Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Stargate Monuments

Things That Make You Wish You Were a Serial Killer

Had kind of a crappy day yesterday. I went out to eat breakfast migas with friends, and when I got home, our neighborhood was... I can't think of the words-- aurally deluged? Under aural attack? A "church" that had set up in a storefront on the commercial street about three or four blocks away had decided to have a party in the parking lot, set up loud speakers and a DJ, and was playing music and screaming at the surrounding buildings and houses. It was literally so loud at times, if you were standing outside, you couldn't hear yourself talk. If you were inside, with the windows shut, it was loud enough to drown out the TV. Sometimes it would temporarily stop or be turned down for a few minutes, then it would be turned up much, much louder. I think whenever someone went up there to complain, they turned it down, waited until the person left, and then turned it up twice as loud.

We found out later that the cops went by fairly early on, found out they didn't have a permit (of course not) and told them to disconnect the amps and loudspeaker. They did, and the "pastor" said they were about to shut down in another half hour. Of course, that was a lie, and as soon as the cops were gone, they turned it up as loud as possible. Apparently the "pastor" who was screaming and singing offkey into the microphone about how he used to be a criminal but had come to Jesus thinks lying to the cops is perfectly a-okay. And it was clear he knew people were calling to complain, since he kept screaming "I know you can hear me." Yes, that was infuriating.

I ended up having to leave and go shopping in order not to commit mass murder. (Shopping was not fun, because I really couldn't afford to buy anything and I needed to be writing, and I didn't feel so great.) It went on for another hour after that, until the cops came back and shut them down. (Of course, after the cops left, they turned the music back on. Cops apparently went back. It stopped permanently a little after that.)

It was really, really nerve-shatteringly loud, and I felt sick for a while afterward, from a combination of hearing-torture and thwarted homicidal rage. Anyway, that was my Saturday, and the Saturday of a lot of other people in a neighborhood of houses and apartments, where a lot of people were probably looking forward to having their windows open on one of the first below-90s Saturdays in a long time.


The Hugo Award Winners were announced, and congrats to eldritchhobbit and StarShipSofa Podcast, ellen_datlow, Brad Foster, and Clarkesworld Magazine and all the other winners!

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It's really annoying when people think their 'halo' entitles them to act however they want....

(This actually applies in a lot of arenas, not just religion.)

In this case, I think perhaps that a different kind of Halo is needed....

We had a perfectly tranquil day at the beach overrun a couple of weeks ago by a bus load of young people showing up to have "baptisms." They were loud, not so articulate about their faith, and so numerous that the two lifeguards in charge of the whole little cove probably wanted to cry. I had to dig VERY deep to find my tolerance and goodwill towards man. Especially as their "prayer circle" or whatever kept ending up between me and my kids, making it really hard to keep an eye on them in the water. I kept wanting to sprout fangs and savage them like any good mama critter...

There's a Spanish-speaking Mennonite church across the street and at the far end of the block from me. Every so often they have a concert on their front steps that lasts from mid-afternoon until late at night. They totally block the sidewalk, flow out into the busy street and crank the volume up to wall-shaking. Last year I called the police about it and got told by an obviously frustrated-sounding officer that the mayor's office had given them a permit for their event and thus the police couldn't do anything about the fact that it violated the noise ordinance and other assorted laws. I sent a complaint to the mayor's office but got no reply. They did it again recently and after an hour or two a thunderstorm came along and sent them packing. It seems too much to hope for that they'd see that as a message from God about disturbing the whole neighborhood that way. I'm used to Mennonites being peaceful farmers and craftsmen who travel by horse and buggy or bicycle. It is hard to reconcile that idea of "Mennonite" with the ones across the street.

Were they all wearing stage-grade earplugs? I mean, that kind of sound level is permanently damaging . . .

Oh, it'll be fine: being jeezly means you don't have to listen anyway.

Edited at 2010-09-05 06:59 pm (UTC)

Yikes! My nerves would have been completely shot. No wonder you felt sick. I'm so sorry that happened. Their actions speak a whole lot louder than their oh-so-loud words; so much for treating others as you'd be treated. :( Argh!

And thanks for the lovely shout-out. :)

Oy, gods; serious argh. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

I've never had to spend the day in ear plugs. You guys had better lay in a supply until someone can get them evicted. I wouldn't be too confident that the owners will get rid of them -- this is a deep recession -- if they are paying the rent, the owners may overlook a lot at first.

Sympathies on a very frustrating day! You clearly need tea.

Or a lightning strike in the appropriate place would be good....

It's seriously disappointing that some people think this is some kind of positive message. All they do is drive people away. Not to mention being a public nuisance.

I've never understood the type of religion that depends on overshadowing other people/shutting them up. My mother is going on about the difference between black and white churches, and I tell her no, *LOUD* is the New Religion, not so much related to culture.

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