Monday, February 08, 2010

Goddamn bloody motherfucking assholes

Jesus fucking Christ.

I am awakened at 6:30 AM by the sounds of Kool And The Gang's "Celebration," playing at about the volume that I would play music in my own living room. Except it's not coming from my own living room, so it must be booming loud. I open my eyes and look over at the clock. What the fuck?
It's amazingly loud, this music. I listen. What, some asshole with a clock radio downstairs is waking up? (But wouldn't he turn it off by now?). I live in a concrete building, so that can't be it... Are there drunks partying in the parking lot with their car radio blaring? What the fuck is going on? I'm half-asleep, so my main response is confusion. The music is followed by enthusiastic shouting into a microphone, which lasts for several minutes - too distorted for any words to make sense. It appears, I realize, to be coming from the center of town, half a block away.

Another song starts. About this time I'm up, stepping out onto my balcony to see people walking on the street below towards the center of downtown Maple Ridge. It's as dark as night. Have I slept for an ungodly amount of time, and it's now nearing 7pm? What the fuck is going on?

Goddamn, what day is it, anyhow? Monday, February 8th: is something important happening today? Hm. It's not a national holiday. I scan my memory banks and come up blank. I come into my office and phone the non-emergency line for the Maple Ridge police.

When I finally get someone on the phone, I am stunned to hear what the explanation is. Apparently it's been going on since 5am. "They're playing music THIS LOUD at seven in the fucking morning?" I half-shout at the person on the line. "This is a fucking noise complaint!"

I get no satisfaction.
After I get dressed, I make my way to 224th, intending to make my noise complaint to someone with a little more authority. What I see, as I approach, makes me aware of how futile my gesture is. Hundreds of people - HUNDREDS of motherfucking people, including what must be all the children of the community, their teachers and parents and cousins, are standing up and down the street to see the torch come through town.

The Olympic torch. Am I even allowed to say the word? (You fucking cocksuckers). A giant Canadian flag is hanging over the street.

There are surprisingly few cops.

The "Spirit Square" in the centre of town is a covered pagoda-cum-stage in the public square that is usually home to two or three bored teenagers smoking cigarettes or pot. Five or six times a year, some public function makes use of it and there's a band or a clown doing magic or some other such people on the stage. Today it is surrounded by people and some asshole is explaining that the spirit square wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the Olympics. But Jesus, that pagoda's been in the community since the 1980s or earlier... I lived here as a kid when it was put up. Granted, it's been moved a few yards since, plus there used to be a pond beside it back then, when the grass-to-pavement ratio favoured grass. I liked it better, then, when you could see the odd dragonfly zipping about in the centre of town and hear frogs at night.
The woman shouting into the microphone and pausing for cued cheers - "the 2010 Olympics are coming to VANCOUVER!" - keeps using the words "all of us." All of us want this. All of this support this. All of us are here to welcome the Olympics torch.

Oh, sister: not me.

She's promising a visit from government officials and talking about how in a few minutes the "Spirit of Wood Carving" will be unveiled. I scan the people around me. Shouldn't there be more cops?

Finally I see one, a mature-looking RCMP officer in full uniform. I approach. He's helping someone else but I wait.

"I'm going to ask you the stupidest question anyone is going to ask you this morning," I tell him. My heart is pounding in my chest.

He blinks and says "Okay."

"Is there any way we can TURN THIS DOWN?"

His approach is to tell me that "Now is not the time to worry about this." Why not? I was asleep in bed minding my own business and this woke me up. This is causing a disturbance.

He explains to me civilly that "it's the Olympics."

"I don't give a fuck about the Olympics!" I say, half-spitting the words. "I don't support the Olympics! I want to sleep!" Surely Satan himself gleams through my eyes. "I live in this community. I pay taxes. I have rights. This is incredibly fucking loud!" - I gesture in impotent fury at the pagoda. "It's not even 7 AM! I want to sleep!"

He advises me to "put some earplugs in." I ask if there is anyone else I might talk to - someone with their hand on the "volume" knob, maybe. There is not. I say savagely that I am making a noise complaint. He tells me he has received my noise complaint. In his great wisdom, he does not try to make the slightest threat that I will face trouble if I continue in my rant; he is most respectful, and thus, so am I. I thank him and stalk back through the crowd. Having made my complaint, I am going home.

I half-mutter to myself in disgust as I round the corner to my apartment. Apparently if you have enough money to buy the police, you can play music at your party as loud as you fucking want. Goddamn bloody motherfucking assholes. No matter how much public money has been sunk into this, no matter how many government pockets have been padded, this seems to me to be a private party for a motherfucking sports event. A motherfucking SPORTS event. And every idiot in the town and his children are out to see it. "A historic moment," as a flaming stick is run through the center of our town! Give me a fucking break. A private function for private profit (and immense public debt) has NO SPECIAL RIGHTS OVER MY LIFE. They can take their flaming stick and go shove.

By the time the torch comes down the street, I am back in my apartment, writing this.

By 7:30 AM, the noise appears to be done, and the sun is rising. Guess I'll go back to bed. Oh, but wait - I should listen to the new Furies single first, "Olympic Madness."



wnuk said...

Welcome to "democracy". If everyone in town was there, then end of story. Numbers rule, eh? (whether it's rule by representation or rule by propaganda...) The masses love, love, love it.

Unknown said...

I hate it every second of it too!

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go out and jog and lose some weight instead of complaining you fat old fuk?