Celine? No, thanks but I'll take the waterboarding
Or, in the same vein, Paul Anka’s vomity She’s Having My Baby wired to your earholes so that you could never escape it? Wouldn’t you blow the whistle on the transgressions of your own mother if you were forced to undergo such rigors?
Well, according to well-informed sources, music torture is just one of the refinements of interrogation being used on the hapless inmates of Guantanamo. This is for real. So, if waterboarding isn’t excess enough at Gitmo, then Terry Jack’s screechingly awful Seasons In The Sun is sure to make the strongest Al Qaeda operative crumble.
Seriously, music torture has to be one of the most frightful marriages of technology with brutality – all in the name of freedom, y’unnersrtand. If you think about it, incessant exposure to even fine and normally soothing pieces of music would make you crack.
I happen to be rather fond of Clapton’s Layla, or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird, but I wouldn’t want them pounded out at me. The Zombies’ She’s Not There has always brought me pleasure, as has Hendrix’s Purple Haze, and the Stones’ Honky-Tonk Woman, but within reason. After a while it would become tiresome, then infuriating, and finally, torture.
Even lovely classical pieces by Mozart or Bach would ultimately exasperate one if one were to be bombarded non-stop. Brahm’s Lullaby wouldn’t bring sleep, it would bring madness.
When I first read the article on musical torture, I thought it was tongue-in-cheek, but it was nothing of the sort. The writer also queried whether or not the Gitmo interrogators had sought the rights to the pieces of music and if they were paying royalties. Legitimate questions, if you think about it.
What pieces of music would make you crack? I’ve included some of my own:
I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston): I think this already qualifies as musical torture for anybody who has attended a wedding in the past 20-odd years.
Horse With No Name (America). What in the hell is this song about?
Honey (Bobby Goldsboro). Honey was very fortunate. She died before hearing this dreck.
Kokomo (Beach Boys) From the dudes who brought you God Only Knows and Good Vibrations, this is a travesty.
American Pie (Don McLean). Catchy at the beginning, woefully tiresome and sappy by now. Credit to McLean, he has come to loathe it, too.
The End (The Doors) Pretentious asshole Jim Morrison at his pretentious asshole worst. 'Hey, man, that’s like deep Freudian analysis.' No it’s not. It’s pseudo-Freudian bullshit.
Ebony and Ivory (McCartney/Wonder) They both should have been so thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
I could, just like Celine, go on and on with my list, but shall refrain, but leave you with this thought. In our incessantly wired world, try to escape the ‘sounds’ sometimes and be grateful that you have the freedom to do so.
Oh, and if I have included some of your favorites with my 'worsts' it doesn't mean I don't still love you.
Labels: Torture in a higher octave