Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Will Smith will save our cities

When the author Anthony Burgess, and then the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, envisioned a future where remorseless teenage thugs terrorized the general population, they filled the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange with pieces such as Beethoven's Ninth and The William Tell Overture.

Just one of many examples of a film signaling over-the-top violence with the grandiosity and dark foreboding that is often at the heart of classic operatic works.

This phenomena also pops up in real life. Taking their cue from the Vietnam war horror flick Apocalypse Now, our troops in Iraq still play Wagner's Ride of The Valkyries -- amongst the heavy metal and hip hop -- when they prepare themselves for battle.

That is why it has always seemed odd to me when municipalities -- like Tacoma, Washington recently -- insist a key to quelling the aggressive behavior of teenage drug dealers and gang members is pumping Mozart and friends into the areas they congregate.

Granted, there may be confusion at first. But, after they got used to it, why wouldn't the type of music that credibly prepared Colonel Kilgore to rain death from above on Vietnamese women and children, and realistically gave Alex and his druids the jolt needed to go out and rape and pillage, motivate today's young do-badders to commit the crimes they were already inclined to commit?

Not just commit them, but commit them on an even grander scale, and with the extra kick of intelligence that it is claimed listening to classical music provides. Are we trying to keep our cities safe or develop super criminals?

A much better way to put a damper on wilding youths would be to pump in some of the more g-rated hip-hop from the pre-gansta rap era. I'm thinking Young MC or, better yet, the wholesome stylings of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

If there is anybody out there who can pull off a drive-by after listening to the eternal goofiness of Parents Just Don't Understand, I'm a prepared to bow down to our new Crip overlord.

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