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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: The worst possible punishment would be listening to 20 hours of...

October 10, 2008 at 9:28 PM

This week's news brings us inspiration for our weekly vote, a hypothetical situation:

You've been busted for busking. The judge has sentenced you to 20 hours of aural torture for your crime: polluting the airways with your noise. Which would be the worst possible punishment?

From Jonathan Frohnen
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 9:33 PM
OMG I love Air Supply Laurie! hehe, my vote is for Vanilla Ice
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 9:36 PM
I'm not going to talk about what I liked when I was, er, 13, I'm all out of love for it now, but, ah, mm...
From Jonathan Frohnen
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 9:44 PM
From Karen Sternkopf
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 10:11 PM
My first response was RAP! Ugh! But it wasn't listed. Poor excuse for music, in my opinion.
From Deborah McCann
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 11:08 PM
My first response was "It's a Small World" as I was stuck on that ride for almost an hour between Mexico and Japan small worlds.
From Paul G.
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 11:32 PM
I dont even know who pat boone or air supply are. I'm not that old :P

Too bad you didnt put hannah montana or make it 2 options. If so I would have also voted for ashley tisdale. But I voted wiggles because if I had to listen to those wierdos for like 20 hours I would probably shoot myself in the face:) I cant stand them lol.

From Jerald Archer
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 11:37 PM
This story is yet another fine example of how lax and ridiculous our legal system has become. If we kept in mind that our taxes pay judge’s salary, we would work harder to change the laws that govern right to peace and quiet. I personally would have not had him pay the fine, but rather confiscated the system. Permanently. This would have been ample punishment and a service to others as well. A typical system can run into thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the law also states a right to freedom of expression, to a certain extent. It seems that you can express yourself, even to the point of offending others, and it is socially and legally acceptable today. This is a disturbing fact that lawyers use continually to get their clients off scot-free. Disrespect for others seems to be the order of the day. The Internet is a very good example of this. I wonder if anyone has considered the real dangers that involve the use of booming car stereo systems. It is well known, by anyone who is even slightly versed in physics, that such a shock, over a period of time, tends to compromise the integrity of the automobile itself. This could be disastrous to others if the car decides to fall apart in a high-speed situation. Another danger is that they are unable to hear emergency vehicles approaching. Many tragedies have occurred because loud auto sound systems. The wave produced by these sound systems are close to the sonic level, although they do not sound “loud” to the person in the car. The officer most likely heard the sonic resonance that is produced by the bass speakers, and usually enhanced with certain EQ settings. The speakers in the car (commonly located in the trunk) are literally moving the air around it. This is why one can “feel” it rather than hear it, even if the vehicle is blocks away. Ultimately, it is up to the people to have these laws changed and to be firm in what they want. It is usually the few that want to run around and blast music(?) in such a manner, therefore in majority rules, we can make the laws more strict and solve the problem. It is a growing menace and I can see much more horrific consequences in the future if we do not address it now.
On another note, the converse of what offends others may be seen, as I had something like that happen to me back in the ‘80s. I was at home with a group of friends. The police came to my door and politely asked me to turn down my stereo system, which they thought, was at a comfortable level. It seems the neighbor next door, whom I hardly knew, believed that my guests (and I) were holding a Nazi Youth Rally or something of that nature. The police were perplexed and I was stunned. The pieces we were listening to were classical music and international world music. The tune that the neighbor cited as a fear that nazis were camped next door was Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the 9th Symphony. Stranger things have happened.
From Robert Niles
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 11:47 PM
Godwin's Law in seven posts. Is that a 'Weekend Vote' record?
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 12:02 AM
Paul, you must be a student of both the present and of history in order to find the music most truly worthy of this venerable list. But I do welcome other suggestions. ;)
From Jerald Archer
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 12:05 AM
Did I commit a mistake? I was merely citing a situation. I apologize if I offended anyone's party affiliation.
From David Allen
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 12:15 AM
Definitely bagpipes.
From Jerald Archer
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 12:33 AM
Then with that lesson well learned, I shall make a very conscience attempt at reforming my posting techniques and being more careful in comparisons in the future. I must remember that certain things should not be brought up, and I know that now. Please accept my apologies.
From Paul G.
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 12:50 AM
Eww Vanilla Ice... I know who that is... And who the hell is Zemphir or whatever?

I think we should do more polls like this! They're fun:)

Now that I look again, I dont like Kenny G either...

From Paul G.
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 12:52 AM
Wow... I've got a pretty big list of people that I cant stand.

Shall we go onto other celeberties? Oprah, Ryan Seacrest (Gotta love Simon tho, he's just like me!), um Dr.Phil.. No comment about him, oh and i cant stand those videos that Miley Cyrus and that chick do on youtube..So annoying.

Well, I think I'm done being negative, well for the moment that is:)

From Eugene Chan
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 1:49 AM
Robert, that was a weak invocation at best... he didn't actually call anybody Nazis :-)
From Robert Niles
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 2:23 AM
FWIW, Laurie really wanted to go through and find YouTube links for all the, uh, nominees, but I argued that would have violated several U.N. human rights resolutions.

I also take responsibility for pressuring Laurie to include Air Supply on the list. Though, in retrospect, I wish I'd lobbied for Tears for Fears. :-p

From Eric Godfrey
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 4:46 AM
My entry: Sevcik exercises in 4ths.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 5:04 AM
I'm an oldster without kids, and I listen almost exclusively to classical and folk (world, ethnic, trad., bluegrass, old time, singer/songwriter, etc.) I don't know anyone on your list except Pat Boone (yuk). Laurie, I wish you had given us links to these performers on youtube. I agree with Karen Sternkopf: Rap is awful. I also share Deborah McCann's dislike of "It's a Small World." I had to play it with a guitarist friend for the baptism of a baby of a mutual friend. Both the guitarist and I could not stand it.

When I first read the question about what I'd least like to listen to, my reaction was "good music played badly." I think of the times I've jumped up to switch radio stations because I couldn't bear to hear one of my favorite pieces abused. Restaurants sometimes have live music that I can't stand, especially strolling violinists who are technically correct but artistically awful and accordion players in German restaurants.

From Charles C
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 7:22 AM
If 'Parallel fifths' was up there I would have chosen it. There is nearly nothing more irritating than two violinists playing the same concerto - except with one playing on the viola and thus a fifth flatter. It's actually somewhat maddening.
From sharelle taylor
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 7:57 AM
I have to ask, how, out of all the possible music in all the world, over all the ages of recorded music, did TWO Australian exports make it on to this list.
There more truely excretable / excruciating music out there, surely!
Not that I was ever a great fan of air supply but then I hated Rod Stewart and loved Dolly Parton.
Miley Cyrus, Alanis Morriset, Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, andre Rieu, every boy band ever put through the voice-o-matic 2000 (that would be all of them).
That would be a compilation album to cry to.
From Graham Clark
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 10:49 AM
Zamphir plays PanPipes




From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 10:51 AM
Oh dear. Two groups I really like made the list and I can't find anything to vote for. Personally, I'd find some of the misogynist rap of the 80's and 90's (not all rap) to be a lot worse than any of these!
From Dottie Case
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 1:16 PM
Guess my memory is faulty...I thought that Vanilla Ice was a rapper. No?
From Anne Horvath
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 1:18 PM
I find the option of "complete silence" actually intriguing. I also like Kreutzer etudes...

Since "aural torture" was not limited to musical endeavors, I can think of several radio talk show hosts that would be pretty disheartening after 10 minutes, let alone 20 hours.

But the worst noise ever has GOT to be two pieces of Styrofoam rubbing together, making that ghastly squeaking sound. Bleh. (Cringe)

From Patricia Baser
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 2:10 PM
Something that would do me in completely:
20 hours of Dan Fogelberg
From Sander Marcus
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 6:18 PM
Laurie: I like your list, but my personal favorites to avoid listening to for 20 hours (or even 20 seconds) include:
- Rap
- Yawnee
- Country music lyrics ("If you don't go away and leave me alone, I'll find someone who will")
- The Three Tenors or The Three anything; enough already
- String performances of anything Baroque style on period instruments. I know it's politico-musically incorrect to not appreciate how authentically accurate it is, but it really does grate on my nerves. I like the harpsichord, however.
- Interviews with contemporary composers. They all sound like they're talking about building a bookcase for their den rather than writing an inspiring piece of music.
From Sydney Menees
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 7:15 PM
Why isn't Josh Groban on there?
From Bruce Berg
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 7:29 PM
Worse than all those listed would be 20 hrs. of Ravel Bolero.
From Bruce Bodden
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 7:47 PM
20 hours of complete silence (not artificial removal of ALL SOUND, just removal of all man-made sound) sounds like heaven, actually.

As for what would be worst, I don't know who half the choices are, and don't know what the other half sound like...

From Bob Annis
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 8:08 PM
Twenty hours of political campaign speechifying, including bloviating commentary by various talking heads of various political affiliations. I predict an immediate drop of at least 30 IQ points by the end of the period. If you musty have musical content, you could accompany this with continuous looping of "Hail to the Chief".
From Craig Coleman
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 10:22 PM
Thank you for introducing me to The Wiggles. I had no idea this kind of music existed.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 11:11 PM
"20 hours of complete silence (not artificial removal of ALL SOUND, just removal of all man-made sound) sounds like heaven, actually."

I agree you don't want removal of all sound. I once spent less than a minute in an anechoic chamber and that was all the time I could stand. I could hear tinnitus I didn't know I had, and I could hear my heart beating and blood going through my veins. The silence was deafening, as they say:) I had to get out of there. It was normally used to measure the loudness of machines, by a company that made industrial machines.

This poll inspired me to search youtube for my most hated music. I found that it really was all good, in some context. Sandy, you've just got to meet it halfway.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 11:24 PM
P.S. Actually it was a soundproof room. I don't know if it was technically an anechoic chamber.
From Sander Marcus
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 11:40 PM
Hey, Jim, maybe I should meet it halfway for my own good. It would expand my horizons. However, I was responding to what I personally just don't like.
Keep smiling.
From Craig Coleman
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 12:27 AM
Robert,after linking The Wiggles I went back to read the comments. I hope I'm not violating any UN human rights resolutions. Apologies.
From sharelle taylor
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 12:39 AM
Bad as the Wiggles may be, at least their dinosaur is more bearable. Not like a certain purple irritant with a cringinly pedophilic flavour.
In their youthfuller days, Wiggles were more film noir .
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 1:36 AM
I agree with Bruce Burg. Ravel's Bolero would be awful. It would probably physically destroy some of neuronal connections in my brain.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 3:12 AM
LOL I like Dan Fogelberg! Yes, how could I forget Bolero! And 20 hours of talk radio - that would violate laws against cruel and unusual punishment...
From Mendy Smith
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 3:17 AM
I would rather listen to Bolero or John Cages 4'33" for 20 hours vs. the Wiggles.

I only withstood about 5 seconds of the Wiggles.

From Paul G.
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 4:28 AM
I'm surprised that I, nor anyone else mentioned Barney.
From sharelle taylor
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 6:33 AM
Paul, obviously my reference above: "certain purple irritant"
was too obscure. I knew who I meant :)
From Alison S
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 7:35 AM
Out of Laurie's selection I chose Kenny G, but this little number is even worse,
a composition centred around the Nokia ringtone.

To the torture list I would also add jungle music (except drum and bass), European dance/trance/house/garage, Bangra and Reggaeton.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 12:09 PM
The Wiggles "Star Lullaby" is a really beautiful string piece that starts out with solo violin and brings in other string parts in sequence. I don't think it's on You Tube, but it can be sampled here:

Okay, I admit I've seen them in concert, and they really give their all to the kids when they are performing.

Their wikipedia entry is also quite interesting: A href="">

Among other things, it says that they were motivated to use early childhood educational concepts to create high-quality children's music, and the band started as a school project.

They have outreach programs for special needs kids and at Sydney Children's Hospital.

They've made so many songs that they are bound to have some bad ones, but I'm not sure what they've done to bring on such scorn from this group.

From Michael Makhal
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 2:51 PM
Well, I know being a professional Violinist on western classical music, many of us think that Mozart, Bach and Beethoven etc. are the ultimate definition of music. Yes. that is true, but, what I also believe is, every musician is an artist and art is a gift of God. Any musician is great,whoever he is,,,,Kenny G or Air supply,etc, if he had ever helped a man to enjoy and cheer with his creation,,then he is a successful musician and a son of a God. Being an artist, I respect all the musician you have mentioned and trust me,,you can find atleast 100,000 people in this World, who can actually enjoy for 20 hours with any of the musicians you have listed. Its my personal perception, no heart feelings please.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 6:22 PM
Aww Michael don't go ruining a perfectly snarky conversation here by being all FAIR-MINDED...;) No, you do raise a good point. But we all have our pet peeves, and it is kind of funny to see how one person's balm is another person's bane.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 6:27 PM
Alison, LOL that is SO FUNNY!
From Michael Makhal
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 7:33 PM
Great,, you found it funny,,,,that means no hard feelings,,right??,,atleast I been funny to you, I raised some smile at your leaps. Yaa, I know, I behaved a little conservative ,, but what to do,, I am from a country where we learn to deliver our feelings with revised manner to our elders and teachers. I feel all proven musicians of this World are my teachers and inspiration. Laugh and laugh Laurie, if you have found me very funny. Smiling is very difficult to get and very expensive to be happy in this present World,, I shall feel honored,if you can smile a little on me and if it makes you happy. God Bless You, be happy always.
From Jerald Archer
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 10:23 PM
Thanks, Laurie!

I have just found the perfect word that I can use to describe my unique and often long winded, style of writing: SNARKY. I have never heard a word like that before. I looked it up and found the meaning for others just in case they don't know what it means:

I am rather new to the "Internet Protocol Book of Rules and Regulations", that changes every second.

I have coined a Internet term myself;

1. To rant and rave in an unscientific manner, opinionated references that usually attempts to prove and unprovable point.
2. A useless discussion that only deals in trivial matters.

You wont find the word in any dictionary, but you will find the definition all over the internet.....

But on another note, I have to agree with Michael's statement. It makes me proud to know that someone considered that point within a certain number of posts, which were many. Is there a particular mathematical internet law saying that that will happen within a posting of threads?

From Elizabeth Cooke
Posted on October 12, 2008 at 11:30 PM
i'm a bit surprised elliot carter isn't on here......
i've gotten pretty good at tuning meaningless pop crap out, but i don't think i could handle that level of dissonance and outright ugliness for so long.

(sorry if any of you actually like carter's stuff....)

From Sora Tsuchiya
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 3:21 AM
I would commit suicide if I had to hear Paganini caprice totally out of tune for 20 hours....
From Michael Makhal
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 5:10 AM
There is something, which I wont be able to listen for more than 2 minuets, that is Acid Rock with distorted voice. I don't consider it as music, it is some kind of screaming with musical instruments. The fun is many people like it, how?
From Barry Nelson
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 5:01 PM
vanilla ice.....the wiggles make me laugh ;)
From David Allen
Posted on October 13, 2008 at 7:40 PM
Actually, on second thought, I'm pretty sure 20 hours of any one thing would drive me batty.
From Mazz Swift-Camlet
Posted on October 14, 2008 at 2:46 PM
I'm pretty sure that 20 hours of Philip Glass would drive me right past insane to suicidal.

(btw Graham - you made me laugh SO HARD with that spelled out description of Zamphir. I'm still chuckling about it now!)

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