Compulsory pop to be played on all hospital wards ?
Many people are understandably afraid to go into hospital during the pandemic, but I can tell you that there’s a much more terrible disease around than Covid-19. And it’s enough to make you vow to stay out of hospital at all costs. I mean that audible filth called pop music
“A significant body of medical and scientific opinion has concluded that music aids recovery.” I’m sure it does. But these experts are not talking about music, but “hit songs and pop music in general.” The experts persist: “It’s just daft,” said Dr Julia Jones. “There is so much evidence to show the beneficial effects of music on the brain and we’re denying that to health professionals. It just doesn’t make sense.”
I do wish they wouldn’t use the word music when they mean “music.” They mean a loud, shapeless, cacophonous, empty-headed, repetitive assault on the senses and the soul. And the problem is that it’s almost ubiquitous. Almost, but not quite. The one place – apart from the funeral parlour – where you could avoid it was the hospital. Of course, you had to get ill first, but it was a price worth paying. Now even this last repository of peace and quiet is to be removed.
“Beneficial effects on the brain”? What, when I can’t hear myself think!
If I walk along the promenade in Eastbourne there are oiks innumerable with their noise machines. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the public lavatories, the din is there also. Every programme on television from the local news bulletins to Songs of Praise is infected by it. I turned on a documentary about a walk through the Yorkshire Dales. I couldn’t hear the waterfalls at Aysgarth or the bluebirds over Malham Cove for the amplified racket. The Antarctic or the Kalahari, it’s all the same brain-dead monotony
There was once a programme about the value of silence, with a Trappist monastery as the setting. No – this is not a joke: the programme played “music” continuously. It goes without saying that Uniworsity Challenge is full of it as Paxo announces, “Here’s your music question…” But it isn’t. It’s only the usual effluent. But the university ought to be the antidote to this rubbish.
It’s in the supermarkets, the shopping centres and, when we get back to what’s laughingly called “normality,” it will return to the pubs and restaurants. It has already got quite near the hospitals by invading the GPs’ surgeries. They explain that its purpose is to blank out doctor-patient consultations. But I would rather, any day, overhear the doctor tell someone, “I’m sorry but that toe will have to come off” than be made to listen to the usual poisonous racket
The experts claim that people love this “music.” But they are wrong. You can’t love it any more than you can love opium or tranquillisers. You can, of course, be addicted to these things, but that’s a different thing altogether. As claim to love this stuff, you might as well claim to love arsenic.
And the worst of the damned cheek is that the experts are asking – no, demanding, for nobody asks for anything these days – that the licenses required in order to have “music” played in the wards should be paid for out of general taxation
It imposes itself – almost – everywhere. Please Mr Oik, Ms Philistine, leave us in peace when we’re ill.