Freedom is a funny thing. We all like to be free to do what we want, but it usually comes with the rider 'provided it doesn't harm/distress/etc other people.' Possibly even 'As long as it doesn't scare the horses.'
The classic example is the smoking ban in public buildings. Some smokers still moan about this, but the fact is it was foul for the non-smoking majority who had to suffer smoke-filled pubs, restaurants and the like. I don't care how much people moan about how it was better in the good old days - it wasn't. They wanted to do what they liked in public, and it caused the rest of us discomfort, distress and quite possibly harm.
The smoking ban is not, as some have suggested, the nanny state, it is a matter of freedom - freedom for the non-smoking majority to go to a pub or restaurant without an accompanying smog and stink.
I was drawn to an interesting parallel listening to whinging buskers on the radio yesterday. They were saying how terrible it was that many towns and cities require them to have some sort of permit to perform in public places. Some towns even have the temerity to ask them to audition, which they found outrageous. Well, I'm sorry, but I'm all in favour of getting rid of horrendous noises from the street, underpass and Tube. The passers-by are subjected to a cacophony from some buskers, just so they can, in effect, beg for money with a horrible noise to attract the attention. Audition them within an inch of their lives, I say.
If I'm honest, I don't like any passive music. Even a virtuso violinist or a superb singer irritates me. If I want to listen to music, I'll choose what and when. I don't want to be bombarded with musical graffiti as I go down the street. I appreciate I'm probably in the minority in this, but I'd do away with the whole concept. If they want to perform, they can put on a concert where people can choose to listen or not to. Don't force it on me. Why does their right to perform trump my right to peace?
Image from Wikipedia