When people break the law, there are set punishments for every crime. Some of those options might be cruel and unusual punishment, while others are just what the perps deserve. But there have been few more creative — or perhaps horrifying — punishments than the one a Colorado judge came up with for repeat noise offenders. The judge has sentenced these noisy people to noise that they themselves might find offensive- Barry Manilow music.
Barry Manilow, Barney the dinosaur, and the music of other notorious icons are punishment for these repeat lawbreakers, according to Colorado judge Paul Sacco. After seeing so many people return for repeat noise offending, Sacco, a judge at Fort Lipton Municipal Court, will punish them by playing music they can’t stand for a full hour.
Linking Barry Manilow and Barney seems odd, but both icons have a love/hate relationship with the public. Manilow and Barney fans are insane with their love for the entertainers, while those who hate them really, really can’t stand them. Judge Sacco is counting on the offenders being in the latter category.
Hating on Manilow for his romantic crooning isn’t a new thing. Stephen Colbert made a running gag out of it when Manilow stole his Best Variety Performance Emmy in 2006. But that slightly cooled when Manilow and Colbert sang together and signed a peace treaty, then when Tony Bennett and Don Rickles stole two more Colbert Emmys.
Linking the supposed annoyance of a Manilow song to Barney’s “I Love You, You Love Me” theme song might be pushing it, however. In the 90’s, few songs were more beloved by young children, or more despised by adults who had to listen to it 20 times a day.
The backlash for Manilow and Barney is so strong in some circles, that it would more easily occur to Judge Sacco that they would be more of a punishment to noise offenders than prison.
However, on the off chance that a law breaker actually likes the songs they are listening to, Sacco will turn them off and find another song that they will hate. Surveys are taken after each hour long session, to find out which songs the offenders like or hate the most.
Sacco claims that listening to music they hate is a proper punishment for the noise offenders, since they themselves make noise that people don’t want to hear.
According to him, the tactic is working, as fewer repeating offenders are coming to his court for noise reasons. Barry Manilow may be proud and a bit annoyed all at the same time.
Ottawa Citizen- “Judge sentences noisy offenders to Barry Manilow” www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/arts/story.html