Jennifer Mamby | Understanding temporary insanity
For years, the residents of Kingston 6 have been complaining of noise nuisances that are produced at functions within the vicinity of their community. These events are usually held at the Hope Zoo, Hope Gardens, the University of Technology, and the Skyline Drive Dub Club. Kingston 6 is located in the Mona Basin and all sounds bounce off the wall of the surrounding hills and stay concentrated in the basin.
Despite complaints, the managers of these facilities ignore promises, commitments, and the police command to keep the volume down so that residents in adjoining areas may live peaceful in their residential communities. Home is no longer a refuge. Events sometimes start from Wednesday and continue every day through to Sunday on some weeks.
So, after a rough work week of June 18, when I and others in Widcombe, Hope Pastures, and surrounding residential areas were trying to relax, we had to deal with a noise nuisance in the vicinity of Hope Sunken Gardens that started on Thursday afternoon and continued throughout the night. Our vibrating windows and doors kept us awake all night, forcing us to struggle through our working hours on Friday.
BLOWN OUT OF BED
On Sunday, as we thought we were going to escape a noisy weekend, we were blown out of bed by a very loud bass vibration that escalated unbearably into the evening. This was accompanied by their patrons blowing horns and an even louder MC, whose shouts and commentary over the microphone were heard as far as Jamaica College. There was a concurrent function at Hope Zoo and another loud event at the Jamaica Trade Union Research Manley Centre along the Hope Boulevard entrance into Hope Pastures. None of our calls to the police helped to have the volume of noise from any event lowered or stopped, even as we were told that there was police presence at the Hope Gardens function. As our houses shook, our heads swirled.
After about six hours and numerous ineffective calls from residents to the police, one resident, who apparently had reached his breaking point, decided to take the matter in his own hands. He said he no longer cared and was going to blow the loud Hope Gardens event away. His head was full. He, like the rest of us, thought he was going crazy, and he needed some peace in his residential home. I understood his emotions perfectly.
After much persuasion, he was calmed, but for the first time, I can say that I understand the term 'temporary insanity', and why Jamaica has been called the noisiest country in the world. I suspect that if there was a report of assault or murder, the police would have been more responsive. That event ended at 7 p.m., one hour after the permit allowed.
It was then followed by bass vibrations from the Dub Club on Skyline Drive that started at 8 p.m. This we are forced to endure after a day of unbearable maddening noise, and every Sunday night until 2 a.m. Monday, because the proprietor has been deemed an icon and there are no zoning laws.
- Jennifer Mamby Alexander is a medical doctor. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.