Saturday, March 07, 2009

Noise pollution

One of the comforts of being back in the States for leave in January was being able to eat meals in relative quiet. A hallmark of 'dining out' here Down Range is the very high level of background sound that accompanies every meal.

The DFAC that SFC McG and I usually frequent is one of the tiniest DFACs we've eaten in when we're in a major military 'population center'. It's positively puny compared to several of the other places we manage to get to on a somewhat regular basis, when my ministry calls me to other major camps.

Despite its small size, it still has four large flat-screen television monitors along its side walls. Two are usually set to an Armed Forces Network (AFN) sports channel, and the other two to an AFN news channel (usually FOX, but occasionally CNN or MSNBC). The monitors usually have the sound turned up fairly high, so that people sitting at some distance from them can hear (sort-of) what's going on.

Couple the dueling televisions with hundreds of people carrying on conversations, as well as the attendant sounds of the food service industry, it can pretty much feel like Bedlam to my old ears.

Occasionally, SFC McG and I will find a somewhat less cacophonous gastronomic opportunity, but not often. Even the small dining facilities we find at tiny outposts will usually have at least two television monitors going -- almost always set to different channels.

There's even one DFAC we visit at least once per week in our travels that has nine monitors, all set to different channels, in a relatively small space with concrete walls, floors, and low ceilings.

Oy. My ears!

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

View My Profile

No comments:

Powered By Ringsurf