New York Mayor Bloomberg isn’t satisfied being your savior from large quantities of super, syrupy, sugary goodness. Nor is he content cracking down on smoking or junk food. He’s out to spoil all the fun stuff and guilty pleasures. Now he’s coming after earbuds, those darling little pieces we place directly into the ear canal instead of wearing those large headphones that I used to wear when listensing to Cyndi Lauper on cassette circa 1983. Seriously, this is his latest issue. Earbuds.
Apparently, Busy-Body-Bloomberg finished all the “mayoring” stuff for the month and is now free to take up a special project. If any one has proven that being a politician is a part-time job, it’s Triple-B here. This guy has so much free time on his hands, he can take up any issue that bothers him and use the power of government to solve it.
The problem this time is that the IPod Generation is listening to their music way too loud. The MP3 player gets pumped up to eleven and the earbuds blast out Pound The Alarm. Nicki Minaj travels, not through the air, caught by the Pinna of the ear, but runs straight down the ear canal and into the drum. There, poor Nicki (or Roman? I can never remember) collides with the ear drum and the brain’s interpretation of the song begins. Nicki is collected, passed on to the remaining sections of the ear and the miracle of earery happens. Now, crank it up too loud and the sensitive parts of the ear can damage. This can result in partial or permanent hearing loss. Or, the dreaded Tinnitus, ringing in the ears. Anyone who’s sat against the speakers at a concert knows what this is like. Now imagine the ringing never goes away. That’s Tinnitus. There is no cure.
So Busy-Body-Bloomberg wants to make sure none of this happens to you, or more targeting, the youth and young adults (it’s always about the children, isn’t it?) * At the cost of $250,000 from a grant from the New York Fund for Public Health, a campaign of awareness is being launched.
Now so far, this is just an informational. There are no laws being drafted or circulating to limit the decibel output of personal listening enjoyment devices. No new initiatives are being drawn up in the New York legislature to Enjoy The Silence. But if Triple-B’s track record tells us anything, it’s that legislation isn’t far behind the informational.
A politician’s pet “informational” project almost always ends up turning into law. One’s “educational” program about smoking turns into a law banning smoking in public places. One’s belief that community service is commendable makes it mandatory that every high schooler complete several hours as a requirement for graduation. Even un-elected relatives of politicians try to pass laws. Remember when Hillary was just the First-Lady and she pushed for universal health care? So although the earbud initiative is a campaign of awareness, laws could follow if Triple-B doesn’t like the fact that teens aren’t going to turn it down, turn it off or turn it any less lower than just enough to drown out busy-body-grown-ups.
I’m not encouraging loud listening. In fact, I agree that listening too loud can cause ear damage. My own case of Tinnitus began when I was about nineteen. My eardrums have been signed by the Ramones, Murphy’s Law, Suicidal Tendencies concerts and NWA that Alan J. Sanders pushed through the speakers of his Pontiac Firebird circa 1989. What is the issue is politicians telling us what’s good and bad for us. And then the follow up passing of laws for our own good.
I suppose it all started with the War on Drugs. Once the public accepted that a politician knows best about what substances you can use and which ones you can go to prison for, wiley-law-makers started regulating other things – fat laden food, toilet bowl size. It never ends. But what these adventures of Busy-Body-Bloomberg makes evident is that a full-time politician is a dangerous politician. My recommendation is for every form of government to reconsider going part-time, perhaps meeting twice a year to discuss city, state or federal business. Then go back to their respective communities and work regular jobs and live under the laws they enacted.
* In Michigan, high cigarette taxes were enacted with the proceeds supposed to go to schools. So I tried to help spread the word with a “Smoke For The Kids” program but no one joined.