Someone told me a few months back about an episode of The Sopranos in which one of them attempts to blast some neighbors out of the neighborhood with huge speakers deployed from his deck. Some cursory research this morning didn’t find me that episode, but I did find a description of the “Whitecaps” episode wherein Tony Soprano moors his boat, The Stogots, outside Sapinsly’s home after he has refused to return a $200,000 deposit on the sale of a house. Soprano then sets up his home theater speakers on the boat deck and blasts the house all day and into the night with a recording of a Dean Martin concert in Las Vegas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitecaps_(The_Sopranos)).
The theme of speaker harassment in The Sopranos is interesting because it seems possible that some privileged wannabe real estate investors who grew up sheltered during the long run of The Sopranos series might have been influenced by this show, finding it more accessible, not to mention less scary, than the real culture of gangsta rap that ran concurrent with the entertainment. Like Gil Scott-Heron said, “The revolution will not be televised.” (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revolution_Will_Not_Be_Televised) I found myself hoping that the speakers used in the series were directional, as if The Sopranos had an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Range_Acoustic_Device), but part of the intimidation factor of the real “Mob” is not having to use tricks of technology to make a demand.
Anthony Soprano didn’t use beam-focused sound as a method in forced eviction, but it wasn’t hard this morning to come up with a site where its use was recommended. This would be the Stormfront.org website—can it be that this is truly a nonprofit?—advertising “White Pride World Wide,” where “Every month is white history month.”
In a forum thread called “Noisy neighbors,” numerous members of the forum decried the sounds of other cultures around them:
“Mexicans gather at that house drinking beer most of the time playing loud wetback polka music. It took a while of calling the police to finally get that one to realize that we don’t want to hear his music.” (https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t744652/)
The poster asked what others would do to “remedy this type of problem.” The first response cited The Sopranos: “Do what Anthony Soprano did to his Noisy Neighbor… He blasted his neighbors (sic) beach house until they moved. I like your front porch speakers idea; blast the Mexicans with Frank Sinatra music–they’re get the point, and leave.” The discussion continues, with offensive and Trump-like references to “Pedro’s antics and music,” “noisy negro housemates,” complaints about “chinese music LOUD 24/7” to urging the home owner to attempt to interfere with the lease of the renters. In the final response the poster at first points out that loud music in retaliation “makes you as much of a nuisance as the boneheads,” and then goes on to say: “If you must retaliate with loud noise, try a sound effects cd that has chainsaws, dirt bikes and maybe jack-hammers. I’ve also always wanted to try a cd that just plays “frequencies”. Everything from high-pitched, shrill to low, sub-sonic. I’ve heard people becoming ill from certain sound frequencies, maybe there’s a solution there somewhere.”
The frequencies he’s talking about are likely the ultrasonic frequencies that are used in ultrasound-based directional speakers. But if you’re a hater, you can also use a dog whistle.
The obvious ties to hate culture have been evident in the more than two-and-a-half years over which I’ve been the victim of this crime. I have thought about northwest hate groups and specifically, as I’ve seen numerous Oregon license plated vehicles come and go from both mobbing houses, references I’ve heard in the past to Portland skinhead groups. I’ve been called names and bullied by the voices of women whose Facebook pages show images of aborted fetuses, whose rear-view mirrors dangle angel-wings and whose trunks sport Christian symbols, as well as by others who have military backgrounds and express anti-renter and pro-development beliefs. It would seem par for the course for the Pol Pot of nasty neighborhood watches that seeks to harass legal residents out of the neighborhood, to find haters to do their dirty work for them.
These are the kinds of people who would do what has been done to me in this lakeside neighborhood of northeast Seattle. But they’re not The Mob. Instead, they’re more like those psychopaths who turn up from time to time, the ones who use people for “target practice,” hunting them in the wilderness like game and giving themselves points for each kill. They like the lore of The Mob, but they’re tenant relocators or criminal real estate speculators who perform a specific style of harassment called “mobbing.”
As for the nasty neighborhood watch lady of the northeast, she’s just someone sick enough to enlist criminal haters to hurt the people she needs to affect. Sadly, she’s made herself a criminal. She’s like that woman, Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak, so obsessed with attacking a rival that she put on a pair of diapers and traveled 950 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront her at the airport. As Nowak told police, she wore the diapers to ensure she’d arrive in time to meet her rival’s flight (New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/06/us/06cnd-astronaut.html).
The nasty neighborhood watch lady of the northeast put her diapers on, a long time ago.