Carolling. Photo © Dwight Sipler, via flickr and creative commons

“This qualifies as a barbaric cultural practice,” Nature Boy said the other day when we were grocery shopping. “I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels deep and lasting psychological distress at being subjected to holiday carols non-stop from November 1 through December.”

He paused to survey the candy-cane display. “Wasn’t there supposed to be a hotline I could report this to?”

Neurologists have already determined that music primes our reactions. That the Academy of Motion Pictures of America awards Oscars to best original scores and sound editing underscores the role music plays in playing on our emotions. More »