Back in 1989, the U.S. military forced deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to abandon his refuge in the Vatican’s Panama City embassy by blasting hard rock music non-stop through giant speakers. After three days, the opera-loving strongman’s will was broken and he surrendered.
Christmas music might have worked even better, according to some psychologists.
Too much holiday music can be detrimental to one’s mental health, especially for store employees who are forced to listen to those cheery tunes for hours on end, say the experts.
Psychologist Linda Blair told Britain’s Sky News that shop workers must learn to subconsciously tune-out the endless loop of Yuletide ditties. If they don’t master that mental skill, they often have trouble focusing on other tasks as their brain is using its energy “trying not to hear what [they] are hearing.”
Store owners, who often start slipping Christmas music into the mix by mid-October, believe the holly-jolly soundtrack boosts sales by putting customers in the holiday mood.
Some of us may roll our eyes when we hear “Jingle Bells” wafting through the mall corridors on November 3rd, or see that Walmart has filled the aisles with Christmas decorations before Halloween. But those reactions aren’t always in line with our behavior as consumers. We might grouse about excessive/early commercialization of Christmas, but we do that as we carry an artificial Christmas tree or hard-to-find toy out of the store eight weeks before the Big Day.
As for those poor store clerks, may I suggest earplugs?