We’ve all had the experience of sitting at a red light and having a car come up next to us with the music blasting so loud that we can hear it even through closed windows. Even if you’re used to cranking your car stereo up while rocking down the highway, it’s always a shock to feel the bass and drum line pounding in your bone marrow from the audio in someone else’s vehicle.
The St. Louis Board of Alderman has just passed a law that makes that illegal, and Mayor Slay is likely to sign it. Violators will be fined $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second time they’re caught booming at a volume that can be heard 75 feet away. What makes it controversial is that the police will have the authority to seize and impound the offending vehicle.
There’s clearly a cultural and generational question here, but the whole matter reminded me of my recent trip to Las Vegas.
I was in a cab going from one casino to another when we had to stop for a light. In the lane next to us, the driver of a Hummer H2 was determined to share his favorite entertainment with the rest of the world.
I’m not talking about CDs, MP3s, or the radio here. I’m talking about videos.
Besides the drop-down screen that so many suburban kids are used to watching from the back seat, this thing also had video screens in the backs of the headrests. But entertaining the back seat wasn’t enough. Both the driver’s and passenger’s visors were down, and they had screens embedded in them, too. To top it all off, I also noticed video emanating from the center of the steering wheel. This was the 21st-century version of a drive-in movie — the drive-by movie.
If this was against the law in St. Louis, it didn’t seem out of place in Vegas — although even by Sin City’s standards, it did seem over-the-top. There were more places to look and find video in this car than there were mirrors to check the traffic.
I also noticed one other thing — the driver was alone in the car. That made me wonder whether his tricked-out ride was supposed to be help him with women. Was his video H2 a chick magnet?
Perhaps, but I bet most women would think all of that gear was to make up for a lack of something else.