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July 11, 2008

Are musicians owed royalties for performance of their music in torture chambers?

Good question...

Would that such questions didn't arise.

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Royalties might be nice.

Massive damages for running their creative works' hard-earned reputrations through the most pungent type of mud might be nice.

I recall somewhere Fran Liebowitz saying that any music that she did not specifically WANT to hear is noise. Even if it's Pablo Casals playing across the hall, it's still just noise.

When the psyops goons played music at skull-crushing volume to drive Noriega out of the Vatican embassy during Geo. Bush the First's glorious invasion of Panama, I was shocked at the incredibly shitty and embarrassingly trailer trash American playlist. I was likewise sickened when I came to understand that the sound of battle in the 21st century includes not only explosions and screams but also the execrable slop that is the preferred musical fare of the teenage boys that make up armies.

Now those boys are doing interrogations. On my behalf. With music that I hate. There is no question that music used as torture fits even the narrowest definition of torture.

As canned, and for the most part crappy, music has become almost ubiquitous, I keep wondering when there will be a backlash. When will people demand that there be an option NOT to hear music? “Press 1 for sales, press 2 for technical assistance, press 3 if you don't want to have tired, “classic rock" trash piped into your ear.” When will supermarket employee unions demand a shitty-music-free work environment? Doesn't anyone notice the absurdity of having a musical sound track to every film ever produced? Hollywood blockbuster or lathe safety instructional video, they've all got music. (Though I did actually see a film recently with no music: “4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days”. Can't recommend it enough.) Does anyone else find music that is supposed to be “relaxing” to be as soothing as chiggers?

Just think of all the money owed to the rock musicians whose works were blasted from loud speakers to oust M. Noreaga from his quarters when his tenure became inconvenient for the US

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