I am the mother of your children. Whither can I fly, since all Greece hates the barbarian? - Euripides, Microsoft Medea Center
A DEVICE THAT HAS been driving British teens up the wall for quite some time now has finally made its way to the US and Canada, where, unsurprisingly, kids hate it just as much.
The infamous ‘mosquito’ is an electronic box which sends out extremely high-pitched sounds, which some say is similar to the buzzing of a mosquito directly inside a person’s ear, or even as painful as nails on a chalkboard. It was developed in the UK to disperse gangs of teenage layabouts by exploiting their ability to hear very high frequencies.
The sound, which can also be heard by animals and babies, but is only intolerable to kids over the age of 12, works on the sensitive hair cells in the inner ears of young ‘uns, but the good news is, that if they’ve already deadened much of their hearing with loud Ipods, the noise is less irritating.
Civil liberty groups have been quick to spring to the poor kiddies’ defence, probably because, when asked, most teens just pulled their hoodies tighter round their pock holed acned faces and mumbled “not bovvered”.
The groups have already had some measure of success in the UK, with Britain’s government-appointed Children's Commission even proposing a nationwide ban, on the grounds that the device infringes on the basic rights of yoof and could have potentially risky side effects in the long run. But now the fight has found new, fertile ground in North America.
According to Faux News, approx 1,000 of the buzzing devices have already been flogged to businesses and property owners across the US and Canada, by a company with the friendly name, “Kids Be Gone”. The company claims that most requests for the buzz box come from major (evil) corporations and government agencies to “protect private property”. Strange, here at the INQ we were under the impression Americans just shot trespassers, so that's an improvement.
But it doesn’t go down well everywhere. Apparently, in the town of Great Barrington, in Massachusetts, the device was banned after outrage from citizens when a cinema had one installed, presumably to drive away customers.
A town official, Ronald Dlugosz, told Fox, "There was an outcry, and people didn't like the idea of torturing kids' ears like that," he added " People here don't tolerate that kind of stuff.”
Mr. Dlugosz could be right, Americans might not stand for the ear irritating devices at home, but it seems they’re quite interested in using them abroad. Santell, the company that markets the mosquitos said that it was modifying the product to increase its power, for sale to the US military and government agencies to be used “abroad”.
Our guess is that the yoof of Iraq and Afghanistan had better be thinking of buying Ipods to blast their eardrums off with before that happens.
James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, pretty much summed it up when he told Fox, "It can certainly be used in a way that's inappropriate, and without a doubt it will be." µ
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