Manilow Torture Treatment Kicks Kids Out

New Zealand authorities try to get rid of teens with Barry Manilow tunes

By Caitlin Millat
|  Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009  |  Updated 10:45 AM PDT
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Manilow Torture Treatment Kicks Kids Out

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Run! Barry Manilow's music is coming!

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Forget chores - the nastiest punishment for unruly teens is a good dose of "Mandy."

A New Zealand city will try to rid its mall of loud, loitering teenagers by pumping Barry Manilow hits like "Can't Smile Without You" and "Copacabana" non-stop through its speakers, the AP reported.

A group of young New Zealanders in Christchurch have reportedly covered the local outdoor mall with graffiti and regularly use the shopping plaza as a place to drink, do drugs and shout obscenities, New Zealand authorities said.

Officials said that the Manilow torture treatment is intended to help change the kids' negative behavior through "nice, easy listening."

"The intention is to change the environment in a positive way...so nobody feels threatened or intimidated," Central City Business Association Manager Paul Lonsdale told the AP.

"I did not say Barry Manilow was a weapon of mass destruction," he said.

One teen said she wasn't going to let the Man-ilow get her down.

"We would just bring a stereo and play [our music] louder," 16-year-old Emma Belcher told The Press newspaper.

Cheesy crooner Barry Manilow shot to fame in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to a series of so-bad-they're-good ballads like "Mandy" that have since become karaoke mainstays.

Manilow last year released his latest album, "The Greatest Hits of the Eighties."

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