Activists propose playing recordings of classical music in Barnard Park in hopes of annoying petty criminals so much that they'll leave. They also hope the music will make the park more pleasant for other people once it is cleaned up.Needless to say, that has some musicologists riled up:
Resident Carol Coburn said she came up with the idea after reading about similar efforts in West Palm Beach, Fla., where she said crime decreased as much as 40 percent in parks where classical music was played. Cities in Canada and Australia have reported success with similar efforts.
But to University of California-Los Angeles musicologist Robert Fink, the plan makes Hartford's crime-fighting efforts look desperate.(Of course, anyone who's taken a music history class knows that it's fairly easy to get a musicologist riled up about any number of things...)
"Beethoven is not going to save you," he said. It's ironic that "some of the greatest composers in history are now being viewed as some kind of bug spray or disinfectant."
I don't think it's being disrespectful to the music to use it in this way. I mean, come on--is it any worse than using it in TV commercials to sell jewelry or whatever? If a certain demographic shows extreme distaste for a particular genre of music, and that music can be used to repel the criminal element within that demographic, it's no insult to the music being "used" for that purpose. As I learned in Psychology of Music in grad school, music is "used" all the time, whether it be to get people to stay longer or shorter times at restaurants or to get them to buy more stuff in grocery stores (oddly enough, the "mellow middle register" of the bass trombone has been used for this purpose before). If it were the classical musicians who were dealing drugs in the park, I'm sure that country music could be used in the same way (jazz musicians, of course, would be similarly repelled by the G-weasel or other such "smooth" dreck). They say that music can be used to soothe the savage beast, but I guess this is one case where it keeps said beast away as well.
Wreck redux, part deux: Today is the second anniversary of my wreck. I'm happy to say that Kevmobile 1.2 is still going strong, but less happy to note that I never did get a single penny out of the uninsured soccer mom who rear-ended me that day.
Everybody was Kung Fu scrubbing: I saw someone holding a sign advertising a TAEKWONDO CAR WASH in front of a gas station out in Euless today. I'm sure that they meant that the car wash was raising funds for their taekwondo team, but how funny would it be if they were to incorporate the moves into the washing process? Hands, feet and suds would be flying everywhere...