Death in the City
By Doug Murray

Amidst the debris I perceived that this was once an eminent city: Majestic colonnades, marble museums and art galleries; grand concert halls and coliseums; colossal libraries archiving the tomes of collective wisdom and music of a hundred generations.

The pattern toward cataclysm was well-defined. First, under pressure from young electorate (who had already abandoned the old values), boom-boxes were legalised. These became universal bombastic status symbols and insidiously altered the psyche of all age-groups. People became confrontational. Lawlessness increased. The very fabric of society - morals and family - began to fragment as people selfishly stampeded to grab the latest and loudest boom-box and all expressions of Beauty were swamped, drowned out by the rising din.

Now firmly in the grip of madness, lusting for more decibels themselves, the authorities, in a stroke of warped ingenuity, decided to fix society through noise. The Project was born.

The staggering enormity of the Project seized the collective imagination: Gigantic underground nuclear plants powering fifty monolithic exawatt amplifiers, each flexing a dome-shaped omnidirectional sound blaster the size of an Olympic stadium. With unsurpassed cohesion citizens united in a crescendo of activity. (Free auditory attenuation operations were performed on a small minority who became concerned that the impending climax might permanently affect their hearing).

The Day of Reckoning dawned. Everyone congregated in the city-centre, waiting in statuesque, deathly, silence for their moment of existential truth, their moment of glory. The mayor "pressed the button". Issued there forth an almighty thunderous roar of horrendous pink noise that savagely and multiply cleft a yawing, heaving valley, that wrenched foundation from edifice, that smashed, shattered and buried a city...

To counter post-modernism on the music front, impassioned classical lovers must champion the cause, directly and indirectly, along the following, and similar, strategic and particular lines:

Win the hearts of the children - in the schools and through creative home activities. Invite your childrens' friends. They are malleable and they are the next generation.

Plan and promote regular affordable passes to concerts and rehearsals for groups of children and families.

Channel the promotion of all local amateur and professional performances into one non-profit multimedia information source.

Record companies: Allow free public broadcasting of classical music - it is powerful advertising.

Demonstrate the financial and social benefits of classical music to town councils, persuading them to discount rates for business that publicly broadcast the genre.

Shop and restaurant owners: Imbue your premises with a touch of class by playing Mozart in the background.

Employers: Do you want more productive, happier workers? Get rid of that junk in the background and over the phone system, and replace it with Bach and Chopin.

Police: Play classical music to the gangs. It has power to cleanse, quieten and stimulate the soul, as Edmonton Department, Alberta, Canada discovered. Criminal elements in a rough section disappeared.

It is action or extinction. Perform or perish...

Emergent from the sonic wasteland, a lone spire scratched at the heavens. A distant knell sounded the death of a civilisation.