Is Listening to Sesame Street Really Torture?
Everyone has his or her own threshold. For some people, whether they be parents or not, listening to some children’s music over and over again (as is the preference for many children) becomes torturous. For me, a few listens to Barney the Dinosaur would reduce me to a ball of propane and nails waiting to combust.
Well leave it to United States military interrogators to employ all sorts of music (on repeat) to coerce inmates to talk and/or comply. One choice selection that was played, in particular, to inmates at Guantanamo Bay was songs from Sesame Street. What is basically buoyant, happy, educational music becomes literally torturous when played repeatedly for sometimes hours, or days, on end. Basically this is music torture (The Pentagon on Thursday acknowledged music has at times been used as a “disincentive,” but “in a measured way” that did not amount to mistreatment or torture.).
This is not entirely new, as the practice was first widely reported back in 1989 when U.S. forces tried to sonically torture Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega out of his compound by playing Van Halen’s “Panama” over and over again.
Not to make light of this disturbing report, because this is in fact a form of torture, but I could not stop thinking about the idea that any song could become torturous, if played loud enough and repeatedly. So what is the song/music that would get you to your breaking point faster than anything? For me, without question, it would be anything by the Chipmunks. Are there certain songs/music that is just utterly unlistenable or just horrendous when repeated ad nauseum?