I nevertheless find it significant — and not a little comforting — that the titles on Reprieve’s list of Music to Confess By include “Hell’s Bells” and Nine Inch Nails’ “March of the Pigs” rather than, say, “Voi, che sapete” or “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” Nor is this coincidental. As an interrogator for the U.S. Army’s 361st Psychological Operations Company explained to Newsweek: “These people haven’t heard heavy metal. They can’t take it. If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken.” The day anyone feels moved to say such things about “The Marriage of Figaro” is the day I’ll apply for early retirement.
One may quibble over the examples Teachout chose. Yet one’s mind immediately wanders to the fact that some professing believers use this kind of music–music very similar to that which was being used to torture detainees–in the worship of the true and living God. And they get ghastly offended if you even question them on this point.