October 04, 2004

Disturbing the Peace at Web2.0

Just bumped into Jeff Jarvis on the elevator. I asked him what he thought of The Noise. He knew what I was talking about. He made an exasperated expression and said, "I moved to another room!"

I prolly should have too.

I'm in the corner looking right down on the protestors. (Gee, what did I do to the Nikko people to deserve such a nice location?)

As Jeff comments on his blog, "San Francisco is nucking futs." The noise from down on the street is insane: it's torture. Striking hotel workers at the SF Hilton across the street from the Nikko (where Web 2.0 starts in 14 hours) are making a massive racket with homemade drums, sirens, chants, shouts, singing, and marching. Literally right in front of the entrance to the lobby of the hotel. I can only imagine what it's like to stay at the Hilton right about now. Isn't there a law in SF about disturbing the peace? Shouldn't such a law trump striking worker protests?

Oh wait. The parRUM-pum-pum-PUM! (think nightmare of striking workers playing a neverending Little Drummer Boy song) has just switched into a poor-man's version of the drum solo from In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida. At least a little variety!

Web 2.0 starts tomorrow morning. I went down to the third floor where the Nikko ballroom is. Geez. Awful small for 550+ people. "It's going to be cozy!" a conference technician said to me, in a worried tone of voice.

It'll pay to get there early if one wants a good seat. Sssh. You didn't hear me say that. Well, with all the racket going on outside, I'm sure you didn't hear me say that.

UPDATE at 21:25. At 21:05, I started hearing a strange humming sound, like an electrical ground connection gone bad. Then some other noise, buzzing, and then . . . I realized what was going on. One of the protesters down on the street had an amplifier and an electric guitar. For the past 20 minutes he's been playing really crappy electric guitar, sounding like a loser guitar player wannabe the likes of which you hear at GuitarCenter, playing his heart out while other protesters continue the PUM-pum-PUM-PUM-PUM drumming sound, and some knucklehead with a bullhorn goes on and on with a rant I can't understand because he's shouting too loud. And then there are the cars passing by who slow down and honk their horns to the beat of the drums. Drums, electrified guitar screeches, whistles, deranged bullhorn shouting, and honking horns.

Seems to me this wouldn't last 5 minutes in most cities around the world. Why is this permitted in San Francisco?

21:45... it's still happening. You know what this is? They're basically conducting psy-ops on the general public. Drums, screeching reverbed nonsense electric guitar, marching chants and slogans, honking horns, people blowing into whistles, someone playing what sounds like a flute through a bullhorn. Only, they're conducting these psy-ops on innocent people, not on their employers at the hotel who are no doubt all at home. Apparently this racket is gonna go on indefinitely? And apparently it starts up again at 5:30am!?

If I were a judge I'd issue some kind of restraining order on these bozos. Make your case, but make it without infringing on the rights of everyone else, including infringing on the peace.

Posted by brian at October 4, 2004 06:14 PM


Yeah. It was pretty loud and annoying.

Either of you interested in dinner?



Posted by: Stuart Watson at October 4, 2004 07:11 PM

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