Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Music I don't want to listen to on the bus - My letter to the MBTA

I am a graduate student at Northeastern University and I take the number 66 to Brigham Circle every single day. Depending on what time I get on the bus, it is generally quite crowded. And again, depending on what time I get on the bus it is quite packed with, shall we say, loud people.I don't mind loud people, actually I quite like them. At times, I am told that I am a "loud" person. What I do mind though, is when those people are hampering my quality study time, or my "me" time. I'm not asking for pin drop silence, and I'm not asking for arms length space either. All I'm asking for is a little less belligerence and little more courtesy.

Public transit is public space right? So, why the reluctance to put in place some courtesy inducing rules? I mean, do I really need to listen a guy singing along to music which goes on about how some _____ (enter racist, denigrating term starting with the letter "n" here) are about to be raping ______ (enter sexist denigrating term starting with the letter "b" here)? I didn't pay for that music, and so, as much as it pains me to, I would like to forgo enjoying it. Thanks.

Not only do these "loud" people not become more courteous when you politely ask them thrice, and then ask them again, adding for effect, that you find their music "offensive", but not one person will speak up to support you in a bus packed with people, with at least 20 people within earshot of the one-sided exchange. So at the end of this one-sided exchange which took about 5 minutes of your time, you feel like you did something wrong.

Honestly, the world of Boston buses is just too much for me to handle. Maybe I have thin skin, or maybe we Canadians *are* too polite. Or maybe the rules enforced by the transit in the city I come from has forced people to be just a tad bit more courteous, but what's the big deal about making a rule? Is it really that big of a "freedom" hampering thing? Why can't you just say, "NO LOUD MUSIC" and actually enforce it? What is with the non-existent, non-helpful "campaign" about courtesy?

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