The career of 90’s industrial band Throbbing Gristle is shrouded in urban myth. Their on-stage antics polarised, with a show that sorted out the wheat from the chaff via milk, urine and menstrual blood enemas and masturbating with chicken heads. They secured themselves on the very fringes of entertainment, pre-dating even the weird off-cuts of Britain’s Got Talent. As avant-gardists, they pushed back the flaps of acceptability and explored them with Asperger-like abandon.
But it wasn’t until an infamous 1980 concert that the band solidified their legacy. During a improvised section of random noises and discordant melodies, they inadvertently struck the precise musical frequency to cause spontaneous and involuntary orgasms throughout the crowd. The spectacle was a sonic yardstick and captured the attention of the science community, particularly neuroscientists.
Since that gig, the world of neuroscience has regarded Throbbing Gristle as innovators; neurological pin ups and gatekeepers of the no-go areas of experimentation and acoustic alchemy. Scientists fascinated by the event have since tried to unravel that very noise, decode and replicate it. Its sonic frequency represents the zenith of human manipulation: to artificially stimulate the most primal of human reactions was a potential goldmine.
And now that frequency has been discovered, bottled and reconfigured, and quite obscurely, deployed as a method to diffuse hooliganism.
The Hooligan Diffusor (HD) is a police instrument that will soon sit next to the pistol on an officer’s weapon belt. But far from inflicting harm, the HD delivers a heavy orgasm, via a sonic canon.
The rationale: For a hooligan following a herd of violent thugs, what could be more disarming than being stung by an involuntary orgasm. How unexplainably confusing, disorientating and oddly emasculating. Trying to process the sexual lightning bolt, the inexplicable hot flush and damp nether regions are ironically the most powerful diffusers.
Scientists have learned that by suddenly flipping the testosterone response from aggression to post-coital levels a whole stadium of screaming warmongers can be instantaneously silenced. An awkward silence. Like the stilted pillow-talk in the aftermath of a premature ejaculation, the hooligans come, then go, very quickly, shuffling off, red-faced and pigeon-toed.