May 20th, 2018

Charms to Ruffle the Savage Breast

Apparently a lot of stores and "pubic spaces" now play classical music loudly to chase away louts:

"Experts trace the practice’s origins back to a drowsy 7-Eleven in British Columbia in 1985, where some clever Canadian manager played Mozart outside the store to repel parking-lot loiterers. Mozart-in-the-Parking-Lot was so successful at discouraging teenage reprobates that 7-Eleven implemented the program at over 150 stores, becoming the first company to battle vandalism with the viola."

It's an interesting idea, with some intuitive appeal, but then the author writes this:

"Today, deterrence through classical music is de rigueur for American transit systems."

I can tell you that's not true in Chicago. I ride transit here all the time, and I'm not hearing a lot of oboes.

The author of the piece is not too happy about this alleged trend, referring to it as "weaponized classical music," and seeming to take the attitude that this represents some kind of classist oppression. But I like this sort of music, so I say: bring it on!

They say that vandals
Can't abide Handel.
If so, it's no scandal
To chase them away.
Let Hallelujah play!