David Calling

To Soothe the Savage Breast



Someone I know breeds turkeys on a large scale. The birds have to be fenced behind wire. At any unexpected noise, especially at night, they panic quickly and huddle together in a corner where many of the birds suffocate to death. Music soothes them: A system has been installed and Mozart concertos have been found to be literally life-savers.


It’s much the same story in Birmingham, a pretty rough place. Assorted yobs have been in the habit of congregating in a particular mall there. All sorts of crimes, including murder, then occur. The police decided that broadcasting Mozart would give this crowd something to distract and pacify them. In fact, Mozart has dispersed them, the mall has become safe, the crime rate has dropped.


Christmas cheer, is it not?

David Pryce-Jones — David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

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