Chesterton on a particularly vile modern evil

While I love the work of GK Chesterton, owe him a great deal, and am indebted to him in ways I’ll probably never fully realize, I never appreciate him quite so much as I do when I discover that we share a pet peeve:

Of all modern phenomena, the most monstrous and ominous, the most manifestly rotting with disease, the most grimly prophetic of destruction, the most clearly and unmistakably inspired by evil spirits, the most instantly and awfully overshadowed by the wrath of heaven, the most near to madness and moral chaos, the most vivid with devilry and despair, is the practice of having to listen to loud music while eating a meal in a restaurant.
— Illustrated London News, April 22, 1933

I’ve had good conversations with friends in restaurants after which I’m hoarse, simply because I’m trying to make myself heard above the music. I may not want to hear my neighbor smacking his lips and guzzling his drink, but I at least want to hear his voice.

That is, if I’m there to eat at all.