Too noisy for Helen Keller

MY wife tells me that I am deaf. I quip that I hear what I want to hear.

In truth I may - notice I said may - have a degree of industrial deafness from my early years on tractors, chaff cutters, saw benches and a myriad other noisy agricultural machinery during the ’50s, 60s and 70s. The worst machine for my young ears was the saw bench cutting eight foot logs into one foot lengths for my stove. My ears would ring for days.

It would seem that young people today are even more hellbent on destroying their hearing with sound systems in their vehicles that send percussion waves into the ears of others some distance away. What must it be doing to the ears of those inside the vehicle.

Loud noise is a pollutant and modern society is full of loud noises from all quarters and yet everybody seems to accept living with it. But do they really just get used to their hearing being assailed by noise every waking; and is it really necessary for those working on building sites, along with the normal construction noise, to have a radio blasting out from a work vehicle?

A certain well-known music store that should have the letters “in” in front of the name belts out music of a type and volume that it is a wonder to me that unspeakable acts are not perpetrated upon those working inside, by those working either side.

How do people cope living under a flight path? It makes me wonder about a possible connection between living and trying to function with incessant loud noise and mental illness. Does it get into the subconscious and work away until they go nuts?

What fool invented leaf blowers, and why is that clown’s motorbike so loud. Noise and more noise! Maybe I am just getting old.

Helen Keller once famously said (she was blind and deaf from early childhood) that if she were able to choose the return of one of her lost senses she would pick hearing. I say that if she were suddenly alive today she might just change her mind about that.

Bruce C Martin,



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