In my novel Hugh Haig, son of Senator Linda Haig, watches an episode of PBS web-casting and is calmed and reassured by the same old theme music:
The episode of DC Minute on the screen finished and a new one started. The stick figures did their usual intro dance as the theme played. Hugh was feeling restless and angry locked in this dungeon, but the familiar music calmed him. The interplay of the Andean kena flutes and the plaintive sounds of the Javanese rebab playing over them was always soothing. Even the three explosive impacts of the Taicho drum reminded him of slow sleepy mornings with a mug of good quality coffee.
…but it wasn’t just memories of early morning in his mom’s house in Lexington, and then later at Dunster House. It was the choice of instruments, the sophistication of the music that made him feel like he was among reasonable people – for at least a short period every day – where there was a polite, reasonable, SANE consensus on the important issues –
Something on the screen caught he’s attention and brought him out of his reverie.
I wrote that scene a year ago.
Eartlier this week PBS host Ira Glass (a government employee with a
salary of almost a quarter of a million dollars per year) did an “ask me anything” on Reddit and answered questions about the theme music of his show:
sometimes I like the recurring music, it’s comforting in a way. Makes it feel like all the stories are connected somehow…like we’re all working together here, on this planet, just living our lives day to day.
This is my new official response to the question “why do you reuse the same music on every show?”
In short: I think I really nailed the ideological turing test