I think I’ve provided a public good to my fellow apartment building-dwellers (admittedly, at some cost to them in temporary civilian-casualties-style psychic pain). There’s an asshole in the building who practices his clarinet by playing scales over and over with the window open (rather than taking one of the many music practice rooms that Stanford provides). It’s really incredibly annoying. A threatening e-mail from the authorities quashed it for a little while, but it returned.

A couple nights ago, I finally took action: I shouted some curses at him (or her?) from the window for a while, just to make sure he knew that the forthcoming retaliation was directed at him. I then turned my extremely powerful speakers toward the window, put in earplugs, and cranked the Zloty Dawai. Zloty Dawai, for those of you who have not had the displeasure, is one of Those German Bands — the Germans seem to have this knack for putting out totally unbearable music (Rammstein anyone?). I don’t have any Rammstein albums, but Zloty is almost as bad: they call themselves avant-garde jazz, but they’re really nothing more than ear-murdering noise.

After only 10 minutes of the Zloty barrage, I turned off the hellnoise, unwilling to have all my other neighbors appear at my door with pitchforks and torches howling for the blood of the infidel. The clarinet was quiet. It hasn’t come back so far. I do believe I’ve won.

And if he starts up again, I still have the Chipmunks Christmas album.


4 Responses to “Victory!”

  1. Mike Says:

    Since you’re an aspiring philosopher, your next post will need to address self-help/shaming/vigilante justice.

    Like…. How dare you bypass judicial procedures?! ;-)

    But from the clarinet player’s perspective, isn’t what you did better for him than your initiating judicial procedures?

  2. Ed Says:

    The rule of law is a law of rules.

    Self-help is great. There’s nothing wrong with channelling a little JCVD and taking the wood to some goober and his clarinet.

  3. Isak Says:

    Quips about Rammstein aside, I have a similar problem, so I appreciate the idea. If you want a truly unbearable song, next time, try “Beats Made to Break” by the Chemical Brothers:

  4. Paul Gowder Says:

    Mike: pah, I am omnidisciplinary. I am also judge, jury and executioner.

    Plus, judicial procedures are only necessary when one wants to do something to someone that would ordinarily be illegal, like take his property or beat him up… no law against playing music… well, maybe some silly noise ordinances… Bah. Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.

    Ed: that Carl Schmitt quote was for you. I’ll raise your Scalia…

    Isak: that track almost made me lose my lunch. Talk about everything that ever went wrong with techno, all wrapped in one.

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