DID you know the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has used prolonged exposure to the same songs over and over again as a method of torture in Guantanamo Bay?
It is reported that some of the songs used for the psychological torture are popular hits like Raspberry Beret by Prince, Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, We Are The Champions by Queen and My Name Is by Eminem.
On their own, many people enjoy these tunes, but when forced to listen to them repeatedly over a short period of time, they can cause enormous trauma to a person’s mental health.
Now it’s not exactly the same thing to be subjected to Christmas songs repeatedly, but there are some concerns being raised by many retail workers about how prolonged the Christmas period is becoming.
Only a few decades ago, Christmas would have begun in December. The Christmas lights would have gone up around the first week and the Christmas songs would have begun at the same time.
This year, on November 1st – one day after Halloween – some major retailers had already begun celebrating the Christmas spirit with Christmas songs blaring over the internal music system.
Most of these retailers are very far advanced in terms of marketing and analysis. For instance, they would have experts in conscious and subconscious behaviours and one would have to assume that there is some indication that people spend more when Christmas music is playing, but for Jesus’s sake, won’t somebody think of the poor staff that have to listen to the Little Drummer Boy, White Christmas and Jingle Bells on repeat for two months?
The prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are only subjected to the repeated song for 24 hours – not 54 days!
There is a serious side to this. A number of complaints have come in from members who are aggrieved at how long they have to put up with the same songs over and over again. Many workers will have eight or 10-hour shifts listening to the same song up to five times per day. This going on for two months has negative consequences for those workers.
It’s not too much to ask that Christmas should begin in December and with it, Christmas music should too…
By David Gibney
Mandate communications officer