Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Music Torture


Melanie Pullen, Half Prada (Hanging Series)


The United States military has reportedly used music torture -- the practice of playing loud music incessantly to prisoners -- in psychological operations with detainees in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq.

The United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights have banned the use of loud music in interrogations, but it is still being widely used. The term torture is sometimes used to describe the practice. While it is acknowledged by US interrogation experts that it causes discomfort, it has also been characterized by them as causing no "long term effects." 

Heavy metal, hard rock and children's music seem to be the most common forms of music played to torture prisoners, and they are often combined with exposure to bright lights and/or strobe lights. 
[source]

Leave it to human beings to find cruel and creative ways to torture individuals.  It is just crazy that creativity can be used for so much good, and for so much evil. 

As an aside, and in no way making light of the above-mentioned horrifying practice of music torture, I happen to LOVE heavy metal music.  And hard rock. And a sprinkling of other types of music.  

I'd have to say that just about any form of music played loudly and continually could constitute a form of torture. 


I'd say some music is torturous to me at just about any volume.....an outright assault on my ears, and my fragile psyche.  The biggest offenders?  Hmmmm.  I'd have to say Reggae.  Christmas music.  Church music. Polka music.  Ranchero music.  Jazz.  Any song by Elton John is so sad that I have to turn it off IMMEDIATELY, or grab a noose.  Anything with the accordion would probably cause me to turn state's evidence if I had any. Shudder. 


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35 comments:

Isabel said...

crazy! id go crazy listening to loud heavy metal LOL

Melanie's Randomness said...

I've never heard of this music torture?? What the hell? I like myself some heavy metal in the morning but I do find Christmas music & some Billy Joel songs torturous because they are always played or make me cry. Geez tho.

Ellie Grace said...

Thats really interesting, I didn't know that!
But I would have to agree with you on the polka, ranchero and Christmas music... Ranchero being the worst. It's one of my biggest issues here in Texas.

-Ellie

Alisa said...

If I was going to be tortured, I'd choose music! Seems tolerable, compared with water boarding or bamboo under my finger nails.

Strobe lights would be awful now that I have migraines. I'm getting one just imagining it!

bananas. said...

so if i sang to you "tiny dancer" by elton john, would you still be my friend?

bahahaha! you know some people can't stand heavy metal. i am fond of a select few but for the most part i'd rather slit my wrists.

also not a fan of listening to children's music or catholic songs. just the thought is torture in itself.

but eh to each their own ;)

Pretty Little World said...

There is some pop music that I just can't stand, even in small doses. Anything by Fergie, for instance. Or Miley Cyrus. Or Taylor Swift. And lots and lots of other things that all sound the same, but are actually different people.

Lorena said...

I can KIND OF tolerate music I do not like, but only for short periods of time.
I live in the damn party zone my building is surrounded by discos, bars, lounges whatever you wanna call them and these idiots play loud music ranging from Macarena to reggae ALL NIGHT LONG. I have trouble sleeping.
Police do not do shit. Have been at the police station at 3 a.m.
I pray a fire will happen and they will be scared and turn off the music... in my prayers no one dies, just in case.

Dancing Branflake said...

John Tesh. That would be the most torturous tactic I could ever think of.

Kara said...

I'd go nuts if I had to listen to Broadway all day. UGH.

Prairie Chicken... said...

modern country music. that shit burns my ears like bleach on a sucking chest wound.

Brandi said...

It makes me shudder to think about being subjected to any form of torture and sick to my stomach that this is common. On a lighter note..which is worse Christmas music or the crazy freaks who LOVE Christmas music and play it all the time?

Missy said...

I could handle the music and lights! Torture is two Three Year Old Girls screaming and sqealing...

...love Maegan said...

techno. techno music with that monotonous beat would do me in.


great. now "they" know

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

I do agree that some music can be a torture for the senses. I also find it depends on the mood one is in at any given time - I adore classical music - but it can be quite a torture at the wrong time;)

SabinePsynopsis said...

In my family we torture each other with music. J hates jazz and S hates that everything she listens to gets the comment 'That's been done before by...', I hate 'Hallelujah' (which J and S loooove) - but all together we hate Cliff Richards.

Claire Kiefer said...

So while none of the types of music you listed would particularly offend me, I would be OFF MY ROCKER if forced to listen to children's music all day. As much as I love little kids, I HATE children's music. It's horrible and atrocious and I can hardly stand listening to it at a normal volume (and for a short amount of time).

Music torture?? Geez Louise.

Fragrant Liar said...

One word: Barney.

Trust me, one verse of anything Barney will make you want to stick hot pokers in your ears and give up where Hoffa's buried.

Caroline said...

Ranchero music!!! LOL...kill me now! Sorry, but I love Elton...

sssdawna said...

wow so i pretty much love your blog.

have you finished reading "girl who played with fire"? i'm currently on the final book of the trilogy--good stuff.

Felicia said...

I HATE Reggae like no other. I don't even like Bob Marley, and EVERYONE likes him.

And since I'm from the Midwest liking Polka music is in my DNA. Not that I have polka albums or anything but there are tons of German bars around here and I'm about to celebrate Oktoberfest for the 2nd weekend in a row.

Christiejolu said...

I am with you there I love Heavy Metal Music! I read they played Christina Agulera(?)...

diane said...

Oh Drolly, this is so sad.



Every form of music that you hate, is what I love.

Oh, and of course the music torture is sad too.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Interesting. Hehe, the accordion music with bright lights could be pretty torturous!

Kitty Stampede said...

oh god, i would go nuts . poor things...geez. i try not to think of what prisoners like that must go through....they must tone it out after awhile or something...oh god, i can't even imagine.
i was super into awhile ago researching MK Ultra, the mind control programming the CIA performed on people, pure brain torture. it's crazy stuff. i find the truth is stranger than fiction!!
i don't mind some bob marley...i just really think he was a good dood and i like some of his lyrics...i can see why you don't like it. it sound quite sappy at points. i can't stand new country, techno, new pop (stuff on the radio that they drill into our heads). i would rather do a lot than listen to that new style of country though..i can handle some old shite like the cash etc...but most of it is pure shit. garbage shit stains.

blah...sorry so wrong.

Gabbi said...

I've been tortured with Gospel music in the past. Would so cave with that blasted at me non-stop... I know I sound like a heathen but it's true.

Diana said...

awww i love christmas music, but I'll take ranchero, raggae, andd country music as pure torture!!

Farah said...

I dont mind heavy metal. but depends though how loud it is. Actually any genre of music on loud irritates the crap outta me! so yeah, for me any loud music on repeat will probably constitute as torture as well!

creative kerfuffle said...

what? no bob marley? really? hmmm. i can't do heavy metal music. i really just can't. it hurts me. you would probably hurl at the soft rock station i have playing in the background most days ; ) i like me some elton john and during the season--omg i'm a christmas music fool. i'm not sure what ranchero music is.

Heff said...

Heavy Metal would ENERGIZE me, and I'd escape !!!

You want to hurt someone ? Make 'em listen to Duran/Duran 24/7 !

Kristine said...

I have no idea what ranchero music is, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be a fave. I hate Christmas music but above all I hate Enya. She is nails on a chalkboard for me and probably all other massage therapists out there. And as if it couldn't be worse she once released a Christmas album. Enya is the devil.

God's Favorite Shoes! said...

Playing anything by Jessica Simpson, Ashley Simpson, the Ozzy Osborne daughter, Miley Cyrus or Mariah Carey for longer than 3 songs in a row would be torture to me!

Adiya said...

Really? I've never heard of music torture. But i bet you could definitely torture me with Christmas Carols and Reggae!

hope505 said...

Portishead = songs to slit your wrists to

Christina In Wonderland said...

Music torture?

So what, like, they'll make you listen to Justin Bieber until you spill military secrets?

chloe said...

ugh i hate reggae too..

i also HATE, CANT STAND, WANT TO KILL those two ANNOYING shouty guys fatman scoop and pitbull, i can't tell you HOW MUCH I HATE THEM.

but justin bieber, loool @ christina!