Prof. Ted Rueter's Efforts to Create a Quieter America Noted in Utne Magazine
June 29, 2005
June 29, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "I call it the noise industrial complex," Ted Rueter, assistant professor of political science and director of Noise Free America, tells Utne magazine. Rueter is quoted in a story in the July/August issue entitled, "Turn Up the Quiet." Rueter continues, "A lot of people get off on noise and think that there's something wrong with peace and quiet. We're still fighting a public perception that this is a trivial issue and anyone who's concerned or interested in curbing noise is a crank."
David Schimke writes, "Headquartered in Indianapolis, Rueter's organization, which he founded while he was teaching political activism at UCLA, now has chapters in 25 states. Members conduct petition drives, host informational meetings, and buttonhole local cops and city council members. Their hope is to pass ordinances aimed at auditory assault weapons such as car alarms, gas-powered leaf blowers, motorcycles, and boom cars (a term used to describe vehicles armed with just enough supersonic sound equipment to make your gums bleed)."
The text continues, "Besides lobbying for state laws that would impose stiffer fines for window-rattling music, time limits on construction projects, and stricter regulations for ATVs and Jet Skis (known by noise activists as "thrill craft"), Rueter says he has two long-term goals. First, he wants to see the Environmental Protection Agency re-establish its Office of Noise Abatement and Control, created by President Richard Nixon in 1972 and de-funded by President Reagan some 10 years later (ironic, given his hearing loss, which was caused when a gun accidentally went off near his ear on a film set) ... Rueter also dreams of the day when a forward-thinking class action attorney decides to take offending manufacturers to court. 'It would be a monumental case -- much stronger than anything you could throw at the fast food industry,' he muses. 'No one is being forced to go to McDonald's.'"
Access the complete article at the magazine's Web site. Founded in 1984, Utne reprints the best articles from over 2,000 alternative media sources bringing readers the latest ideas and trends emerging in our culture.
Read Dr. Rueter's recent op-ed column on Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean by clicking here.