2008-02-27

Fred Stolen: The Torture Playlist

I don't usually do straight linking posts but I thought this was too good to pass up. This is a playlist (via) that lists songs used by interrogators at Guantanamo Bay and other US military bases to "disorient" the prisoners. They certainly seem to be disorienting, considering the range of material (from grindcore to cat food commercials), and if nothing else should at least make the prisoners have "what the fuck" moments, like: "how on earth do they expect me to talk by playing 'Raspberry Beret' by Prince?"

No, seriously, it certainly is interesting that the US Army is experimenting with music as a psychological manipulator, just as marketers and I guess artists and DJs have done for decades. I do sense a certain amateurishness in the choices though, I doubt it is a list sprung from serious research into what is most effective (I'd guess more drone-like or minimalist sounds). Obviously the entire thing is rather macabre and unpleasant as well, and it's hard to think of the Barney theme song the same way ever again...

2 comments:

Mike said...

Is it ironic that they would use Rage Against the Machine?

Jordi said...

it's ironic, sad, wrong, and uh, sad