What frazzled parents, older siblings, and babysitters have had to endure for years was reportedly used as a torture device to break detainees at Guantanamo Bay. But it wasn’t repeated viewings of Dora the Explorer or unrelenting requests to go to the toy store (though it would certainly do the trick.)
According to Al Jazeera, music from the classic, beloved educational series Sesame Street was used to at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Mahna manna. Prisoners were reportedly attached to chairs with headphones on — with music from Sesame Street, among others — repeatedly at full volume, sometimes for days on end. Mahna mahna. A former detainee relayed to Al Jazeera, “it was probably some of the worst torture that they faced.” Mahna mahna.
Perhaps just as shocking as the idea of using something typically so positive and turning it into “a potent weapon” is the use of Sesame Street. On the spectrum of kiddie entertainment, the PBS staple probably one of the least torturous. Still, being asked “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?” or told to “Put Down the Duckie” at an ear-shattering volume for days on end would be hell. Music from Barney or The Wiggles or The Teletubbies or Yo Gabba Gabba (“Cool! Cool! Cool Tricks!”), however, could crack just about anyone. Just ask those aforementioned frazzled parents, older siblings, and babysitters.
What do you think the ultimate torture song would be? “The Macarena”? The Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” The entire Nickleback collection? Sound off in the comments section below.