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Lake Worth, Florida Blasts Classical Music Downtown 24/7 as Crime Deterrent

By Philip Trapp on May 10, 2016 10:52 AM EDT
Lake Worth A statue stands outside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church October 18, 2006 in Lake Worth, Florida. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Lake Worth, Florida has taken on a form of musical terrorism in an effort to enrich their downtown area. On Friday, loud classical music began playing, day and night, from two overhead speakers newly installed in the city's Cultural Plaza region.

Claimed by city government as an artistic fortification and crime deterrent, annoyed residents consider the tactic a subversive attempt to rid the district of overnight homeless loiterers who frequent the Palm Beach County neighborhood.

In a quote from the Palm Beach Post, one Lake Worth official offered an indifferent justification that could be dubiously interpreted as comedy:

"Somebody went out and bought a pack of classical CDs from Barnes & Noble for $16," explained acting City Manager John Borsch on Monday. "Mozart's playing now."

Exasperated neighbors in the vicinity are vexed with the situation. While in agreement with discouraging crime in the area, many are unable to sleep due to the constantly blaring music. Some view the city's noisy stunt as a pointed attack on the already-marginalized homeless community.

One restless citizen satirically denounced the city's constant classical cacophony:

"If there intention was to make sure nobody was able to sleep in their homes and condos by the Cultural Center, they were successful," said one resident. "We have hurricane-proof windows and doors and the music was blasting through there."

Those familiar with the technique of psychological music torture can easily see the correlation between Lake Worth's 24/7 opera jam and, say, American soldiers blasting nonstop death metal as an interrogation tool on captured Taliban soldiers.

Not that Cagnoni or Cavalli are quite as grating as Cannibal Corpse, but the method and aim of a round-the-clock audio barrage remain ominously the same.

Many will also draw the parallel to that of 1993's infamous Waco siege, when American federal forces surrounded cult leader David Koresh's Texas compound. During the blockade, law enforcement played "all-night broadcasts of recordings of jet planes, pop music, chanting and the screams of rabbits being slaughtered" from loudspeakers as a means of sleep deprivation upon the occupying Branch Davidians.

Let us know what you think of Lake Worth's deafening display in the comments.

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TagsLake Worth Florida, Mozart