Country Music Is Evil

Alex Ross writes in The New Yorker:

In Errol Morris’s documentary “Standard Operating Procedure‚” an American soldier talks about employing music as a means of breaking down the resistance of enemy combatants during interrogations. They can withstand “Hip Hop Hooray” and “Enter Sandman‚” he says, but not country music. Most audiences will laugh at the line, but may check themselves mid-chuckle, wondering what it means that Americans are deploying their favorite music as a way of tormenting people of another culture.

The idea of using music in psychological warfare goes back to at least the Second World War, when Soviet forces under siege in Leningrad defiantly broadcast Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony into no man’s land and the Office of War Information relayed jazz and other democratic sounds into Nazi-occupied Europe. The rest is here.

1 thought on “Country Music Is Evil

  1. In my reading of this for class:

    Click to access final.pdf

    I realized that one of the techniques describing the use of loud obnoxious music by the military involved loudly playing the Meow Mix song on repeat to work the detainees into submission. I apologize for not being able to find the page number out of that 438 page source, BUT for the Russian contingent, who may or may not be familiar with the ramifications of having to listen to THAT SONG on repeat, or understand HOW MUCH WORSE that would be than having to listen to country music, here is an example from Youtube:

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