My favorite classes when I was in school were "Art" and "Music appreciation." My math and Algebra teachers would engage us in Jedi mindtrick games in which we had fun but learned how to apply the rather boring applications of things like the Pythagorean Theorem.
I noted while I was still in school that our art teacher was "demoted" from having her own classroom to having "an art cart" which she pushed around from class to class ... this, in itself was pretty darn creative, I thought. They took the woman's room and storage away from her and she adapted, improvised and overcame!
I actually had classes in high school where we learned the difference between Linda Ronstadt's version of "Desperado" and Glenn Frey's ... and how amazing was Ronstadt's full octave jump in the middle of the ballad.
And these weren't "special" classes, they were a standard part of the curriculum. Imagine that. Teaching kids about music and art as a part of their daily school.
Recently I asked a kid (ummm ... in their 20's) the other day "Do you know what the Pythagorean Theorem" is?
"Is that on 'Netflix?" was the answer.
They could have answered by asking which game software company made it but, regardless, this illustrates my point as best as I can at the moment -- no, I lied, here's another:
I had an argument not long ago about there being no "good new music" as of late. My partner in the "argument" politely and with non abrasive terms basically called me a moron as they recited a list of artists who've "hit the charts" in recent years from Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj to Justins Bieber and Timberlake.
Now I don't have anything personal against any of the singers they listed (I don't know anything about Justin Timberlake's music except that he survived life in a 'boy band.' I have seen a few interviews with him conducted by (talented) people like Jimmy Fallon or Ellen Degeneres and I think he seems to be a pretty cool dude.)
So we agreed to disagree and that our tastes were just different (and that I was old and that's how old people are). So I showed them a graphic on my cellphone to illustrate my point (and that I wasn't *that* old because I had a smartphone and a Facebook page and knew how to use both:
I will not begin to attempt to relate the discussion we had on books from which movies are made (and which is better and why) or how completely flabbergasted I was that the name "Sophia Loren" meant nothing to my chatty friend ... let us just say that, once again, we agreed to disagree and, once again, I'm pretty sure I was politely referred to as a stodgy ol' fart who just didn't like change.
And then I decided that's what it is. That's what I don't like.
I don't like change. But it's not *all* change that bugs me.
So I guess it's *how* things sometimes change about which I am not particularly appreciative. For example, when some American Presidents "change," I kinda like that. While I was in the military and now that I work for the military as a civilian, I can honestly say that I'm almost ecstatic when some leaders rotate the hell out of their jobs and are replaced by "people who get it."
But there seems to be a lack of those "people who get it." And I can't, for the life of me, figure out why that is.
Where have all the cool people gone?
I decided that it's because we don't teach our kids about music anymore. We have let them find out about it to be sold to them.
Which would get your attention: a well-arranged piece by Mark Knopfler with poetic lyrics like "Romeo & Juliet" as he performs surrounded by musicians (sitting on stools) or Beyonce and her butt-shakin' extras swingin' as she sings "Put A Ring On It?"
We all figured this out not long after MTV came around (are they still even around?) but the new formula is: "a catchy phrase + a beat that makes you shake your butt + a physically attractive person to present both."
(If you know not of what I rant, GOOGLE "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles as well as "Milli Vanilli" to get a good idea.