I even made the Minneapolis Star Tribune! They have a story about my griping about the damned annoying cemetery bells that plagued us for years.
Some neighbors were less enthusiastic than the visitors. Local blogger and biology professor PZ Myers railed for years against the bells that tolled near his home, rousing him from sleep with the sound of “hymns. Cheesy hymns, played mechanically on an electronic carillon.”
Myers, who lives two blocks from the cemetery, said the clangor of bells started at 5 a.m. and continued until 10 at night, despite his protests.
I wasn’t the only one complaining, as the story makes clear, but now the guy who thrust the chimes upon us is busily nailing himself up on a cross.
Storck and Morris officials had wrangled for months over the bells. The city manager didn’t want the sound of the bells to travel beyond the walls of Summit Cemetery, where they had chimed for more than a decade. Storck said he first tried relocating the system to a remote area of a neighboring cemetery, but gave up and removed the system entirely this summer. If the chiming of the bells was too quiet to carry past the cemetery walls, he decided, it would be too quiet for mourners to hear — and in that case, what was the point of ringing the bells at all?
It’s impossible to confine the music to the cemetery,Storck said.More than once I said, ‘Why? Why did I try to do something nice?’ After a while, I just took them out.
You know, the choice of carols and hymns was all over the map — none of it was particularly the kind of music I associate with mourning, nor was any of it the kind of stuff I would want to hear if I were visiting a grave. And face it, this is a small town cemetery — it’s pretty dead over there. There weren’t long lines of funeral attendees queued up to listen to the same hymn played every 15 minutes.
And really, it is not doing
something nice to demand that others share your taste in something against their will. You might like it, but that doesn’t mean everyone else will, and it’s the height of privileged obliviousness to assume your preferences in music are perfection, and therefore ALL WILL LISTEN. NOW. ON A CRAPPY LO-FI CARILLON SYSTEM.
Well, he’ll teach us. He’s gonna take his ball and go home.
Storck had intended the carillon system to be a gift and a comfort to the community. After city officials called for a limit on the volume and frequency of the bell ringing, a discouraged Storck headed to Surprise, Ariz., for the winter — and the bells went with him.
The system was scheduled to be installed Monday at St. Clare of Assisi; a new church, without a bell tower. They’ll ring out for the first time before Christmas Eve mass.
The bells will call the worshipers to mass each Saturday and Sundays, plus play hymns before and after the masses,Storck said. They’ll also play during the week. There’s a housing development nearby, but he said they’ve angled the speakers away from the homes.
I’m so sorry, Arizona. The horror of Morris, Minnesota has relocated your way.
Storck clearly doesn’t understand when enough is enough. Bells before and after Mass on Saturday and Sunday wouldn’t have stirred up any objections here, not even from me. The chilling phrase is
They’ll also play during the week. You know what that means…every 15 minutes, every day, all day long, Storck will be assaulting the neighborhood sonically, while he sits smugly, savoring the offense if you tell him you’re not enjoying the noise.
What an asshole.