Monday, October 26, 2009

Just so we are clear...

..I don't find torture funny nor do I think it should be sanctioned by any country considering itself civilized nor am I looking to enter into debate as to what does or doesn't constitute torture. That said, when I read this article about the use of music as a means to wear down prisoners at Guantanamo and came to the following paragraph specifically I burst out laughing.

Based on documents that already have been made public and interviews with former detainees, the archive says the play list featured cuts from AC/DC, Britney Spears, the Bee Gees, Marilyn Manson and many other groups. The Meow mix cat food jingle, the Barney theme song and an assortment of Sesame Street tunes also were pumped into detainee cells.


Read through that list carefully again. You have to admit it's a pretty broad range of musical horror though and sounds like the basis of a skit on Saturday Night Live detailing the meeting of minds which generated the lists of artists to include. In what other context could Barney be standing alongside Marilyn Manson? I don't disagree with any of that play list and would consider most of it torturous to listen to. I don't mind a few things by AC/DC and I have fond memories of Sesame Street but a constant barrage of them would be a bit much. I will admit to engaging in my own musical torture any time someone complains about having a song stuck in their head. I immediately begin singing the Barney Song until my victim threatens me with bodily harm. Sheesh, they don't even thank me for dislodging whatever tune was troubling them earlier. Such ingratitude.

To this list I would be forced to add Bjork, Air Supply, Yoko Ono, Neil Diamond, Ozzy Osbourne, and experimental jazz music (which to my apparently unsophisticated ear sounds like the musicians are forever just tuning up). Who would you add?

21 comments:

(M)ary said...

oh yeah...experimental jazz music at night while you are sleeping would be perfect. we have a jazz station here and sometimes i leave the radio on but when that jangly jazz comes on i turn it off because i can't sleep with it on.

psychologically, i think the best way to get someone to talk is to sometimes play great, soft, relaxing music then switch it up with disruptive music at unpredictable times. i learned this from a psych student at a party in college.(and i think i have read about it too.)intermittent reward systems are the best hook for humans...whether at guatanamo or your family at the breakfast table.

Cocotte said...

I think your additions to the list are fantastically awful!
People may hate me, but I'd add Bob Dylan and James Taylor to the list.

Desmond Jones said...

James Taylor? (*pouting, stifling a tear*) I love James Taylor. . .

But, in the spirit of Neil Diamond, I'd definitely add Barry Manilow to the list. And anything disco.

This whole topic evokes fond thoughts of one of my favorite books of all time. . .

MacArthur Park
In the Year 2525
anything by Bobby Goldsboro. . .

Craver Vii said...

Perhaps the government could use our cell phones without our being aware, and pipe in random people singing in their cars. I'll say it loud, and I'll say it proud -- I love music by Neil Diamond, and sing along at the top of my lungs.

... Unless I am speaking to any potential music torturers, in which case, I find it offensive, and only pretend to enjoy it. I also don't like chocolate pudding, peanut butter and warm hugs from nice people.

Hilary said...

I agree with your list and would add Barry Manilow (gag) and James Blunt.

Logophile said...

Country, oh dear lord, I would confess to anything to make it stop.

BLECK!

VE said...

Country + Rap = Crap! Need I say more?

S said...

Ok heres my torture list

Jack Johnson
can you imagine all that happy/crappy rich brat music driving those bad boys nuts?

Hubestank
and the reason is youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

and definitely country...

G-Man said...

Cat Stevens...Grrrrrrrrr

Suldog said...

Theme from The Bodyguard, by Whitney Houston. Like nails on a chalkboard to me. If they played it continuously, I would seriously consider cutting off my dick to make it stop.

misticblu said...

lol @ suldog.
Bluegrassyfied rock.
Hayseed Dixie doing AC/DC. ick.

EmBee said...

Just WHAT is your beef with Neil Diamond??? C'mon, 'Tap Root Manuscript'??? There's some great stuff on that album.

But you want to know what I'd add to the list?

Jonas Brothers... Definitely!!!

Moannie said...

Any Country music oh, and Wayne Newton.

Craver Vii said...

How could so many people NOT like country music?? I'm shocked. Does anyone else have an aversion to opera besides me?

cathy said...

Britney spears singing operatic countrified jazz...experimental of course :)

Kat said...

Polka. Lots and lots of polka. My grandma used to play polka all the time when we were at her house. It used to drive me nuts!

(M)ary said...

Celine Dion...I would add most of her songs to the list.

elle dubya said...

hannah montana and anything ever played during an episode of teletubbies.

Ananda girl said...

"They're Coming To Take Me Away... hee hee ha ha ho ho"

I used to kill myself trying to get across my room to turn that one off.

Michelle H. said...

Loser by Beck. I can't stand it due to an asshole boyfriend I once had who loved that song. The reference is implied with "Loser/asshole."

Jocelyn said...

You've given me something to think about now. Thanks. My head was empty before.

This should be the new meme, for sure--I want to keep reading everyone's picks.