Ever since 1988 when the U.S. Army blasted 24 hour-a-day rock music to dislodge Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega from his hideout, it has been the weapon of choice to torture the enemy. Most recently, it has been used in Guantanamo to “soften” Al Qaeda prisoners before interrogations. Anyone who thinks this method isn’t effective has never been stopped at a red light next to a car playing rap music at full volume. And before anyone gets on their soapbox about how inhumane this is, may I remind you (those of you who are old enough to remember at least) of how our entire country of innocents was once tortured through song by this man:
Just recently, the band “Metallica” after finding out their music was being used for this purpose, asked the government to stop, lest their name become associated with this political hot potato. Kind of ironic for a group that had a hit called “Kill ’em all!” Frankly, it seems to me that the band would want to keep a low profile on this. I mean, is it a good thing to publicize that your music causes people to willingly give up their friends’ lives just so they don’t have to listen to it? After hearing about this, the Christian rock band “Demon Hunter”, never one to look down their nose at a free promotion, volunteered their music for the cause. This was a win/win for both them and the government since what self-respecting Muslim wouldn’t vomit military secrets after a few hours of non-stop “Onward Christian Soldiers?”
However, the musically discerning among us would like to know just how these songs are selected. An important military tactic like this should not be left up to some tone-deaf recruit. If this is going to become a mainstay in the art of war, there should be some kind manual like “Top 10 Torture Songs for Prisoners”. Furthermore, the songs should fit the prisoner’s personality. For example:
1. For the macho type prisoner
“Hit me with your best shot” – Pat Benatar
2. For the inquisitive prisoner
“Do you really want to hurt me?” – Culture Club
3. For the laid-back prisoner
“What’s Goin on?” – Marvin Gaye
4. For the misleading prisoner
“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” – U2
5. For the nervous prisoner
“Whole lotta shakin’ going on” – Jerry Lee Lewis
6. For the noncommittal prisoner
“I heard it through the grapevine” -Marvin Gaye
7. For the stubborn prisoner
“We’ve only just begun” – The Carpenters
8. For the sensitive prisoner
“You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling” – The Righteous Brothers
9. For the confused prisoner
“You’ve really got me now” – Kinks
10. For the prisoner about to be water-boarded
“Every breath you take” – The Police
But news about what is probably the most evil and barbaric method yet has just surfaced. Word is out that prisoners have been subjected to the theme from Sesame Street. Is there no honor in warfare anymore?
This was hard to relate to because I don’t listen to music newer than the 70’s, and most of the time I listen to classical music. But I would give up my mother if I had to listen to Bolero all day.
Are you serious about this? I mean, not all of it, obviously, but was Metallica really used to “soften” prisoners?
I couldn’t help noticing you have not one, but TWO selections from Marvin Gaye. Are you a fan, or…not so much?
Big Marvin Gaye fan! “What’s goin on?” was voted in the top ten best all time rock and roll songs a few years ago. No way you could torture me with it.
Me too. Just last night I was listening to his CD and, as I do every time “Let’s Get It On” comes on, I started giggling when he got to the part “You don’t have to worry, that it’s wrong.” I keep thinking “Oh yeah, like the guy trying to get in your pants is the best person to be the final authority on morality!”
Now I remember why I liked that dude!
I’ve never heard of this form of torture. Perhaps they could start issuing “The Bottom Ten” for the ten worst tracks released that week, as decided by a random selection of tax avoiders and reckless pastry chefs.
LOL! For a neophyte to the musical torture game, you appear to be a natural. Your sample group to pick the worst ten is sheer genius!
Of all those vocalists on your list, the only one I have ever listened to is the Carpenters. I wouldn’t mind hearing them all day. Seriously. Lol.
How about Don Ho? Would he get you to talk?
Now I know where the woman who heard “how much is that doggie in the window?” was when she heard it for two days. (Laughing Housewife…animals)
Tilly and I work so well together, don’t we?
I got stuck on a ride at Disney World and had to listen to “It’s A Small World After All” for over an hour. I would of given up all my secrets to get off that boat!
I also think that anything that Pierce Bronson sang in Mama Mia would be great torture.
Excellent suggestion, Raree. Hmmmm, I hear the CIA is looking for a few good women.
Good, I’m great! And very humble.
I heard it was even crueller than that – I heard they used Barney…
That would have to be classified as a war crime!
Very clever. Big Al strikes again!
I report, you decide.
how can something so serious also be so funny. I loved your choice of alternative music…
If the whole world didn’t take itself so seriously, there wouldn’t be a Guantanamo.
Surely the playlist has an offering from Yoko Ono, right? The next time a car goes by and rattles the house windows with bass, I’m going to make a citizen’s arrest and have them sent (with their cars) to Gitmo where they can do some good. 🙂 Is my age showing?
You’re brilliant, Patti! We’ll send all the boom boxes to Guantanamo and just bring our troops home!