I just got sourced something (merci Kirsi!) which puts a fun spin on one of my old grievances: our educational system.
Indeed, thanks to the BBC’s Look Around You, my anger with the industrial-age assumptions that drive much of the world’s formal educational systems is ripe and fresh anew. That’s because Look Around You offers a satirical view of educational films and TV programs, and satire as a comedic technique bringsÂ assumed ideology to awareness, by matching ridiculous content to theÂ style of communication being lampooned.
In this case, the didactic presentation of a traditional “school subject” is being run over roughshod, for gratuitous fun’s sake.
This Week’s Subject: of Music and Men
Satire? Smell a (musical) rat coming? Well, you’re wrong. Episode 6 of Look Around You, is about: a mouse.
After Watching the Video, Write It Down
Ok, you’ve watched the clip. Here’s my Look Around You Episode 6 Talking Points, in Q & A format:
Q – What is Music?
A- Any combination of tones designed to effect mood change (see element Mu on the periodic table of the elements – note that Mu‘s atomic number is a standard time signature, lol). Conclusion: music is a technique of applied behaviorism.
Q – Do animals have music?
A – No, and their music-like noises are vain, useless and irritating.
Q – Can you imagine a world without music?
A – Nope. Not worth trying. Not even a little. We’re too lazy for that.
Q – How is a modern song composed?
A – Feed instructions in Input/Output sound computation device. Conclusion: the device programmer holds the key to all your musical ideas. Note: device itself may run on British tin-pan-alley composer DNA.
Q – Where can I get the lyrics to Little Mouse?
A – Here.
Q – Where can I purchase a boÃ®te diabolique?
A – I don’t know. As a committed masochist, I’d certainly like to find one for my boudoir. For the moment, I recommend peppering your compositions with The Devil’s Interval.
By Their Spoofs Ye Shall Know Them
So… aside from the laffs, did you learn anything by watching the program? Anything beyond a few fun facts? Did any of your questions about music get answered?
Well, that was the whole point of course. If you’d like to further deepen your confusion, might I recommend the Look Around You music quiz:
In the end, if Look Around You proves anything, it’s that genuine insight is – as a rule – systematically excluded from subject-based educational programming. Effective satire makes the farce of traditional “subjects” and “topics” more obvious, by highlighting the fact that any method which reduces human knowledge to factual data tends also to exclude human (and animal!) purpose from its object.