Using music to torture people has been common practice for the CIA and government for decades. Van Halen’s “Panama” helped the U.S. capture Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and it has been part of the military’s “enhanced interrogation program” since the early 2000s. Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” and the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack were both reportedly used to torment possible terrorists, and David Koresh was hit with a “Mitch Miller chorus singing Christmas carols” as the FBI tried to oust him from his compound in Waco, Texas. Blasting obnoxious music is designed to create fear and disorient prisoners or dictators holed up in embassies or, in the case of a Florida city, the homeless.
Officials in West Palm Beach, Florida, have put songs including “Baby Shark” and “Raining Tacos” on a continuous loop overnight in the hopes of keeping homeless people from camping out at on the patio of the waterfront Lake Pavilion, a popular—and profitable—banquet facility owned by the city, according to the Palm Beach Post.
While the city is aware that this looks bad (because it is bad), officials claim it’s a temporary fix to avoid having brides or caterers “trip over bodies” when they use the banquet facilities, while it works on more long-term solutions. That includes job training, mental health services, buying them one-way tickets back home, and, you know, finding them actual homes.
Try listening to this for eight hours in a row: