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August 7, 2002
Vol. II, No. 30

"MTV Invasion, Stage II: Misery Loves Company"
The following article showed up on my radar today (It's short so here's the whole thing):

Britney should replace Bach: German minister
GRONAU, Germany: Britney Spears should start taking the place of Beethoven and Bach in German schools, according to Culture Minister Julian Nida-Ruemelin.

"You cannot get most adolescents interested in the culture of music with classical music," Nida-Ruemelin said at a visit Tuesday to the future Rock and Pop Museum in this western town.

He said schools would be well-served to teach teenagers about music using songs they enjoy listening to -- including contemporary hits.

Nida-Ruemelin said he regretted the fact that rock and pop music were for decades dismissed by many as an unwanted import "such as comics and chewing gum," which was why the German government had offered its backing to the Rock and Pop Museum.

The museum will be the first of its kind outside the United States to document the history of international pop music in the 20th century, project director Andreas Bomheuer said.

It is to open in mid-2003.

From The Times of India Online
Bennett, Coleman and Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

My reaction:

First of all, I'm a big fan of rock n roll. Second of all, it's Germany's business how they want to raise their kids. That being said, "What is this guy, nuts?"

Culture Minister? It sounds to me like he's funding himself right out of a job. With him in charge, culture's on the way out!

It's ironic that the byline is Gronau, Germany. Grow now? I don't think so.

Now that rock/pop music is a "wanted" import I guess comics and chewing gum will be next. I can just see it: After Pop Music Appreciation Class, kids will move on to the lunchroom where Bubblicious is the main course. Then they can wile away the afternoon in the library, where the shelves are stocked with Spiderman, Superman, X-men, etc.

I shouldn't throw stones. America's been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. We were Stage I of the MTV Invasion. Stage II, the World!

Look, it'll be so much better this way. Following in our footsteps, just think how easy it will be for Germany to cancel its music programs. Hey, it's just pop music. It's not like it's Bach or something. Who? Oh, never mind, Britney!

What can be done to stop the march of "progress?" Not much, but I'll soon be sending out a workshop that suggests how we can each do our part.
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Have a great week and rock on!

Dan Long

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