6
   

I'm cured! Praise Bog! I'm cured!

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:32 am
not sure how to feel about this, i have no problems with CCTV in public places
bonus points if you know the titles reference
http://reason.com/archives/2010/02/24/weoponizing-mozart/singlepage

Weaponizing Mozart
How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control

Brendan O'Neill | February 24, 2010

In recent years Britain has become the Willy Wonka of social control, churning out increasingly creepy, bizarre, and fantastic methods for policing the populace. But our weaponization of classical music"where Mozart, Beethoven, and other greats have been turned into tools of state repression"marks a new low.

We’re already the kings of CCTV. An estimated 20 per cent of the world’s CCTV cameras are in the UK, a remarkable achievement for an island that occupies only 0.2 per cent of the world’s inhabitable landmass.

A few years ago some local authorities introduced the Mosquito, a gadget that emits a noise that sounds like a faint buzz to people over the age of 20 but which is so high-pitched, so piercing, and so unbearable to the delicate ear drums of anyone under 20 that they cannot remain in earshot. It’s designed to drive away unruly youth from public spaces, yet is so brutally indiscriminate that it also drives away good kids, terrifies toddlers, and wakes sleeping babes.

Police in the West of England recently started using super-bright halogen lights to temporarily blind misbehaving youngsters. From helicopters, the cops beam the spotlights at youths drinking or loitering in parks, in the hope that they will become so bamboozled that (when they recover their eyesight) they will stagger home.

And recently police in Liverpool boasted about making Britain’s first-ever arrest by unmanned flying drone. Inspired, it seems, by Britain and America’s robot planes in Afghanistan, the Liverpool cops used a remote-control helicopter fitted with CCTV (of course) to catch a car thief.

Britain might not make steel anymore, or cars, or pop music worth listening to, but, boy, are we world-beaters when it comes to tyranny. And now classical music, which was once taught to young people as a way of elevating their minds and tingling their souls, is being mined for its potential as a deterrent against bad behavior.

In January it was revealed that West Park School, in Derby in the midlands of England, was “subjecting” (its words) badly behaved children to Mozart and others. In “special detentions,” the children are forced to endure two hours of classical music both as a relaxant (the headmaster claims it calms them down) and as a deterrent against future bad behavior (apparently the number of disruptive pupils has fallen by 60 per cent since the detentions were introduced.)

One news report says some of the children who have endured this Mozart authoritarianism now find classical music unbearable. As one critical commentator said, they will probably “go into adulthood associating great music"the most bewitchingly lovely sounds on Earth"with a punitive slap on the chops.” This is what passes for education in Britain today: teaching kids to think “Danger!” whenever they hear Mozart’s Requiem or some other piece of musical genius.

The classical music detentions at West Park School are only the latest experiment in using and abusing some of humanity’s greatest cultural achievements to reprimand youth.

Across the UK, local councils and other public institutions now play recorded classical music through speakers at bus-stops, in parking lots, outside department stores, and elsewhere. No, not because they think the public will appreciate these sweet sounds (they think we are uncultured grunts), but because they hope it will make naughty youngsters flee.

Tyne and Wear in the north of England was one of the first parts of the UK to weaponize classical music. In the early 2000s, the local railway company decided to do something about the “problem” of “youths hanging around” its train stations. The young people were “not getting up to criminal activities,” admitted Tyne and Wear Metro, but they were “swearing, smoking at stations and harassing passengers.” So the railway company unleashed “blasts of Mozart and Vivaldi.”

Apparently it was a roaring success. The youth fled. “They seem to loathe [the music],” said the proud railway guy. “It’s pretty uncool to be seen hanging around somewhere when Mozart is playing.” He said the most successful deterrent music included the Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven, Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninov, and Piano Concerto No. 2 by Shostakovich. (That last one I can kind of understand.)

In Yorkshire in the north of England, the local council has started playing classical music through vandal-proof speakers at “troublesome bus-stops” between 7:30 PM and 11:30 PM. Shops in Worcester, Bristol, and North Wales have also taken to “firing out” bursts of classical music to ward of feckless youngsters.

In Holywood (in County Down in Northern Ireland, not to be confused with Hollywood in California), local businesspeople encouraged the council to pipe classical music as a way of getting rid of youngsters who were spitting in the street and doing graffiti. And apparently classical music defeats street art: The graffiti levels fell.

Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of an elite using high culture as a “punitive slap on the chops” for low youth has come true. In Burgess’s 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, famously filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971, the unruly youngster Alex is subjected to “the Ludovico Technique” by the crazed authorities. Forced to take drugs that induce nausea and to watch graphically violent movies for two weeks, while simultaneously listening to Beethoven, Alex is slowly rewired and re-moulded. But he rebels, especially against the use of classical music as punishment.

Pleading with his therapists to turn the music off, he tells them that “Ludwig van” did nothing wrong, he “only made music.” He tells the doctors it’s a sin to turn him against Beethoven and take away his love of music. But they ignore him. At the end of it all, Alex is no longer able to listen to his favorite music without feeling distressed. A bit like that schoolboy in Derby who now sticks his fingers in his ears when he hears Mozart.

The weaponization of classical music speaks volumes about the British elite’s authoritarianism and cultural backwardness. They’re so desperate to control youth"but from a distance, without actually having to engage with them"that they will film their every move, fire high-pitched noises in their ears, shine lights in their eyes, and bombard them with Mozart. And they have so little faith in young people’s intellectual abilities, in their capacity and their willingness to engage with humanity’s highest forms of art, that they imagine Beethoven and Mozart and others will be repugnant to young ears. Of course, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The dangerous message being sent to young people is clear: 1) you are scum; 2) classical music is not a wonder of the human world, it’s a repellent against mildly anti-social behavior.

Brendan O'Neill is editor of spiked in London.
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:41 am
@djjd62,
The UK is a little bit behind the times. When I worked mall security in the Natick Mall back in the mid 1990's they tried and in a marginally successful way drove away some of the worst parts of the milling and malingering teenage mallrat hoard.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:45 am
@tsarstepan,
a lot of the plazas in our area have a radio station that plays easy listening hits over loud speakers in the parking lots to discourage youngsters from hanging around, it works for me as well i get in and out as fast i can, especially when starland vocal band is on (sky rockets in flight, afternoon delight)
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:46 am
Sort of an aside re the mosquito: the school I work in just put in some wireless gadgets so laptops could access the network off their dock stations. In one room the kids kept complaining about a buzzing noise coming from the adapter in their room. Only one teacher (a young one) could also hear it.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:52 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

a lot of the plazas in our area have a radio station that plays easy listening hits over loud speakers in the parking lots to discourage youngsters from hanging around, it works for me as well i get in and out as fast i can, especially when starland vocal band is on (sky rockets in flight, afternoon delight)

My ears start to bleed when I'm exposed to elevator muzak.
Quote:
Elevator music (muzak, piped music, or lift music in the Commonwealth) refers to the gentle instrumental arrangements of popular music designed for playing in shopping malls, grocery stores, department stores, telephone systems (while the caller is on hold), cruise ships, airports, doctors' and dentists' offices, and elevators.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:55 am
@littlek,
interesting
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 09:19 am
@djjd62,
And funny.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  4  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 09:23 am
both Yani and John Tesh have the same effect on us elderly types.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 09:39 am
@dyslexia,
Whenever I hear their music dys I want to give myself a lobotomy to end the suffering.
http://www.onlinenursingdegrees.org/images/lobotomy.jpg
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 09:45 am
@tsarstepan,
i'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy Drunk

thank you, thank you, i'll be here all week, try the veal, and don't fotget to tip your waiters
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 09:45 am
@tsarstepan,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2etcgOcFSFo
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  4  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 09:52 am
A McDonald's location has for years been playing vintage C&W music to keep teens from loitering outside. The British authoritarian knack here isn't for inventing the deterrent, but removing any vestige of humor from it.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:11 am
@patiodog,
Brilliant analysis of the article and situation patiodog.
http://i47.tinypic.com/2v3rigm.jpg
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:26 am
@patiodog,
Obliviously, that McD's was not in Midland, Texas.

I was surprised and pleased to find that the Port Authority was playing Mozart and Vivaldi over the speakers on the bus platforms at the GW Bridge until I realized the reason why and thought about the suffering of those who do not share my tastes in music.

Joe(brother,big )Nation
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:30 am
@Joe Nation,
Though I don't know why anyone would ever hang out at the Port Authority bus terminals. The grossest and grungiest place I have ever visited here in New York City.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:31 am
@patiodog,
the state should not be spying on its citizens, nor trying to decide where they do and don't go. The explanation that i have heard for the disgusting willingness of the citizenry to be abused in this fashion is traumatization from years of war with the ira. But I am not sure...I see accounts of citizens being amazed at how the surveillance is being used against them as individuals and I wonder if this is more a matter of British stupidity, perhaps the result of inbreeding causing damage to the british genetic stock.

Looking at the even worse example of Australia, where the thought police are firmly in control of the media, to include heavy interent censorship, gives more evidence of a genetic problem. Much of the Australian genetic pool was imported from Britain.

djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:47 am
@hawkeye10,
so was america, and they've produced their fair share of assholes

hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:49 am
@Joe Nation,
Quote:
I was surprised and pleased to find that the Port Authority was playing Mozart and Vivaldi over the speakers on the bus platforms at the GW Bridge until I realized the reason why and thought about the suffering of those who do not share my tastes in music.
Wrong
Quote:
A. I'm assistant manager of the Staten Island bridges for the Port Authority. But from 1991 to '94 I was operations manager at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Q. I understand you were involved in the decision to play classical music over the terminal's public address system.

A. The former manager and myself liked to listen to classical music, and we had heard on the radio that there was a park in Toronto where they played it during lunch hour and people found it to be very soothing. So we said, ''Let's give it a try.''

We got a tape system from Muzak. It was a little difficult to find all soothing classical music. We didn't want any cymbals crashing, no ''1812 Overture,'' nothing like that. We started in August '92, and we said we'd do it until the end of the year and see how the customers liked it.

In three or four workdays we were swamped with compliments. Without a doubt, it was the initiative we got the most positive response to. We were absolutely elated. So we said: ''This is a go. This is permanent.'' To this day, they get compliments
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/06/nyregion/playing-the-classics-to-commuters.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/M/Music&scp=8&sq=%22classical%20music%22%20+%22Port%20Authority%20Bus%20Terminal%22&st=cse

If you check you will also find that the PA runs multiple cultural enrichment programs at the bus terminals.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:51 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
so was america

You skipped history class I see.....America has a fabulously diverse genetic pool, always has. It is one of the major advantages we have as a nation.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:53 am
@hawkeye10,
still a good percentage of the original stock came from the british isles
 

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