From Norbert, 06 April 2008:
Not just about loud music in restaurants for me. It’s about loud anything in restaurants. Sometime back a new restaurant was opened near here by a man who had a track record of successful restaurants. The floor was hard and shiny. The ceiling was made of stamped metal and the noise was horrendous. This guy paused by our table and asked how things were going. My wife complained about the noise. This guy responded by saying, “What the hell do you want me to do? Put sound proofing under the table!”
From Rontiara, 05 April 2008:
You have struck on a theme dear to my heart, Jack!
One of the things I loved about the pubs in the UK was that they were quiet. We could actually carry on a normal conversation without screaming at each other. With one exception — in Ireland, where the local musicians got together to jam — there was no music in the pubs I visited — or if there was, it was low, muted, a pleasant background. That was a few years ago; I hope it hasn’t changed.
In American bars and restaurants, we not only have horrible acoustics and screaming music, we have television, all competing for the air-space around my beleaguered ears.
I have my own theory about why American restaurants are so noisy: Americans have become so afraid of intimacy they hide behind the noise. At a cocktail party, there’s a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and noise, noise, noise. Hey, presto! Can’t shake your hand, can’t give you a hug, can’t talk! But we can stand around and look as if we're having a wonderful time.