"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why has chimes controversy festered so long?

It is unfortunate to be writing about the chimes at the cemetery. Online writers often write about controversial subjects. But the chimes controversy shouldn't even be happening. This matter should have been adjudicated long ago. City officials should have taken charge.
The chimes do not serve an essential function. If the chimes had never been installed, no one would be out at the cemetery thinking to himself: "Why on earth can't we hear music at the cemetery?" It wouldn't cross anyone's mind. Our family now has a monument that we're quite proud of. But I absolutely could not care less if we're "serenaded" by music out there.
The chime supporters say that mourners can find "solace" due to the music. What the hell does that mean? Music isn't going to bring my father back. Actually, quiet is the best atmosphere to have at a cemetery. Quiet for contemplation or whatever.
The chimes issue makes our community leaders look stupid. They're too stupid to realize that the "quality" of the music, or its merit, is not the issue here. Don't broach that aspect at all. The issue is whether a man's home is his castle. It's a purely American principle. Is a person entitled to reasonable peace and quiet where he lives?
The sounds of commerce cannot be completely eliminated. That includes trains and busy highways. We seem as a society to want to give a pass to church bells, although I think that ritual is outdated. Again, the cemetery chimes serve no useful purpose. They are noise pollution.
Yesterday I told Matthew Carrington, a former city council member, that the chimes simply need to be removed permanently, for one simple reason: If they are not, the issue will keep coming up periodically. It's like that high school in South Dakota that had the "Satans" nickname for sports. Finally a town leader spoke up and said if it wasn't changed, the issue would never go away.
We don't need this chimes controversy. Controversies are dangerous for small towns. I remember when our public school became a focal point for controversy in the late 1980s. It was a horrible mess. Businesses got affected.
Now we have a person associated with Ace Hardware becoming a high-profile public advocate for the chimes. Our family has always been annoyed by the chimes, and we live way out north of Shopko. Should I be less inclined to do business at Ace Hardware because of this? It's a shame we even need to entertain such thoughts.
What the hell is an organization like "Widows on Wednesday" doing, getting involved in a public controversy? This should be a totally benign, beloved group. Why are the city council people talking like they're so sympathetic to the chimes? Was it because your classic "pressure group" showed up at a council meeting? What would you expect them to say in this setting? "Man, those chimes really suck."
No, those council members were pliable on that night, or naive or whatever. They were not leaders. They should have thanked the assemblage for its input but remained noncommittal.
Some say the chimes can be "adjusted." Turn down the speaker pointed at Pine Hall. But if this is so logical, why wasn't it done in the first place? Why such horrible judgment up until now? And if the judgment has been that bad, can we now count on it to change?
Can we now suddenly assume that our city leaders will add a few brain cells? I never assume that about government. Let's just have the chimes removed and not bring up the subject again.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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