Britney Spears' Music Used To Repel Somali Pirates

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Do NOT play Britney Spears… (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The inimitably talented Marco Werman, host of PRI’s syndicated show The World, introduced a recent feature by saying “Okay, we know this story looks like a headline from the Onion, right? Wrong”. Click to read.

Turns out that Britain’s Merchant Navy, which has been attacked by Somali pirates, is using the Britney’s music to repel the nimble invaders. They blast Spears’ hits like “Oops! I Did it Again” and “Baby One More Time”, in hopes of getting a Clockwork Orange kind of response. Everyone jokes that her other song “Toxic” would make a solid choice too.

It reminds me of another incident 20 years ago, when FBI agents used Christmas songs by Mitch Miller, Tibetan monk’s chants, Billy Ray Cyrus, Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin” to drive the Branch Davidians and leader David Koresh out of the Waco compound. I remember hearing that Barry Manilow’s music was used too. Aside from the FBI playlist, the U.S. Army chose various rap and rock classics to annoy and irritate the members inside.

I would perhaps choose other music to repulse the Somali pirates, but I’d rather not divulge my own musical choices unless the British Merchant Navy contacts me for suggestions.