A park in suburban Sydney uses very loud Manilow music to disperse loiterers, and it pisses the neighbors off:
In a move reminiscent of U.S. efforts to drive former Panama strongman Manuel Noriega from the Vatican Embassy where he took refuge in 1989, the local council in Rockdale, in Sydney’s southern suburbs, started a six-month trial of high-volume hits by Manilow and Doris Day to chase away car enthusiasts who were gathering on weekend nights at Cook Park Reserve.
“Barry’s our secret weapon,” Rockdale Deputy Mayor Bill Saravinovski told The Daily Telegraph newspaper, four weeks after the start of the effort. “It seems to be working.”
But some people living near the park are less than enthralled. They say the barrage of “Copacabana,” “Could It Be Magic” and “Que Sera Sera,” blasting from 9 p.m. to midnight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday is driving them crazy.
“I don’t know how I will cope,” said Moya Dunn, describing how the songs have invaded her house. “I just can’t sleep when it’s on, and to think there’s going to be another six months of this.”
Now, this wounds me in a way. I have a soft spot for Barry Manilow, having grown up in the 70s. I remember being in Sarah Deweese’s bedroom way the fuck up the hill, singing “Copacabana.” I still like “Copacabana.” In fact, I’d like to go dance there, since they do up big dance nights. But, you know, Barry’s not everyone’s cup of tea:
“The initial reaction was that they found it irritating,” Saravinovski said. “I’m not disputing what the residents are saying. I can’t swallow some of the tracks like `Mandy.’
Local officials are at least turning down the volume. In the meantime, we’re monitoring tigtog for signs of faded feathers in her hair, as the hoyden-about-town sits there so refined and drinks herself half blind.