Now that somebody has taken Halloween away and sent it to live on a farm, the full attentions of consumer capitalism can turn to focus on the approach of Christmas.
In the Abu Ghraib and Guanatamo Bay detention centres, run by the United States, a well known act of torture is to trap a detainee in a room for several hours and blast loud, repetitive music at them. The United Nations Court of Human Rights describes this as 'torture'; however, in Western cultures between November and January, it is known as 'playing Christmas music in shops'. Interestingly, the United Nations Court of Human Rights has banned the United States government from torturing detainees using this method; yet it is allowed continue in every high-street shop as soon as Halloween, packs away its things.
In an interview with Sky News, psychologist Linda Blair described how repetitively playing Christmas songs on a loop can be incredibly damaging both to productivity and to worker well-being overall.
"People working in the shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out, because if they don't it really does make you unable to focus on anything else. You simply are spending all your energy trying not to hear what you're hearing."
So now when a friend working in retail complains about the Christmas music they're forced to listen to at work, you can simply reply, "Yes, that is a recognised method of torture, and while I'm happy to lend you an ear - assuming you aren't going to sing any of those Christmas songs into it - you should really be taking this up with Amnesty International".
Amnesty International : (01) 863 8300