Barry Manilow music to be used to subdue or drive away mall rats.
Apparently a city in New Zealand has announced in March 2009 that the growing problem of mall rats hanging around a popular outdoor mall will be tackled with the soothing sounds of Mr. Barry Manilow.
The city in question, Christchurch, has been having a problem at one outdoor mall that is a popular spot for both shoppers and the teen population. Mall rats hang out there and are said to intimidate shoppers with their drinking, smoking, fighting, loud music, and disruptive behavior.
Most malls in the United States respond to the mall rat situation by kicking mall rats out, arresting them, or banning teenagers from the mall altogether. So you have to hand it to New Zealand, where the well know show Flight of the Conchords gets it’s stars from.
The logic behind the move is that blasting the swooning sounds of Manilow throughout the outdoor speaker system will create a better environment and encourage more docile activity. Or encourage mall rats to just move along as mall security guards here in the U.S. tell them to do.
But will the voice of Manilow, who I’m sure has seduced and captured the hearts of women worldwide, soothe naturally rebellious and social teens and young mall rats?
Mall rats in New Zealand have allegedly responded to the new step by saying they’ll simply bring stereos and play their own music at a louder level. Ah the simple response of rebellion. The government has countered that they can just slap on a fine for noise violations to anyone playing loud music in the public outdoor mall.
This writer doesn’t think that the sounds of Mr. Manilow will do much to soothe rebellious mall rats and will likely lead to the initial response of bringing stereos to blast their own brand of sounds for all to hear.
Of course I also picture mall rats with a sense of humor walking around the mall going up to unsuspecting shoppers and begin lip syncing to the music of Manilow.
I have to commend the government officials for not outright banning teens and mall rats from the mall, a mistake made by a few U.S. malls that makes little financial sense. But I still don’t see how Barry Manilow can save this outdoor mall from, gasp, the threat of teenagers hanging around.
And what if Barry Manilow becomes a hit among the New Zealand teen population? Then teens will flock to the mall to get their soothing Manilow fix. More likely, however, is that the new music will just incite mall rats to stand their ground and keep on being rebellious just to show that not even the mightly Manilow can stop them.