Reader and all-around fine guy Jay Menard tried to leave a comment in response to our discussion of acceptable noise levels at London concerts, below — but it appears his comment was too long for the blog tool to handle. If you ever have a comment that goes longer than the tool allows, just e-mail it to me and I’ll post it here as a separate blog post.
Are you seriously going to say that, because Dan doesn’t live downtown, he has no right to an opinion? Really? If so, I hope you are this vociferous in your criticism of those who do not meet your exacting standards of having a right to free speech. I may have missed it, but I don’t believe I’ve seen you chastising those old, white males protesting abortions that they’ll never have outside of the hospital; I must have missed your denigration of those non-university-aged Quebecers who have joined the “Casserole” protests.
That type of “you don’t know what you’re talking about” attitude is exactly the old world thinking that keeps holding London back. This medium-sized city, with big-city aspirations, is regularly held back by small-town thinking. We grow by listening to all opinions and debating them on their merit — not their geographic origin.
When I lived in Montreal (wait, I was away from London for about 15 years of my life… perhaps I shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion), I lived near the areas where there were frequent evening festivals and activity. In our youth, we wanted to be close to a vibrant, exciting downtown. As our priorities changed, we moved to quieter areas. But, suffice to say, we’d have been comfortable staying and putting up with the noise.
A little noise once in a while is a good thing. It’s a sign of a vibrant city. You want absolute silence, you’ll end up getting what Downtown London has long been accused of being — a graveyard. Perhaps those two new buildings downtown shouldn’t be called the Renaissance — rather, it may be more apt to call them The Tombstones.
It’s not about young versus old (and young people were likely loud and obnoxious when you were young too), as you seem to indicate. I know many people older than I who love a good concert — and these are people with disposable income who usually have no interest in going downtown.
If this was every night, I understand. It’s weekends and for festivals. If you have an argument against why this is in the greater good for the city, I’d be willing to hear it. But I certainly wouldn’t be so arrogant as to denounce your beliefs simply because of who you are or where you live. Ideas are ideas. By forcing people to pass various tests to meet your approval, you may be missing out on a lot of great ideas.
– Jason Menard