Thursday, January 09, 2003

THE IDEA: I noticed the other day that the space between the shuttle and the 7th Avenue line at the 42nd street station was blissfully quite. Usually, the space is occupied by musicians (and I use the term lightly, you'll understand why in a moment) abusing plastic buckets with drumsticks for handouts. In fact, the latest trend is for two or more of these characters to perform together, thus enhancing the aural attack on your delicate eardrums. I suppose the performances would have some merit were I an aboriginal pygmie from New Zealand or something, but I just can't escape the feeling that it's all just NOISE. Now, I'm not against all the performers under the streets of Manhattan, in fact I regularly take note of those who show talent. There's Theo Eastwind, who'm I've subsequently seen play the Cutting Room; United Family of Strings, who should be permanently employed by the New York City Transit Authority; and of course, the dude who tangoes with a life sized female mannequin. The point is, I was pleasantly surprised by how soothing the sound of silence truly is. So, without further ado here's my plan: Grab a piece of oak tag or some other suitable sign stock and write on it something like this: This moment of precious silence is brought to you by Citizens For Silence, a non-profit organization dedicated to preseving your sanity during the morning and afternoon rush. Your generous donations will be given directly to [charity of your choice goes here] without any attempt at profiteering by CFS representatives. Have a nice day. Now stake out a spot in the subway system that is usually inhabited by a bucket-sician, plant your sign, and defend your territory for the duration of the rush. With luck, this can become a national movement.

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