2007

    “Ted Storck lives nowhere near the chimes.”
    Someone needs to sedt up a similar system right next to his house and play it whenever he is at home, so he knows just how it feels. A parked car with a good sound system, ot loudspeaker ont he roof would do just fine.

  4. #4 Umilik
    June 3, 2007

    Reminds me of hearing the US national anthem as background music in wallmart after 9/11 while I was in the toilet. If I were an American I am sure I would have felt patriotic standing there by the urinal taling a piss. Tackiness knows no boundaries in this country. I am with Graculus on this one, but would advise a bit of C4 instead of wire cutters. Nothing honors war dead better than a big bang…

  5. #5 Mike Haubrich
    June 3, 2007

    Not being privy to Morris’ local ordinances, I would guess that you have noise regulations in place. The same rules that are designed to prevent those obnoxious rapped-up Harleys from waking my kids from a nap, should be able to be applied to this.

    If they ignore your complaint, perhaps you could find a location in his neighborhood from which you can blast some Roy Zimmerman at regular intervals.

  6. #6 Ian B Gibson
    June 3, 2007

    Taking sailors’ comment a bit further – make sure it’s heavy metal standards like Number of the Beast and Creeping Death, but played in a Muzak style.

  7. #7 notthedroids
    June 3, 2007

    You certainly can’t be the only person in your neighborhood annoyed by the noise pollution, the more you could bring to the city council meeting the better.

  8. #8 Kyra
    June 3, 2007

    What it needs is for a pair of two-way radios (or something like a little microphone and transmitter and a reciever and a loud speaker) with a nice long range (say, from the cemetery to his house) to be purchased, and the one put up by the cemetery where it can pick up those chimes loud and clear, and the other to be stealthily Superglued up under his eaves or something, with the battery access towards the superglue and the volume turned all the way up.

    Not only will you be enabling him to enjoy fully the wonderful gift he’s given to your neighborhood, but I’m sure his neighbors will appreciate it as well.

  9. #9 Bunjo
    June 3, 2007

    Anything from Black Sabbath, but played on a xylophone…

  10. #10 Steve Sutton
    June 3, 2007

    I would just call the cops and report him for disturbing the peace and ask all of your neighbors and anyone who might object to them to do the same, on the same day. Even if they don’t do anything about it, it’s sure to annoy them as much as the chimes annoy you.

  11. #11 forsen
    June 3, 2007

    I guess those neighbourhood terrorists exist all over the world, although I must admit that mr. Storck was one indeed a prime specimen. If it is of any comfort, his global infamy as a low-brow, jingoistic schmuck now extends to Uppsala, Sweden, as well.

  12. #12 Nymphalidae
    June 3, 2007

    My inlaws live across the street from that Catholic church, and it’s SUPER loud at 8 am or whatever hellishly early time mass is.

  13. #13 HappyPig
    June 3, 2007

    Obligatory Python:

    Man: I wish those bloody bells would stop.
    Wife: Oh, it’s quite nice dear, it’s Sunday, it’s the church.
    M: What about us atheists? Why should we ‘ave to listen to that
    sectarian turmoil?
    W: You’re a lapsed atheist, dear.
    M: The principle’s the same. The Mohmedans don’t come ’round here
    wavin’ bells at us! We don’t get Buddhists playing bagpipes in our
    bathroom! Or Hindus harmonizing in the hall! The Shintus don’t
    come here shattering sheet glass in the shithouse, shouting slogans-
    W: All right, don’t practice your alliteration on me.
    M: Anyway, when I membership card and blazer badge back from the
    League of Agnostics, I shall urge the executive to lodge a protest
    against that religious racket! Pass the butter knife!
    W: WHAT??
    M: PASS THE BUTTER KNIFE!! (pause) THANK YOU! IF ONLY WE HAD SOME
    KIND OF MISSILE!
    W: ‘OLD ON, I’LL CLOSE THE WINDOW.
    M: WHAT?!
    W: I SAID, I’LL CLOSE THE WINDOW!

    (more @ http://www.serve.com/bonzai/monty/classics/TheChurchBells)

  14. #14 gerald spezio
    June 3, 2007

    Hell on earth. And the only legal recourse…

    The only thing worse than hell on earth is hell on earth with lawyers.

    Watch out PZ there are lawyerfish everywhere in Supernation. Moreover, the lawyerfish have a complete monopoly.

    Remember the gypsy CURSE. May you be involved in lawsuit in which you know that you are right. A curse. A curse.

  15. #15 Joshua
    June 3, 2007

    Is he going to donate a painting (on black velvet naturally) of Elvis Jesus playing poker with a bunch of dogs to the local art museum as well?

    God help me, but I tend to think that cemeteries should be places of silence.

    (Well, actually, I tend to think that cemeteries are a complete waste of land, but if we have to have them they ought to be quiet out of respect to visiting families.)

  16. #16 Bart
    June 3, 2007

    At least you don’t live in a muslim country with the call to prayer being sung over loudspeakers 5 times a day.

    Check out this article about what they had to do in Cairo, it got so bad.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9131240

  17. #17 Wally Whateley
    June 3, 2007

    Noise regulations are the way to go. So is lots of people complaining. If the bells are loud and disruptive, played every 15 minutes throughout the day, and if they annoy a bunch of folks, the city fathers will have to act to silence them, or face the wrath of a shitload of voters next election day.

    Call the police first, report the disturbance and, if possible, get them a decibel reading. If they refuse to act, take a few dozen people to the next city council meeting.

  18. #18 pete
    June 3, 2007

    PZ, if you can’t get the chimes removed there may be a scientific way to solve the problem.

    What is needed is Anti-noise.

    Basically if the same sound is played back at this chime machine but 180 degrees out of phase and at the same volume, the ‘anti-noise’ will cancel out the original sound!

    If this chime machine has a predictable order of music and a predictable time when it is playing I think this is quite feasable.

    Any interesting project for some willing students perhaps?

    (When this is perfected, it holds implications for IDist arguments! Technically you would not be stopping them speaking to you, merely echoing what they say!)

    Bwa ha ha science wins again…

  19. #19 raven
    June 3, 2007

    A pair of wire cutters and I’m sure those chimes could be fixed* in no time.

    I was going to suggest a screwdriver. Make sure whatever it is, is insulated to withstand high voltage. A guy in my area won a Darwin award for trying to steal copper wire from an electrical substation. He was wheeled out of the compound covered by a blanket and did not go to trial.

    A more imaginative solution would be to reprogram them to play better “music”.
    Stairway to Heaven or Are you Lonely Tonight would fit in better. Something from Jimi Hendrix or any good thrash punk rock band would undoubtedly do much for neighborhood morale. LOL

  20. #20 dangerblond
    June 3, 2007

    Oh, that is Just So Wrong. The problem with using the noise ordinance, though, is that it can be used against other churches that just tastefully ring their bells in the time-honored way (and the time-honored times) that even we wicked athiests are OK with. I like the way church bells remind me that there was day when people didn’t have gadgets to tell them exactly what time it is. But, there is no doubt they are loud.

    In the French Quarter, we have ordinances that pertain only to AMPLIFIED music, so people can play unplugged violins, banjos or whatever on street corners, but if it’s amplified it can only be a certain number of decibels. I don’t know from decibels, but it can’t be so loud that people living in the French Quarter can hear it in their back bedrooms with the windows shut.

    If this guy is trying to “honor the dead,” then a case could be made that his chimes should only be audible by the dead and their visitors. There must be a volume knob in their somewhere. This might have a serendipitous side-effect – if it succeeded, the idea that everyone in town can’t hear the chimes and be impressed by his magnanimosity might just kill him.

  21. #21 abeja
    June 3, 2007

    This reminds me of the lady who lived next door to us when I was growing up. She was an evangelical xtian before I even knew what an evangelical xtian was. Not only did she proselytize every chance she got, but she also pointed her speakers out her kitchen window, directly at our house, and played a xtian radio station LOUDLY all day. I wish there was a hell and she was burning in it right now.

    OTOH, I live in the country now, and across the street is a tiny little rustic white church. It’s just about the prettiest structure around, save for the big old red barns dotting the countryside. They play their chimes at 9 a.m. on Sundays, and I enjoy the sound. It’s certainly better than hearing the damn tornado test sirens.

    We also have a very old cemetery about a mile away. If they played those obnoxious chimes like the cemetery in Morris, I wouldn’t be able to hear them here at home, but I take walks down to that cemetery, and I love to walk around reading the old tombstones and sit alone in such a peaceful and quiet place. I’m glad I don’t have to put up with those horrible chimes. Those folks at the cemetery (who are dead and thus don’t recognize my presence anyway), would have one less visitor. And since most of them have been dead for over a hundred years, I don’t think they get many visitors as it is.

  22. #22 Zeno
    June 3, 2007

    Raven’s comment about reprogramming the chimes really rang a bell with me. (Sorry, sorry, sorry!) It’s like one of those Caltech student pranks (e.g., Rose Bowl). Surely Morris has its own skilled techno-nerds.

    I also want to put a plug in for the more mainstream approach of complaining to authorities. If there’s no noise ordinance in place, lobby for one. Then file lots of complaints. Even without such an ordinance, it sounds like the peace is definitely being disturbed. Does the cemetery have a governing board? Lobby them constantly. When I did constituent services for a local pol, noisy wheels got grease, if only to shut them up.

  23. #23 DaveX
    June 3, 2007

    As an experimental musician, allow me to suggest a few ideas:

    1) Get a Merzbow album, and be prepared to play it loudly for Mr. Storck when the chimes come on. Tell him that it’s your way of trying to call the dead back to life. I’d suggest “Pulse Demon”.

    2) Perhaps a fine recording of the same chimes could be used to periodically interrupt your city council meeting, as a demonstration of YOUR dedication to Mr. Storck’s goal. Suggest playing it continuously as a “living tribute” so you will all “never forget.”

    3) Circuit-bend those chimes!

    4) Stage a dance party “action” at the graveyard. Do your best to keep a straight face at your bold assertion that these tunes make you want to boogie.

  24. #24 TheBlackCat
    June 3, 2007

    This is a tough situation. He is playing the religion card AND the “support our troops” card. It may be difficult for politicians to deal with that combination. Its just asking next election for their opponents to talk about how they hate religion and don’t support our dead soldiers. I would be surprised if anything came of it from either the police or the politicians.

    So I think that the 2-way radio idea is a good one. But it can’t be on his property, it either has to be a public place or on the property of someone else sympathetic to your cause (the latter would be better). Trespassing he can turn into someone violating his property and may even lead to a criminal. Sabotage is worse, not only is it illegal it could also be expensive to repair and I don’t think PZ would stoop that low. Playing whatever music you want he can portray as juvenile revenge if you claim it is similar to what he is doing or simply violating the noise ordinances if you say it is unrelated. Destructive interference would require sub-millisecond precision and would only work in specific areas around the church. Since sounds radiate out in all directions in some areas it will make it worse.

    But simply transmitting the music he plays when he plays it and playing it near his property at the same or lower decibel level he will have a much harder time attacking. Any argument he tries to make against it will ultimately revolve back to it being no different or even less obtrusive than what he is playing. If he tries to bring the graveyard up you can talk about it being a quite place of rest and interfering with mourning families. If you can find anyone with friends or relatives buried there who find it offensive all the better.

  25. #25 TheBlackCat
    June 3, 2007

    Ooh, playing the chimes at the city council meeting is a good one, Dave.

  26. #26 Mike Fox
    June 3, 2007

    If you want revenge, buy an ice cream truck and hire someone to drive around his block.

    If you want the chimes to stop, get veterans to join your cause.

  27. #27 marcia
    June 3, 2007
  28. #28 Tim O'Keefe
    June 3, 2007

    Ted Storck’s legacy to our community is that he is going to have conditioned lots of us to puke on your shoes if we hear you humming “Rock of Ages.”

    That’s rough–I grew up really enjoying Def Leppard, and it would suck to have that ruined because this Storck guy insists on constantly playing cheesy chime versions of their songs.

  29. #29 j.t.delaney
    June 3, 2007

    Do you really think a crass, deluded lout like this is going to stop with “driving you mad” you for a mere Summer? Think about this for two minutes: somebody’s plunked down good money into that chime system, by Jimbo! For that matter, do you really think that two/three months of robotic doorbell muzak is sufficient honor for our troops, who died to protect our way of life?! They laid down their lives, making the greatest sacrifice of all — do you think a few mere months of kitschy sound pollution is going to cut it? No sir, I wouldn’t imagine so! Why, in the Name of Baby Jeezus, do you hate our troops so much???

    My guess is you have a real fight on your hands…

  30. #30 Rey Fox
    June 3, 2007

    Obligatory They Might Be Giants:

    They are persuaded by the music of the bells
    They’re not responsible for anything they do
    (No) The people know
    (No) The way to go
    The bells are ringing, they hear the sound

  31. #31 Robster, FCD
    June 3, 2007

    Ian, there is a lounge version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” but I personally prefer the fund-raiser a short lived jazz/blues public radio station went with. Play every version of “Stairway to Heaven” from muzak to zydeco to Elvis impersonator until people give you money.

    Seriously, asking him to cut it down to once an hour or perhaps noon and sunset would be much more respectful than actually trying to wake the dead.

  32. #32 Bob O'H
    June 3, 2007

    Raven’s comment about reprogramming the chimes really rang a bell with me.

    Oi! Remember , this is a grave matter.

    Bob

  33. #33 twincats
    June 3, 2007

    perhaps you could find a location in his neighborhood from which you can blast some Roy Zimmerman at regular intervals.

    Taking sailors’ comment a bit further – make sure it’s heavy metal standards like Number of the Beast and Creeping Death, but played in a Muzak style.

    Anything from Black Sabbath, but played on a xylophone…

    1) Get a Merzbow album, and be prepared to play it loudly for Mr. Storck when the chimes come on. Tell him that it’s your way of trying to call the dead back to life. I’d suggest “Pulse Demon”.

    4) Stage a dance party “action” at the graveyard. Do your best to keep a straight face at your bold assertion that these tunes make you want to boogie.

    You people are twisted and I love it!

  34. #34 RavenT
    June 3, 2007

    Remember , this is a grave matter.

    Just come out and say what you mean, Bob; don’t be so cryptic.

  35. #35 gerald spezio
    June 3, 2007

    Marcia, Marcia, what did Mr Storck say? Were you able to help?

  36. #36 Jessica Guilford
    June 3, 2007

    The chimes sound really nice. Be a shame if anything happened to them.

  37. #37 Dustin
    June 3, 2007

    Ian, there is a lounge version of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,”

    There is no God.

  38. #38 marcia
    June 3, 2007

    gerald,

    I was very nice as I know that’s always the first way to approach someone that irritates. I told him my objections, that one should be considerate of one’s neighbors, that one can honor privately, etc.

    He stated that

    1. someone threatened to “demolish” his equipment
    2. some at another cemetery or another part of the cemetery said it wasn’t loud enough for them to hear, so they had asked for it to be turned louder.

    He actually didn’t sound very intelligent to me, but he knew, in a nice way that disturbing the living with music was not the best way to honor the dead and that he probably wouldn’t want to listen to music he did not want to hear over and over, know matter what it was.

    He hung up on me, but I think I made a nice impression. I think the perceived threat he received was enough for him to not change his mind….unfortunately. (I made no mention of this blog.)

    When the locals vibrate my house with their woofers, I have asked that they turn off the CD before entering the neighborhood. It has more often than not worked.

  39. #39 Mike Saelim
    June 3, 2007

    Reprogram all the songs that are in a minor key to be songs in a major key. Reprogram all the songs that are in a major key to be in a minor key. It would sound incredibly awesome, at least.

    I think I’m going to get cremated when I die so this stuff doesn’t happen over… my… dead… body…

  40. #40 Peter McGrath
    June 3, 2007
  41. #41 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 3, 2007

    That’s gotta be the worst example of an “earworm” generator I’ve heard about in a long time.

    A friend I stayed with for several months had some neighborhood kids playing with some horrible electronic gizmo that regurgitated “Its A Small World After All” every weekend so incessantly that it took months for me to get rid of that hideous earworm. It was so obnoxious I couldn’t work, let alone think straight. There was no escaping it, indoors or out. (Of course evolution neglected to assign us an “off-switch” in the reception of sound). It about drove me right up the wall.

    There should be a means of legal action for this kind of thing. Its nothing less than physical abuse, every bit as irritating as air pollution.

    My condolences, PZ – it must be maddeningly annoying. Hope its stopped and you and yours can recover from it soon.

  42. #42 Hai~Ren
    June 3, 2007

    So many creative ideas here. To elaborate on what someone said earlier on about having people dance while the chimes are playing, I did have this amusing mental image of some folks having a hardcore rave party in the cemetery.

    Oh, and another hilarious method of sabotage would be to find someone who DJs for a living or as a hobby to do a techno remix of the hymns played by those chimes, and then reprogram the chimes to play only the techno remixes. I’m into dance music, but some songs just aren’t meant to be remixed. ;)

  43. #43 CalGeorge
    June 3, 2007

    Can’t get to the article without signing in, but it looks like someone on the Morris planning commission is concerned about the chimes problem (April 17, 2007 meeting):

    New Potential Noise Pollution Regulations:
    [...]
    Carpenter questioned if language should be added that would require a commercial entity to get a permit for a party or street dance. Granger indicated she does not think community livability is a problem. Kuchenreuther stated a permit might make sense for a special event. Larson asked if the chimes at the cemetery would constitute an event. He feels issuing permits for those things is getting into muddy waters and questioned who would enforce something like that.

    http://ci.morris.mn.us/planning-commission/2007-04-17.php

  44. #44 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 3, 2007

    Jessica Guilford says, “The chimes sound really nice. Be a shame if anything happened to them.”

    So you probably like it if somebody repeatedly farts in your face too. No accounting for taste, I guess.

  45. #45 Gork
    June 3, 2007

    If the annoyed locals want to fight fire with fire, I’d suggest a single tune repeated endlessly around the clock — The Liberty Bell March (theme music of Monty Python’s Flying Circus) — with the array of cheap public address speakers (cheap means tinny sounding) aimed broadside at Storck’s house from the curb in front.

  46. #46 carey
    June 3, 2007

    Why do I suspect that if he had a muezzin in a tower down the block singing out “Allahu akbar” 5 times a day, he would go ‘postal’? Of course, that is completely different – wrong god, and all that.

  47. #47 SMC
    June 3, 2007

    Somebody needs to buy or rent an ice-cream truck, program the ice-cream truck chimes to play “Patriotic” (National anthem, military songs, etc.) songs, crank the volume up as high as it can go, modify the chimes so they go even higher than that (and incidentally making them sound even more horrible), then find out where this guy lives and drive around his block blaring the tunes every 15 minutes.

    If he complains, he’s obviously unpatriotic, doesn’t support the troops, and is a closet heathen.

  48. #48 Caledonian
    June 3, 2007

    Jessica Guilford says, “The chimes sound really nice. Be a shame if anything happened to them.”

    So you probably like it if somebody repeatedly farts in your face too. No accounting for taste, I guess.

    I think you’ve missed the message. The phrase “it would be a shame if anything happened to them” is a cliched mobster-style threat, usually of imminent damage to people/property if demands aren’t meant.

  49. #49 Jon H
    June 3, 2007

    I’ve hated Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and that song “The Bird” (as in ‘is the word, etc etc’) since the early 90s when the Teamsters on campus went on strike, and one of their tactics was to use a semi trailer with huge speaker horns parked on a public street next to a main building, blaring these songs relentlessly at very high volume.

  50. #50 DCP
    June 3, 2007

    I feel with you PZ.

    I happen to live near a rather big meadow/field which is occasionally rented to anybody who’s got enough money and a reason to rent it. Normally it is rented to local clubs who build up a tent, get drunk for several days and play obnoxious traditional German music (Volksmusik). This is always a pain in the ass.

    But just a few days ago another group took the cake. The most annoying group in existence: fundamental Christians. These morons are playing this awful Christian music the whole friggin’ day and only pause to preach or pray or burn witches/drink blood, or whatever Christians do. And the best thing is, they won’t leave for the next few weeks. Apart from that their little fair blocks an important road to my house, forcing me to take a much longer way and as if this wasn’t enough all the people who are attending this absurd tent of doom are blocking all the parking lots in front of my house…

    Oh well… enough of my rant.

  51. #51 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 3, 2007

    Caledonian: Ah. Pardon, yes you’re right. I usually recognize these, but an earworm flashback obliterated my radar this time. So sorry Jessica!

  52. #52 Buffybot
    June 3, 2007

    So tough shit for anybody wanting to spend a few quiet minutes with Nana.

    Would it be bad of me to hope Nana crawls out of her grave and eats his brains?

  53. #53 Keith Douglas
    June 3, 2007

    pete: Some of us way back in my high school days wanted to build an active silencer, but they are very difficult to do in real time … any suggestions?

  54. #54 Steve_C
    June 3, 2007

    Maybe someone can fashion some sort of foam based silence bomb. Put it in a water balloon and toss it into the speaker… upon impact the foam expands and clogs the speaker.

    Just an idea.

  55. #55 Ray C.
    June 3, 2007

    #9 Bunjo: May I suggest “War Pigs.” It seems especially appropriate for this joker.

  56. #56 ichthyic
    June 3, 2007

    Would it be bad of me to hope Nana crawls out of her grave and eats his brains?

    the man has no brains. why you wanna play such a mean trick on Nana?

  57. #57 Annapolitan
    June 3, 2007

    Steve_C, that’s a brilliant idea. I have seen this insulation foam in the local Home Depot that is a compound of two parts: mix them together and they form a foam that rapidly expands and dries to provide a seal. (And the stuff is hell to remove, too. Get it on your fingers and you literally have to sand it off.)

    It comes packaged in aerosol cans, with the two parts being mixed when you press the trigger.

    If the speakers are reachable by ladder (in the dead of night), I think a can or two of this insulation compound should do the trick.

    If the speakers are too high to be reached by a ladder, perhaps balloons are a more effective delivery system. Put compound A in one balloon and insert it into the center of a balloon containing compound B. With any luck, both balloons will break on impact.

    It’s fun to think about, anyway.

  58. #58 Ian
    June 3, 2007

    Bart: Done properly (ie, not amplified) that Muslim call to prayer isn’t all that bad (I have an uncle who lives next to a mosque back home). It’s fairly short, and doesn’t get stuck in your head for hours. This sounds far worse.

    Hymns and patriot music? Sound so very Soviet to me.

  59. #59 Skeptic8
    June 3, 2007

    In a medium sised town the local EpiscopalChurch has a carillon played from a hammerklavier keyboard by a chap wearin’ leather gloves. Some obligatory ‘call’ and ‘dimittis’ on Sunday. Then on some evenings of fine weather two or three donned gloves and rang “changes”. These real tuned chimes and bells didn’t seem to have a source, like a speaker system. They didn’t make recognisable “hymms”, just auditory beauty. The “style” announced the churchly function. The “changes” were a fun duel.
    NO neighborhood complaints from skilled good manners.

  60. #60 Paguroidea
    June 3, 2007

    I wonder if Mr. Storck or those that complained to him that they couldn’t hear the chimes in some parts of the cemetery are seriously hard of hearing. Part of his insensitivity might be that he doesn’t realize how loud they sound to people with normal hearing. Of course, that doesn’t excuse his behavior.

  61. #61 idlemind
    June 3, 2007

    Perhaps you could send these guys over to his house a few times a day.

  62. #62 Zeno
    June 3, 2007

    The phrase “it would be a shame if anything happened to them” is a cliched mobster-style threat, usually of imminent damage to people/property if demands aren’t meant.

    I picked up on that instantly, Caledonian, but I’m not sure whether it was because I just assumed you knew how to talk like a protection-racket gangster or or something about my childhood. It’s a puzzle.

  63. #63 Eamon Knight
    June 3, 2007

    Even if you are a devoutly religious person…[etc]
    Yep, back in the day, I really loathed cheesy renditions of my favorite hymns. Still do, in fact — a lot of those things are pretty damn good music, whatever one may think of the words.

  64. #64 Phoenician in a time of Romans
    June 3, 2007

    Why do I suspect that if he had a muezzin in a tower down the block singing out “Allahu akbar” 5 times a day, he would go ‘postal’? Of course, that is completely different – wrong god, and all that.

    5 times a day? You’re not calling him to prayer – what’s wrong with every 15 minutes, like teh chimes?

  65. #65 Sampo Rassi
    June 3, 2007

    “Onward, Christian Soldiers” has always sounded creepy to me. It gives me an eerie Nurnberg-Rally vibe, of goose-stepping hordes of fanatic warriors striding forth to conquer in the name of their Savior.

    *shudder*

  66. #66 Odonata
    June 3, 2007

    “Onward, Christian Soldiers” gives me the creeps too. Forcing non-Christians to be subjected to such chimes is certainly insensitive, not to mention the whole noise pollution issue.

    That hymn was a favorite of the parishioners where I went to church as a child. Yuck!

    I couldn’t remember all the words so I looked it up at
    http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh575.sht

    Text: Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924

    Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    with the cross of Jesus going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    forward into battle see his banners go!
    Refrain:
    Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    with the cross of Jesus going on before.

    2. At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
    on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
    Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
    brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
    (Refrain)

    3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
    brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
    We are not divided, all one body we,
    one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
    (Refrain)

    4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
    but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
    Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
    we have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.
    (Refrain)

    5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
    blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
    Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
    this through countless ages men and angels sing.
    (Refrain)

  67. #67 pete
    June 3, 2007

    pete: Some of us way back in my high school days wanted to build an active silencer, but they are very difficult to do in real time … any suggestions?

    Well Keith, it’s not really my area of expertise (I just record music using simular techniques), but, if the chimes have a predictable pattern or loop it could be done by recording a whole loop and then reversing the polarity in a sound wave editor, then playing back the loop at the chime machine. I guess it wouldn’t be perfect but it would reduce a lot of the noise (at least in theory). If done in situ you would probably need a powerful computer doing the same process in real-time.

    I believe this kind of thing is done in environments with a lot of unwanted noise, like aircraft and factories, but I did come across simalar domestic products that say they can reduce the sound of dog barks etc, but I don’t know how they are supposed to work.

    Another idea would be to project very low frequency sound at Mr Storck. If done correctly he wouldn’t hear anything but it might make him feel unwell, or even produce the mythical ‘brown note’!

  68. #68 Just Al
    June 3, 2007

    Looks to me like you got a martyr play going on here. Since Storck admits there are those who won’t like it, he’s admitting that he’s trying to be obnoxious, and daring the residents to say something so he can play the wounded crischin patriot card for the media.

    Seems to me all you have to do is make a public statement that it must be nice to be religious and thus free from being kind, respectful, and courteous to others. Provide a few other examples (like this one from the Bad Astronomer), and you’ll probably have Storck’s own church take it down for him, if one of the others in town doesn’t.

    Predict his behavior before he has a chance to display it, and you take away his show. See if he can think on his feet.

  69. #69 Buffybot
    June 3, 2007

    Surely it’s the objectors to this abomination that have the Respect for the Dead card in their hand? If I was grieving, and this obnoxious muzak was booming over the interment ceremony, I’d be mad as hell. This guy’s just showing a fundamental lack of sensitivity and respect for either the dead or bereaved, and I doubt it would be difficult to bring the public and media to this point of view.

  70. #70 khan
    June 3, 2007

    “Onward, Christian Soldiers”

    Cripes, I had a flashback. Back in the cark ages, we used to sing that in school assembly.

  71. #71 Viadd
    June 3, 2007
  72. #72 chezjake
    June 3, 2007

    Perhaps one way to counter the patriotism defense would be to point out that repeated playing of loud music is one of the techniques used by the military and CIA for “softening up” prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

    Another sure winner — find just one young mother who says that the chimes wake her baby or keep it from napping.

    I doubt you can get the chimes silenced completely, but you should be able to get the frequency reduced.

  73. #73 Justin Moretti
    June 3, 2007

    This is the one occasion on which graveyard vandalism might be justified.

    I’ll go with that sabot suggestion. The second one.

    I would like to know what Mr Storck did while he was in the U.S. Navy. If it can be verified that he was in actual combat on a regular basis, we might consider going easy on him. If not…

  74. #74 Chinchillazilla
    June 3, 2007

    I do love juvenile revenge, so I’m going to have to cast my vote for playing some music he’s likely to hate at his house. I suggest that Richard Dawkins rock song from a few days ago.

  75. #75 the great and powerful oz
    June 4, 2007

    pete/keith:

    I believe noise-cancellation is location-sensitive.
    Imagine 2 waves running into each other.
    If the crest of one wave meets the trough of another, they will cancel *at that point*, but if 2 crests or 2 troughs meet it will be twice as loud.
    It might be possible to create an “inverted” wave to cancel a predictable noise source in headphones, but across a field, I have my doubts.
    Even if you crafted a perfectly inverted signal, it seems to me you’d just get a big interference pattern.

  76. #76 GalapagosPete
    June 4, 2007

    If I’m understanding this situation correctly, he donated the chimes to the cemetery, he’s not the cemetery owner. Have you tried talking to the owners of the cemetery?

    If that doesn’t work, then you can appeal to the law…and if that doesn’t work, then resort to vandalism.

  77. #77 j.t.delaney
    June 4, 2007

    Patriotism, eh? Oh, we got that…

    Suggested music selection to be played outside Mr. Storck’s house:

    *L’Internationale (a rendition in the original French is nice and traditional, but maybe the modern English version would work better for him)
    *”This land is your land”
    *”Jarama Valley”, or any other English language songs from the Spanish Civil War
    *”Look for the Union Label”
    *”Solidarity forever”

    Of course, you could throw in a little “Guantanamera”, though the ironic connection to the situation modern-day Gitmo would probably be lost on the poor sot. Likewise, a tasteful rendition of “The Soviet National Anthem” would certainly be patriotic to *somebody*… but he probably wouldn’t share the sentiment. Lots of woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger labor songs are about the mortal sacrifices of working men and women in America, so maybe that could round up the playlist.

  78. #78 nacky
    June 4, 2007

    How come he has the authority to do this? Is there a large group of people relishing the noise? Were the chimes actively sought by the cemetary operators? I realize from experience that people who donate things to organizations often want a big say in how the donations are used, but why is he allowed to determine when, what and how often the cursed things are played?
    Oh, and DCP (comment nr.50), that sounds so horrible. There are occasional Volksfeste around here, and I am so glad the Volksmusik is far enough away that it is seldom heard, Have an um-ta-ta um-ta-ta um-ta-dy day and watch out for the hallelujahs.

  79. #79 Dyticum
    June 4, 2007

    If the chosen venue is a cemetary, the target audience is largely below ground. The logical course of action is to bury the chimes so they can be better heard by the brave men and women they are supposed to honor. I suggest an unmarked grave.

  80. #80 Torbj÷rn Larsson, OM
    June 4, 2007

    If it is of any comfort, his global infamy as a low-brow, jingoistic schmuck now extends to Uppsala, Sweden, as well.

    Make that extended in spades. (Hi, forsen, the world is getting both smaller and larger for each blog, if you get my drift.)

    Btw, speaking of Sweden, I would guess national (I think) regulations for burial sites prevents undue noises here. At least I haven’t heard anything, so perhaps even wind chimes are unusual or forbidden.

    Cemeteries are supposed to be handled with decorum, and be dead calm. ;-)

    Otherwise I could contemplate making, oh, say as a first attempt this fake coffin lid for my grave site which would come off now and when with a skeleton hand going out, with much moaning and groaning, and the sign it would hold would say “Gimme some rest, finally!”

  81. #81 Torbj÷rn Larsson, OM
    June 4, 2007

    If it is of any comfort, his global infamy as a low-brow, jingoistic schmuck now extends to Uppsala, Sweden, as well.

    Make that extended in spades. (Hi, forsen, the world is getting both smaller and larger for each blog, if you get my drift.)

    Btw, speaking of Sweden, I would guess national (I think) regulations for burial sites prevents undue noises here. At least I haven’t heard anything, so perhaps even wind chimes are unusual or forbidden.

    Cemeteries are supposed to be handled with decorum, and be dead calm. ;-)

    Otherwise I could contemplate making, oh, say as a first attempt this fake coffin lid for my grave site which would come off now and when with a skeleton hand going out, with much moaning and groaning, and the sign it would hold would say “Gimme some rest, finally!”

  82. #82 obscurifer
    June 4, 2007

    When I was a kid, the farmer down the street was a collector of old musical instruments like big music boxes and steam calliopes. About once or twice a week during the summer, at about an hour before dusk, he’d fire up the calliope and play a song or two for about 10 minutes. The area was just becoming something that transitioned rural to suburban. Houses were popping up on lots that were about 2 to 4 acres each.

    Not too many people were put out, because he had the volume mostly under control, except, I assume, in his own barn, and we knew that the sound would only last about 10 or 15 minutes.

    The bells, however… I find as a get older, I start complaining how loud the birds are on weekend mornings.

  83. #83 Graculus
    June 4, 2007

    Now, if I had access to the schematics for the chimes I could suggest something more creative than wire cutters.

    Playing something obnoxious at Mr Storck’s house is a good idea, but I’d suggest NIN “March of the Pigs” (just for the screwball time signature), second choices “Heresy” and “The Hand That Feeds”. Make sure you have a good subwoofer. :-)

    But, if you have the money for the gear, even more fun can be had with a nice, inaudible, 18.98 Hz signal. You’ll need to be fairly accurate in producing and reproducing (no cheaping out on the infrasub), but it doesn’t have to be “loud”.

    Infrasonics can be fun

  84. #84 LondonCitizen
    June 5, 2007

    I rented an appartment in London, in front of a mosque, and next to islamic shops ( music / carpet / books ).
    I soon find out why the rent was cheap. During ramadan, the believers will go to the mosque to listen to speech in arabs and listen to music, to help them starve during the day. At weekend, especially in the morning, the local shops would play religious music too ( “allah ackbar” or similar was repeted over and over – it was a 5 minutes loop repeated over and over ). I worked early most weeks ( from 7am to 6pm ) and believe me, I needed to get some rest at the end of the afternoon or at weekend, when the music was most heard.
    After a few months of this, complaints to local council (actually it was funny when at 2am the local noise pollution officer came and asked to enter the mosque to decrease the volume…SHE was prevented from entering)
    after advices from friends, I moved out.
    The place was 5 minutes from work, it would have been great, without the noise.

    Noise pollution, big problem in major cities. Hard to
    talk to people who do it for religious reasons.

    Fortunately plenty of people who likes to live quiet and relaxed lives too.

  85. #85 LondonCitizen
    June 5, 2007

    I should add that I lived for 20 years right next to a church ( 20meters ) and I got used to the bells ringing a few seconds every saturday/sunday early in the morning. You get used to it, and the local council fight to get the volume down too, that helped too.

  86. #86 george Jr
    October 21, 2008

    You guys are Idiots, cry me a river

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.