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"I'm sick of god awful tinny rap music. You are not from the hood - you are from Esher ffs."
October 30, 2006 11:25 PM   Subscribe

Fed up with their bus journeys being blighted by loud music blaring from phones or MP3 players, Londoners strike back - er, by putting up posters at bus stops. Tales of woe and disaster to be found here.
posted by greycap (50 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tinny eh? Time to go back to shoulder mounted ghetto blasters then, but I guess people are lot lazier then they were in the 80's.
*sigh*
posted by ernie at 11:42 PM on October 30, 2006


than..
posted by ernie at 11:43 PM on October 30, 2006


This is the real reason mobile operators make it so hard to use MP3s as ringtones. Just imagine how much worse it could be!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by public at 11:57 PM on October 30, 2006


Radio Raheem: Give me 20 D Energizers.
Sonny: 20 C Energizers?
Radio Raheem: Not C, D.
Sonny: C Energizers?
Radio Raheem: D, motherfucker, D. Learn to speak English first, all right?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:02 AM on October 31, 2006


How very ... English.
posted by salmacis at 12:06 AM on October 31, 2006


It is very annoying on a long bus journey.

I think it is partly the mobile phone companies fault though. A lot of phones seem to have fancy non-standard headphone connectors, so that the companies can flog you an adapter for 20 quid made up of 20p's worth of wiring. So, the kids just blare it out on the tinny internal speaker instead.

Dunno how they can stand it though: whenever the connection falls out of my crappy non-standard headphone connector and it starts coming out over the speaker, I wince at how terrible it suddenly sounds.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:10 AM on October 31, 2006


Those posters are uglier than the sound from any cellphone.
posted by fake at 12:38 AM on October 31, 2006 [2 favorites]


Come biffa's ascendance to Godhood the first squeals you hear will be from those whose eardrums have perished explosively as a result of playing music on public transport loud enough for anyone else to hear.
posted by biffa at 12:43 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


'How many more times must the rights of the majority be put aside for fear of offending the minority?' Anne Melder

Uhhh...
posted by jimmythefish at 12:52 AM on October 31, 2006


fake is right. Those posters are butt ugly. They care, but not enough to actually get anyone with any design sense to help them out (or maybe designers aren't bothered by the noise... ?)
posted by moonbiter at 12:54 AM on October 31, 2006


I'm starting a campaign called "Urine Free Buses"
posted by Pollomacho at 1:00 AM on October 31, 2006


Good luck with that.

In Birmingham the upper levels of all the buses are covered in graffiti and the plexiglass windows are all etched with tags. There are also often people smoking and drinking. If they can't stop something that is already illegal why bother making more things illegal?

I would rather hear a teen's music than listen to them talk.
posted by srboisvert at 1:45 AM on October 31, 2006


This is why I keep a copy of Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet on my mobile phone. So I can play it loudly back at the teenagers.

Actually scrub that. I'm far too terrified of teenagers to do anything about them playing mobile phones on buses.
posted by seanyboy at 1:53 AM on October 31, 2006


So after you waited in the rain for 20 minutes longer than the time it says on the timetable for the bus to come and you get on the bus and the only seat is next to the drunk man who smells of wee, behind the couple with the baby who is crying non stop and now, behind you, theres kids playing mp3s through their mobile phones (and its going to be really bad commercial gangsta rap).

Makes me glad I shun public transport and drive pretty much everywhere. Car ownership ftw.

I keep thinking they should put RIAA people on the bus to shop these kids for copyright infringement for unauthorised public exhibitions of artists work. Or something.
posted by 13twelve at 2:51 AM on October 31, 2006


I keep thinking they should put RIAA people on the bus to shop these kids for copyright infringement for unauthorised public exhibitions of artists work. Or something.

Right on. Should become law straight away. Two birds, one stone.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:27 AM on October 31, 2006


I recently saw a guy walk out of a train with gangsta rap literally blaring from his mobile phone. He then proceeded to cross the road and walk into a phone booth to make a call...

Let me make this clear: he was using his phone simply as a shite boombox to annoy other people and used a phone booth to actually call somebody.

Not to mention the groups of chavs that regularly jump on the train, hijack the PA system and then use that to blast music througout the train.

The problem isn't the technology itself, it's the inconsiderate cunts that have access to it.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:14 AM on October 31, 2006


srboisvert: As a brummie I agree with you 100%

Although, on the flipside I saw a bunch of kids walking through Selly Oak, playing the pre-programmed 'Wake me up before you go' out of their soulder mounted, portable Casio Keyboard, which did bring a smile to my face...
posted by jhmostyn at 4:27 AM on October 31, 2006


Is sound leakage from people's headphones really this big of a problem in the UK? (Not sarcasm, just want to know.)
posted by Mikey-San at 4:40 AM on October 31, 2006


I was in Moseley last week and was amazed at how minging the buses were (TWM shite all round) - it's easy to forget just how much money Ken has put into the London bus system to make it decent. It has become much more rare that the buses here are graffitied (and in my experience smoking has stopped too). Speaker phones playing rap and/or Top 40 hits are just embarassing - surely there's no other reason to do execept to piss other people off?
posted by patricio at 4:45 AM on October 31, 2006


The college I work for (in the US) has just banned all cell phone use in the academic building, mainly because of the irriatating ringtones. No lie. There is nothing quite like studying quietly in the library only to be suddenly assaulted by the dulcet strains of "I'm in love wit a stripper" coming out of the study carrel next to you.
posted by Biblio at 4:50 AM on October 31, 2006


Mikey-San: Its not about sound leakage (although I genuinely get concerned about other people ears, rather than myself, when I can hear their headphone on the other side of the bus)..

Its about using mobile phone players as mini, tinny boomboxes - imagine ringtones which never stop!!!

The angle not really discussed anywhere, is while normally either the frequencies or music are annoying, its a territorial thing.. Loud cars or boomboxes on the street pass you by - here people are 'trapped', in a space they are already uncomfortable in, dominated by the soundsource of who they perceive to be the scariest person there..
posted by jhmostyn at 4:51 AM on October 31, 2006


Mickey-San: It's the not-wearing-headphones-but-using-the-built-in-speaker that's the problem.
posted by i_cola at 4:54 AM on October 31, 2006


can you hear me now?
can you hear me now?
can you hear me now?
posted by carsonb at 5:12 AM on October 31, 2006


Are there jamming devices that would work on this setup?

I have always felt that I could cobble together a couple of 555 chips and a coil of wire and and 'encourage' the user to turn it off, but I only get this feeling out in public, not when I'm in my workshop.

FCC probably wouldn't like it.
posted by MtDewd at 5:35 AM on October 31, 2006


slimepuppy: Do people really do that?? Thank fuck I work from home and I don't commute into London any more. I think I'd kill someone.
posted by ninthart at 5:35 AM on October 31, 2006


MtDewd: Man, forget jamming. Someone needs to come up with a portable, cheap, and highly directional EMP device and just scorch the fuckers. Portable microwave magnetos?

See, we don't have this problem when I was in LA. Yeah, every once in a while someone's crappy ringtone would go off, and there's plenty of loud cell phone users both young and old, but few if none would sit there and "bump" music from their phone.

For one, it's fucking stupid.

Two, even little old grandma over there with the shopping basket might be packing heat. And not afraid to use it.


All that being said, I'd rather have a few annoying cell phone users than an entire herd of teenagers going home from school. Way. Too. Loud.
posted by loquacious at 6:08 AM on October 31, 2006


It's the not-wearing-headphones-but-using-the-built-in-speaker that's the problem.

So why is it that they want to ban both the using-the-built-in-speaker AND wearing-headphones? I was on the York-London train last year in a car that had this policy. I looked and looked but there was no car with a no banal converstion policy or no screeching children policy, two movements that I could really get behind.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:27 AM on October 31, 2006


People who play music on public transportation should be forced to walk to work.

I wonder if the non-British are allowed to sign this petition.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:06 AM on October 31, 2006


I really thought the link was going to lead to "overlyentitledcurmudgeon.com."
posted by shmegegge at 7:19 AM on October 31, 2006


Well, shmegegge, it sort of did.

Not to mention the groups of chavs that regularly jump on the train, hijack the PA system and then use that to blast music througout the train.

They hijack the PA system? That's fantastic. It shows a level of technical competence and initiative clearly far in excess of the mere commuter. These men and women should be placed in charge of the railways forthwith.
posted by tannhauser at 7:52 AM on October 31, 2006


I love this comment from the stories page:

'I thought I might buy a trombone. I could practice on the upper deck whilst travelling to and from work. Would any one mind?'
Chris George

posted by icosahedral at 8:02 AM on October 31, 2006


Tonight, FRONTLINE takes you... Inside the Teenage Brain.

Banning would be nice. Jamming and scorching would be nice, too, if you could get away with it. But also... what if they ran buses (and certain cars on every train) with a license to sell liquor, and they had very large bouncers in these buses and cars, but they served liquor on them only in expensive bottles of weak stuff designed mainly to pay for the bouncers, not to get anyone even close to drunk? What is the drinking age in the UK, 18?
posted by pracowity at 8:04 AM on October 31, 2006


They hijack the PA system? That's fantastic. It shows a level of technical competence and initiative clearly far in excess of the mere commuter. These men and women should be placed in charge of the railways forthwith.

Two weeks ago, I was on the vomit comet home from Waterloo. After the train left Clapham Junction, the horn started going off randomly and then an announcement told everyone to get off the train because of a fault.

Somebody who was evidently a bit over-refreshed had got into the guard's carriage and was playing with the buttons. I'm glad there was no 'train self-destruct' button.
posted by randomination at 8:14 AM on October 31, 2006


Pracowity, I like your style... Yeah, its 18. Most trains operated by Virgin in the UK have a "Quiet Zone" carriage where the use of mobile phones and MP3 players is 'forbidden' to an extent. What about a quiet bus? I've never sat in one of Virgin's quiet carriage, so I'm not sure to what degree the rules are followed.
posted by samstarling at 8:21 AM on October 31, 2006


are the youth in London so out of control that everyone else is afraid to control them? the comments about being afraid to tell them they can't listen to music are ridiculous - "we can't enforce the current rules, so why make a new one"

amazing.
posted by jeffmik at 8:34 AM on October 31, 2006


"are the youth in London so out of control that everyone else is afraid to control them?"

My impression, from the Brits that I've talked to, is that that's the case throughout the UK, not just London.
posted by Bugbread at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2006


Let me make this clear: he was using his phone simply as a shite boombox to annoy other people and used a phone booth to actually call somebody.

perhaps he didn't want the call record on his mobile phone.
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:53 AM on October 31, 2006


I feel the same way about people who feel the need to install large bass amps in their cars and blast it at red lights.

It's one of the few petty things I allow myself to get riled up about.
posted by daHIFI at 9:06 AM on October 31, 2006


"the comments about being afraid to tell them they can't listen to music are ridiculous"

No, they're not.

About a year ago I got thoroughly sick of these types and so began to wage my own daring crusade of public mockery against them. I've found the best offense is to approach them with a friendly-but-baffled manner, as if you can't quite understand why upstanding young chaps such as themselves would want to be behaving in such a way. Speaking loudly and the phrase "own your actions" also tend to be featured.

Sure I may have been threatened by a couple of the guys I've talked to, but half of my aim is cheer up the other passangers around me and to avoid an increasingly irate inner monologue.

The key is to never appear annoyed or attempt to appeal to normal rules of decency. Don't ask "Wouldn't it be bad if everyone did this?", ask "Do you really think this is making you look cool?"

And then hope they don't take a swing at you. This time.
posted by hugsnkisses at 9:08 AM on October 31, 2006


Makes me glad I shun public transport and drive pretty much everywhere. Car ownership ftw.

Congestion and pollution ftw!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:18 AM on October 31, 2006


I think the real problem is the lazy goddamn journalists who write about this "omg boombox phones" problem over and over again to fill their pointless columns. It's right up there with cuddle parties in terms of "cliched thing that everyone thinks they're the first to write about".
posted by reklaw at 12:05 PM on October 31, 2006


Oh, and I find people playing music amusing, if anything.

I'm glad we don't live in some awful, deferential society where adults think they can push kids around and tell them to stop doing stuff. It's certainly a hell of a lot better than living somewhere where the oldies are running the show (think Italy).
posted by reklaw at 12:08 PM on October 31, 2006


"Congestion and pollution ftw!"

I use public transportation, and while you have a point about pollution, when it comes to congestion, public transportation can be far worse. No matter how crowded the streets are, you're never going to have so much congestion that people pass out in the train due to the heat or pressure from the people around them, and you're never going to get someone's elbow jammed into your back for an hour because the traffic jam is so bad.

Public transportation just moves the congestion around. In cars, each person is guaranteed a minimum amount of space, and to accommodate more people, traffic moves more slowly. In public transportation, speed of movement is guaranteed, and to accommodate more people, space is reduced.
posted by Bugbread at 12:21 PM on October 31, 2006


cobble together a couple of 555 chips and a coil of wire and and 'encourage' the user to turn it off

Tasers? Nah - nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Sparx at 12:26 PM on October 31, 2006


Playing of loud music is already verboten on NYC transit (buses and subways), and I'd imagine that rule would be applied to ringtone noise pollution too.

I've only once (so far) encountered teens playing a ringtone loudly, on a train last week. It was clearly an act of territorial aggression, as these things usually are. They got off after a few stops.

This trend will probably burn itself out eventually, at least here in NYC. But I'm getting the impression from this thread that the general state of public order on our transit system is better than on many systems.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:04 PM on October 31, 2006


with public transportation (which i use often--having no car), if it runs and i get somewhere without pee or lice on me, i tend to be happy...not that i don't get bothered, but i try to realize that it's rather useless considering that the offending person will be minimally bothered by whatever response one could make, so i'll only manage to make myself crazy...though in my more creative moments, pee squirtguns and cell-phone jammers and public humiliation photo websites have come to mind...

also, i kind of accept that the public transportation crowd isn't necessarily getting worse, but i think (like most people) it is my level of tolerance for others that has changed...there's a lot we can do in the comfort of the home now, or in some form of isolation, so we don't build up as much tolerance for the riff-raff...i'm like that with movie theaters nowadays...given the option of staying home and controlling the situation, i'm far less likely to go to a theater of people who CAN'T AT LEAST SHUT THEIR GODDAMN MOUTHS TO CHEW WHEN GORGING THEMSELVES ON SHOVELFULS OF POPCORN!

...and also, people who do annoying shit on public transportation tend to be those who quite enjoy knowing they are annoying anyone else, and really, why give them the satisfaction?
posted by troybob at 2:40 PM on October 31, 2006


CAN'T AT LEAST SHUT THEIR GODDAMN MOUTHS TO CHEW WHEN GORGING THEMSELVES ON SHOVELFULS OF POPCORN!

No no no, worse are the ones that don't shovel it. They oh so delicately place a single piece between their teeth and slowly crunch down on it, mouth open. I think they follow me around.
Did you know it takes approximately four hundred years to eat a large box of popcorn this way without ever taking a break?

cruuuuuunch.
posted by tomble at 10:02 PM on October 31, 2006


are the youth in London so out of control that everyone else is afraid to control them? the comments about being afraid to tell them they can't listen to music are ridiculous - "we can't enforce the current rules, so why make a new one"

amazing.


You're sooo brave! [Swoons].
posted by srboisvert at 2:56 AM on November 1, 2006


Playing of loud music is already verboten on NYC transit (buses and subways), and I'd imagine that rule would be applied to ringtone noise pollution too.

You guys do realise that these mobile phones play music too, right? These are mp3-playing cellphones, not just ringtones.
posted by Lleyam at 11:51 AM on November 1, 2006


jeffmik

>are the youth in London so out of control that everyone else is afraid to control them?

It would appear so:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/02112006/344/uk-teenagers-among-worst-behaved.html

Tis probably why they have so many surveillance cameras everywhere:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/02112006/140/britons-most-spied-world.html
posted by zaphod at 11:27 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


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