Street Noise

Street Noise

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The explosions couldn’t have been more than 15 feet away. I clung to my car’s steering wheel as the bombardment continued. The entire earth shook, and my ears throbbed with pain.

And then it was over. Thankfully the teenage driver whose car stereo and high-powered speakers had nearly rattled my brains out of my head had sped away.

Shortly I will share the results of my research regarding why some people install speakers in their vehicle that are capable of shattering nearby store windows. But first let’s accompany a young man to Sound Irritation Nation (SIN), a retail provider of car stereo equipment.

Sales associate: Dude, welcome to the world of SIN.

Male teenager: Dude, thanks. Do you have any speakers that will do permanent damage to my hearing within 15 seconds?

Sales associate: Dude, I did, but now I don’t. We sold out of the Atomic Explosion Hyper-Blasters yesterday. Check again next week. Of course—and I probably shouldn’t tell you this—you can usually find some good used ones on eBay. Drivers often sell them to raise money for state-of-the-art hearing aids or eardrum transplant surgery.

The only good thing about bone-jarring car speakers is that sometimes the throbbing bass covers up the obscene lyrics of the “music” coming from them.

You may be thinking, Why is the author of this column picking on teens? I’ve seen plenty of adults suffering from ELVIS (Extremely Loud Volume and Immaturity Syndrome).

It is true that Uncle Ducktail occasionally breaks out the fuzzy dice and cruises the strip while blasting his favorite tunes from 1957. It is not recommended, however, that you tell such a person to “turn it down or get out of town.” No, better to suffer pain in your ears than throughout your entire body as muscular Uncle Ducktail reaches through your car window and leaves you all shook up.

But back to the real question at hand: Why do some people crank up their tunes so loudly that deadly avalanches occur in nearby states?

I think the reason is . . . because they can. After all, a car and a driver’s license provides a certain amount of freedom. For teens, this means that there’s no parent nearby to express his or her displeasure by ripping the speakers from the car’s rear deck and hurling them toward planet Jupiter. The exhilirating absence of your parents’ oversight allows you the freedom to cut loose in a way that typically doesn’t play too well at home.

But honestly, simply cranking up the tunes doesn’t come close to providing an experience of true freedom. In spiritual terms, here’s the real deal:

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

What is this truth? I believe it is the reality that Jesus can fill your life with meaning and hope like nothing and no one else can.

I don’t know about you, but that’s music to my ears.

Now, you may feel that I have not adequately addressed the issue of unbearably loud and repulsive music. If so, it is probably best to see me in person and ask for further clarification. Of course, if I do not respond immediately it may be because I didn’t hear you clearly. Just give me a minute to replace my hearing aid battery. The Beatlemania years did serious damage.

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Street Noise

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