Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Deep Hurting (Musical Edition)

I'm all for alternatives to incarceration and creative punishments for minor offenses, but do we have to get music involved? Maybe I've just seen A Clockwork Orange too many times, but the idea of tunes as negative stimuli just makes my blood run cold. So I'm not sure I can get on board with one judge's project:

The guiding principle in Municipal Judge Paul Sacco's courtroom is an eye for an eye. Or rather, an ear for an ear.

So when teenagers land in front of him for blasting their car stereos or otherwise disturbing the peace in this small northern Colorado city, Sacco informs them that they will spend a Friday evening in his courtroom listening to music -- of his choosing.

No, they can't pay a fine instead, he tells them. So, he adds with a snicker, ever heard of Barry Manilow?
The article goes on to describe one session of the musical punishment, which starts off with the Barney theme song and doesn't improve appreciably for the next hour. It's not all awful - the playlist includes, ironically, part of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - as the judge is smart enough to choose stuff the kids hate, regardless of quality.

Still, I can think of few worse things in life than being required to stay in a room while Barry Manilow was played. It may not be "cruel and unusual," but it's certainly a recipe for some deep hurting!

No comments: