Feature

Step one in curbing noise pollution.

The week's news at a glance.

Canada

Wayne EyreNational Post

There’s nothing like piped-in Christmas music to smother your holiday spirit, said Wayne Eyre in the Toronto National Post. December is the month when the “auditory spam” that surrounds us is most annoying, but don’t get me wrong—Muzak oppresses us all year round. It started with elevators. It spread to sports stadiums. Now, you can “enter any department store, shopping mall, supermarket, hotel, lounge, dentist’s office, bank, or airplane and behold: speakers emitting auditory wallpaper.” Studies have shown that putting Muzak in stores doesn’t boost sales, but Canadian shopkeepers need to fight back as the Brits are. Two British lobbying groups, Pipedown and No Muzak, have been racking up success after success, persuading the managers of Gatwick Airport, Tesco supermarkets, and other locales to turn off the violins. The key is to complain. Mall managers, hear our plea: “Save the cost of piping in music. Those who hate it will love you. And the rest won’t care or even notice.”

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