Anyone who as ever listened to an 8-year-old trying to make music knows all too well that music can be torture. A few minutes of them banging on a drum or trying to play Mary Had A Little Lamb on the harmonica and you will be ready to carve out your eardrums with a spoon. Even the dog was distressed.
Apparently, the government notes this too. They have a long history of using music as torture. Manuel Noriega was assaulted with Black Sabbath in 1989. In 1983 Koribians let by David Koresh were inundated with Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking.” No wonder they lit themselves on fire. (*1)
Detainees at CIA black sites in Iraq were forced to listen to the Barney Theme song. I know what you’re thinking: Who could possibly get tired of the Barney theme song. But apparently some people find it annoying.
Now 7-Eleven has become the latest shady organization to use music as torture in an attempt to keep people from loitering outside their store. Shocking. People want to loiter around a 7-Eleven? But apparently it’s true. It seems to be a magnet for those undesirable types… like needy people and the homeless. Yucky. We wouldn’t want such people soiling the high esteem with which we hold convenience stores.
So the chain, finding that Twinkies form the Regan era a three week old hot dog forever turning in the heating chamber weren’t enough to turn people away has reached down deep into the bad of dirty tricks in order to chase people off its premises: Opera music. They play it on speakers outside the store, which is almost as depressing as the idea of loitering around a 7-Eleven.
“Opera is annoying.” says Jagat Patel, a franchise in Austin Texas..(*2). Apparently not everyone agrees. Outside a 7-Eleven in Union Square, a man begged for spare change. “Opera music is beautiful” he said. “Ooh, opera! I love opera” to which all you opera fans out there, (all 27 of you) can smile a wry smile.
- Or more accurately, the FBI lit the compound on fire during their ill fated raid and then blamed it on the sect members.
- Adam Iscoe, “Louder,” the New Yorker, January 30, 2023, p. 1