A bus station in the U.K. has adopted the tactic of blasting holiday songs by Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat to deter homeless people from sleeping on its benches, thereby simultaneously violating basic human decency and vomiting all over the spirit of the holidays.
The city council had previously used annoying bagpipe music between midnight and 6 a.m. to discourage what the English call “rough sleeping” – otherwise known as homelessness – but after a petition protesting the music collected some 4,000 signatures they’ve switched to incessant playing of the fictional rodent band’s music instead.
While it seems the local government has no plans to stop their sonic assault, many locals are against the tactic, with Bournemouth resident Carla Johnsontelling BT.com, “At a time of year when the weather is becoming increasingly cold and wet Bournemouth council should be finding a solution to help the homeless in our town, not to drive them away.
“By offering no support,” Johnson continued, “the issues the council have with the homeless will only worsen.These people need our support, and not to be treated like wild animals, driven out of one area to the next.”
Being homeless is not illegal, but to get around that inconvenient fact many local governments do their best to criminalize certain unavoidable aspects of homelessness – such as sleeping outdoors or in public places.
Bus stations, subways, and public parks are often the only options left to those without homes seeking shelter and attempts to drive them out of even these public spaces that they have a right to be in doesn’t address the root of the problem and is simply cruel and wrong.
One visitor to the bus station who spoke to the BBC likened the situation to prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay and tortured with repetitive music and, indeed, the use of music as a torture device is well documented. The U.S. has used music by Eminem and Metallica to torture prisoners as well as maddeningly repetitive and annoying music like the Barney theme song and “Meow Mix” commercial jingle. The agonizingly high-pitch, singsong tones of the Chipmunks fall into the same sadistic category.
At least they’re not playing the Chipmunks/Silento remix, but either way, it’s torture and simply a terrible thing to do.
Homelessness shouldn’t be seen as a public nuisance but as a public failure. Leaders must address that failure with solutions, not punish those whom the system has failed.[BBC]
Sadistic Bus Station Blasts Most Annoying Music Ever To Drive Away Homeless People