Here's the Scoop: April 29, 2009

Turn it up. Louder.
“Progress” is a funny term. In recent years, more and more people are coming to the realization that “progress” isn’t necessarily a good thing. For instance, using a bunch of additives mixed up in a laboratory to make our food grow faster, larger and have brighter color is not necessarily beneficial.
The same with the vehicles we drive. Taking greatly improved technology and using it to add more useless features to our cars and trucks, instead of making them achieve great mileage and pollute less has not been a high priority for our car companies. Now, several of them are driving toward bankruptcy.
Hopefully, these trends are turning around.
Another troubling phenomenon that I don’t see many people addressing is the “loud factor” that has swept our society.
Among the most noticeable places where the loud factor has become dominant is on newscasts. The news is no longer delivered, it’s mostly shouted. This is particularly annoying when a program features two or three “guest experts” who try to out-shout each other.

Switch the station
There is a solution to these “loudcasts,” I guess, and that’s turning them off. So, I do. Still, it’s nearly impossible to change channels and not have one’s ears assaulted as the “news” is screamed out by a bunch of blowhards.
Where’s Walter Cronkite when you need him?
I think this trend towards loudness has spilled over into society in general. The “squeaky wheel” seems to br cranked up to deafening volume.
Go to a restaurant, a mall or just about anywhere and “the louder, the better” seems to be the order of the day. Instead of politely asking others to tone down the volume, the natural reaction is for everyone else to turn up their own sound a few degrees.
The loud factor is really apparent in the aforementioned vehicles. This, I really don’t get. Most of us spend a considerable amount of money after we hear the mechanic state the dreaded “the muffler is shot and the pipes are rusted through.” No need to shout those words for the flashing “Expensive” sign to kick in.
Despite the cost, I’m always relieved to have a noisy muffler system repaired. It feels better. Like having a cavity filled.
That’s why I have a tough time comprehending people who make their vehicles louder — on purpose. My response to this is: Huh? In more ways than one.
The Loud Vehicle Syndrome apparently affects a huge percentage of folks who enjoy riding motorcycles. I understand the whole “wind in your hair, bugs in your face” concept that motorcyclists crave. What I don’t get is the “My bike is louder than yours — and louder than most things on the planet!” statement that many motorcyclists try to make. My guess is they’re all Baby Vroomers.