One man’s heaven is another man’s hell. One man’s trash is another man’s treasurer. One man’s belly button lint is another man’s fake moustache. I’m sure you’ve heard these old axioms. Well, okay, maybe I made the belly button thing up, but you get the idea. If you like something and Rooster Edwards doesn’t, then you might say “Rooster, you should study this subject more thoroughly so as to develop a more informed opinion,” or, possibly, you might say, “Rooster, obviously your brain has been infected with black mold.” Or you might just drop all niceties and say, “Rooster, you are a moron.”
The reason I bring this up is because of an article I recently read concerning the use of music as a means of torture at Guantanamo Bay. Now, this doesn’t really surprise me, I’ve found certain types of music torture over the years. In fact, I calculate that at least 70 percent of the music produced since 1980 could definitely be used as torture. That number rises considerably when talking about the present state of music.
Now, I know what a lot of you younguns’ are saying. “He’s just a crazy old coot, who wants to sit in his rocking chair by the radio, drink his Metamucil and relive the long, long ago before time. Well, you would be wrong, for as my daughter wrote in a high school essay about yours truly, “my father was born to rock.” So, there.
The Mistress of the Manor and me tripped the light fantastic at countless concerts as young, carefree people. Then we had kids, and the concerts came to an end … until the little tykes grew older … then it was time to rock once again.
Along with one or both of our children, we have attended several Lollopalooza and Weenie Roast festivals in Charlotte and Raleigh, as well as concerts by Metallica (my son’s first), Green Day (my daughter’s first), Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Wallflowers, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Pure Prairie League, as well as my two all-time favorites, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. My children were introduced to Dylan and the Stones at an early age, and, it should be noted, Dylan is considered a deity by people of our ilk.
What’s that? Get back on topic? That’s right, I’m supposed to be writing about music torture at Guantanamo Bay. This came to light in an Al Jazeera film, “Songs of War.” You’re probably asking what songs are good for torture? Apparently, songs from Sesame Street are excellent ones to break down even the most ardent terrorist. You listen to “Elmo’s Song” long enough and you’re willing to take down a whole boat load of nuns.
Christopher Cerf, who has worked as a composer on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, is responsible for much of the torture music. Cerf said he was upset when he heard that our government had been using his music in “deep, long-term interrogations and obviously to inflict enough pain on prisoners so they would talk.”
Military officials did not directly confirm or deny the report. They just said they weren’t “currently” in use, which, in government jargon, means, you’re darn right we used Sesame Street songs. Our freedom depended on it.
Well, terrorists, welcome to the world of U.S. parents, who have been tortured by music from children’s shows for years. It used to be that a parent only had to listen to one of those oh so clever little ditties once a day. However, when VCRs came along, the little darlings were able to tape and replay a show countless times. Well, they didn’t actually tape them. No, “Little Mandy” looks up at her father with an angelic little face, and in a voice that could have come straight from Heaven, asks, “Daddy, will you tape Sesame Street for me?” And you, being taken in by her innocent behavior, agree to do just that, thus setting yourself up for eight straight hours of “Elmo’s Song.”
Once the drooling, twitching, and unexpected bowl movements subside, you think you’re safe. Surely, “Little Mandy” has heard enough of Elmo. But noooooo. You walk in from work the next day and you’re greeted by Elmo’s squeaky little voice, and once again you’re in Muppett hell.
As irritating as the Muppets are, I think they come up short when you pit them against Barney, the purple dinosaur, and his never to be forgotten “I Love You.” Any adult who has heard this song played over and over for hours will tell you death cannot come fast enough. That piece of musical mayhem will wither your brain and make your eyes bleed.
I saw a few minutes of both the Wiggles and the Teletubbies once, but managed to find the remote control seconds before any bodily functions went askew.
Now, I’m all for protecting this country, but I do think we need to adhere to the Geneva Convention’s views on torture. I mean, waterboarding, bamboo shoots under the fingernails, electrical shocks to the …. Well, you know where, are one thing. But when you factor Barney into the equation, that crosses the line. Barney might be a lovable creature to people of the little kind, but to parents … I mean terrorists, he is a sick, sadistic sauropod whose ultimate goal is to steal your soul.