ceud míle fáilte

a hundred thousand welcomes

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

My Mum sent me a press cutting the other day, from one of the local-ish newspapers back home. It made me chortle and be slightly depressed at the same time...

"Classical approach to youth disorder

SUPERMARKET BOSSES are planning to make gangs of neds "Bach off" - by blasting classical music at them. Store chiefs want to rig up speakers to play classical works by Mozart, Beethoven and Debussy to stop groups of youths congregating outside at night. They believe the soothing sounds will scare off gangs of neds ['A Scottish term for the often uneducated and invariably aggressive teenagers found throughout Britain. Identified by gold jewellery (especially sovereign rings), baseball caps, white trainers and/or Kappa/Burberry branded clothing. The name is thought to derive from 'Edward', as in Teddy Boy. It is in no way an acronym for "non-educated delinquent", which is in any case ungrammatical.' Taken from www.urbandictionary.com] more used to hip-hop and dance tracks. Co-op managers from Port Seton, East Lothian, aired the idea at a community police meeting after struggling to "Handel" the problem of youth disorder outside their store. The community and police partnership meeting heard plans to rig up a stereo in the store to play classical works on a loop in order to drive away youngsters who congregate outside the shop on a nightly basis. Locals say that they are frightened to walk near the shop in the town's Links Road at night to use the cash machines because of the gangs of rowdy yobs hanging around the store's entrance. Local councillors and clergy met the idea with approval, but one Port Sefton resident rubbished the scheme saying, "They'd probably just try and smash the speakers, or drown it out with their mobiles."

Surely some Stravinsky would be more in order? Perhaps 'The Rite of Spring'? Mind you, I'm a fan of Strav and would be very happy to hang around listening to that if it was blasted from the nearest Co-op. Then again, I'm not a hoodie-wearing, sovereign-ring-flashing, baseball-cap-wearing aggressive teenager. Perhaps some Bach instead? 'The Peasant Cantata'? Perhaps Strauss' 'Wine, Women and Song'? (Or 'Beer, Babes and Gangsta Rap'?)

Joking apart, I can't say I'm particularly happy with the inference that classical music is so abhorrent to 'everyday' folk that it could be considered as a deterrent in a situation like this. Then again, I can't say I'm not that surprised, either... But there must be a silver lining... Maybe I can get some more work out of it? "RedScot sings Mozart's famous arias at a convenience store near YOU!" "Look out for RedScot's latest Tesco recording of Bach cantatas; featuring the classic 'Shoppers can safely browse'."



  1. Anonymous said...
    Oh good grief. As if classical music wasn't in enough trouble? Still, maybe you're right. Maybe it will create more gigs!
    I can't wait for my wedding dress to be on stage either! I never thought I'd ever say it, but I just can't wait to get married! I even want to take his last name and cook for him. Weird.
    I should warn you. That book is a children's book, but the format is fascinating. I really enjoyed it. If you can't find it, I'd be happy to send you my copy.
    sloth-knits said...
    They played classical music over the loudspeakers at one of the subway stations I used in Toronto. I tended to walk a little slower to listen to it, and daydream about gangs of classical music fans causing trouble in the station by throwing batons at each other and fighting over interpretations. :)

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