Celine Dion Songs Terrorize New Zealand Town
Posted on: October 25, 2023, 08:08h.
Last updated on: October 25, 2023, 02:13h.
Blasting Celine Dion songs is a public nuisance, claims Anita Baker. That’s Mayor Anita Baker of Porirua, New Zealand, where cars decked out in loudspeakers and sirens engaging in high-volume “siren battles” has become a thing. And yes, Las Vegas patron saint Celine Dion is their choice of torture.
At least, that’s how Mayor Baker and other residents describe the truncated, bone-rattling versions of “My Heart Will Go On” and other Dion hits.
They play half a song and tweak it on their things and make a screeching noise so it is not like you’re even listening to good music,” Baker told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper. “I don’t mean to be awful but it’s not even a complete song.”
According to one siren group, Dion’s music is popular because it is clear, high in treble, and low in bass.
What is a Siren Battle?
Siren battles, which occur either in parking lots or while cruising city streets, began about 20 years ago and are now entrenched in the subculture of Pasifika New Zealanders, a pan-ethnic group descended from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands.
But while the battles cultivate community, they also keep residents up at night.
Police have fielded complaints about 40 siren battles between February and October this year.
According to Baker, some complainers have threatened to relocate if the Dion torture continues.
“We need to find somewhere alternative for these people to go, or they need to stop,” she said, adding that the geography of Porirua exacerbates the problem.
“It’s vibrating all over the city wherever they do it because we’re in a basin,” she said. “It’s really frustrating.”
Making a Change
A Change.org petition asking for the Porirua City Council to step in was launched last month and has 242 signatures so far. (Hey, it’s a small town.)
One of the signatories, Diana Paris, wrote: “Although I enjoy Celine Dion in the comfort of my lounge and at my volume, I do not enjoy hearing fragments of it stopping and starting at any time between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.”
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