Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fight contraband with contraband

Here's a Gambit article about the city health department's "informational" campaign about noise ordinance. If you're just now tuning in to the noise ordinance saga, you might not know that this is a years-in-the-making political dispute featuring bad actors on several sides. Sometimes it looks like a fight between musicians and prudish property owners.  Other times it can seem like Big Tourism vs neighborhoods. And still other times it is "Nolier Than Thou" culture vs. Gentrification. 

We all like music and "culture bearers" and stuff. But the reason it's on the city agenda, though, is because there are wealthy people with lawyers pressing against each other. Given all of this, the Gambit article lends the city's bullcrap line about "health education" more credibility than it deserves.

Still there's one clever quote in there from this guy.
On a recent Tuesday, a fresh-faced young man in a New Orleans Health Department polo shirt made his rounds on an outreach tour of the downriver end of Decatur Street. Along the way, he spent a few minutes chatting amiably with a 50-something saxophonist as a jazz quintet set up in The Market Cafe.

The saxophonist declined to take a proffered pair of earplugs. "The best earplugs for a musician? Cigarette butts. You break off the filters from a cigarette and put 'em in your ears," he informed the inspector, who jotted down notes.

fter about 10 minutes of civil conversation — including about 30 seconds during which the inspector held out a Sound Check information card that the musician pointedly made no effort to take — the Sound Check crew moved down Decatur Street.

After the inspectors left, it was clear — despite the genial chat — the musician (who declined to give his name, saying he didn't want any trouble from the city) was not convinced of the sincerity of the city's concern that sound was putting him at risk of hearing loss and hypertension.

"Yeah, my ears are hurtin'," he rasped, pulling a mouthpiece from a purple Crown Royal bag. "From listening to all this bullshit.
Cigarettes, because they are an actual health hazard, are harder to come by in New Orleans's music venues these days.  

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