by Ninja Kors
You’re probably thinking that the picture I chose for this blog post is a funny mistake. That I meant to post some dark and aggressive photo of some part of the world that is on fire – that is to say: more than other parts – and that I accidentally used a picture of harmless Ernie instead. That would have been funny indeed but sadly, no. Regrettably, it really does mean war.
It was brought to my attention recently that among the music samples that were (are?) used as torture instruments at Guantanamo Bay is also the theme song of Sesame Street. The same theme song, distorted, for four days straight. It’s all you hear, all the time. You don’t need the likes of Rammstein or Slayer to break a man, it turns out. There is a documentary about the role of music in war. See the trailer here:
The man who brought this to my attention via Facebook is Evert Bisschop Boele. He keeps a blog about music in society, you find it here. When I say ‘music in society’ I, and Evert, mean this in the broadest sense possible: how do people ‘use’ music, why do they use it, is it ‘good’ for anything, does it have to be? Evert is not an activist and he is too critical a thinker to assume that music is a tool to save the world. It is more than anything essentially human so how could it be? Yet when we are looking at what music does and means in our societies around the globe, I think this blog is an interesting read. I recommend it to all News & Noisers.
PS. People in the Netherlands: the documentary Songs of War will be shown in Academie voor Popcultuur in Leeuwarden, 19.00h on February 13th. If you’re in the neighbourhood, you might want to check it out.