Creative Destruction

June 9, 2006

Weaponizing Barry Manilow

Filed under: Art,Content-lite,Popular Culture — Brutus @ 3:00 pm

I'm late getting to this, as it's already all over the blogosphere. Oh, well.

Reuters reports that Barry Manilow's music is being used in Sydney, Australia, to drive "hoons" out of car parks and off streets where they apparently intimidate others and impede commerce. Using music as a means of coercing behaviors is a familiar idea, e.g., heavy metal music blasted at Noriega and the scene in Apocolypse Now with "The Ride of the Valkyries" used to terrify villagers. Apparently, though, Barry Manilow songs are especially "daggy" in Australia and work to drive away undesireable elements.

Sure, it's funny enough, and Barry Manilow himself likely has no pretensions about his public image. He'll probably get paid royalties, too. Still, I find it sad to see music weaponized (probably too strong a word, but it fits my thinking). Music has long been a good tool of propaganda, but to use music coercively is a bit much.

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