Music to prevent crime and torture people

Originally published at: Music to prevent crime and torture people | Boing Boing


Some music does fall under “crimes against humanity”, we all know at least one tune in that category.


Two items of note on the general topic… first, my former Congress person (they moved the district lines in my area to shift my district) has recently proposed a law called the RAP act intended to enhance first amendment protections for artists accused of crimes based solely on their art.

Second, Skinny Puppy sent the US Army or CIA (I can’t remember which) an invoice for using their music as a form of torture at Gitmo…


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But I did find the 7-Eleven to be one of the earliest institutions that came up with the idea of using music played outside to repel “loiterers”—teenagers, homeless people, anyone they deemed undesirable—and that dated back to, I think, 1985.

I thought it was a more recent thing. About 6 months ago my friend stopped by a 7-11 in Hollywood to get a drink while I waited in the car. After a few minutes, I noticed that pleasant classical music was playing from speakers mounted outside the store at a high volume. It took a discussion with my friend after we left to figure out that it was basically an auditory form of hostile architecture.


Rap lyrics? Hell, they shoulda thrown all those old country singers in jail. “Well I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die…” for starters. And all of Porter Wagoner’s catalog.

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