A thought provoking event

“We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control”, this is how I belief the lyrics of the well-known Pink Floyd song go. This was a major source of marital argument in my family between me and my husband. My husband Robert, he loved the song, he hated school and so that is one of the main reason why we divorced some time later. The constant squabbling over that song caused huge grief for us.

The song is not just about some words but about lifestyle, attitude to life, fitting into society, and how we appreciate authority or not; whether we see teachers as helpers or unwanted influences. Another favourite of my husband’s was “You are just another brick in the wall” and “Teacher leave those kids alone” referring to those teachers who wanted to teach children how to think.

Having read that a son from a Pink Floyd band member was caught swinging from a Cenotaph flag pole, just reminds me of those important discussions my family had around that education song many years ago. Charlie Gilmor impersonates the whole attitude of that song I think, the one that caused me and my husband to argue for many hours.

I could never understand how anybody could like the song at all as I always loved school, loved my teachers and the only thing the brick in the wall reminded me of was an old film where a man could walk through a wall but the brick in the wall is a notion I could never understand, well perhaps in conjunction with the Berlin wall but that is probably not what Pink Floyd meant to express with their song.

Music’s gotten boring

I am so really pleased that the News of the World has given Paul Weller a chance to express what I felt all along that our music culture has lost its drive to produce inspired music.

There is a lack of culture to drive forward music development. For example when we look at the 60s and 70s, we saw a huge young culture that was pretty wild and that formed into a huge music industry, spurting out songs that came from the heart and reached millions. Today’s music is boring and comes from a safe environment.

Our lives today are fully regulated.  Child Benefit is paid till a child is 18 under the condition that they attend school seamlessly and young persons lives are therefore totally regulated. I therefore welcome the idea to stop child benefit at 13 because it gives young persons the freedom to do what they like, even take time out to travel or follow other inspirations.  Young persons today are constantly under supervision, have to explain what they do each and every day and their lives are totally regulated. That is not good for young persons, it makes live boring and doesn’t produce anything new.

With the X-factor we see singers who are good at copying other songs but their own ability to make new music is not developed. Though it is good that all get a go at making music, they had the same chance to participate in the 60s and form their own bands. We had many more bands in those days than we have today.

I think if child benefit stops at 13 young persons and their families have more space and freedom to make their own decisions. I am certain that for those who are needy, we can get other types of payments and the poor won’t miss out. What we do not want is though that young persons are forced into totally regulated lives at all times via benefits.

Added on 14.6.10

Because I think that the benefits culture is used solely to control freak people and especially the young. Parents get child benefit till the child is 18. The child will get an extra allowance if they attend college every day and otherwise they won’t. If they do not attend college every day the parents risk losing benefits. So children are brought up like robots, go to school 8 hours per day from the age of 5, and never have any break from school, then go to college, then university and never get a break to do anything inspiring. That is why we have a loss of culture today because young people cannot do anything that is not under the control from the state.

When I was young, we could do what we wanted. We obviously had to go to school till we were 14 but we went only from 8am till 1pm and the rest of the day we had time off and could play. We were not forced to go school after the age of 14 and when we wanted to go we could but were not forced to do so. Then, at working life, we could leave any job without fear of losing unemployment benefit and could work or not work as we pleased, move were we wanted as long as we registered with a town hall and also our health insurance were paid from our benefits. And best of all, the post man actually came to our door and delivered benefits in cash into our hand each week.

So we had actual freedom to do what we wanted, whilst today we have practically Zwangsarbeit, when people are told, if you leave your job, you lose your benefits. I strongly connect that to the ability to be creative, and being forced to do things all the time, stops people from being creative, its as simple as that.

PS: I do not mean to imply that Paul Weller agrees to my views, which are purely personal ones.

I miss Terry Wogan

A picture of Terry, former Eurovision song contest host

A picture of Terry, former Eurovision song contest host

I am the most ardent supporter of the Euro-vision Song contest, I watch it each year, if I have access to a TV and this year again proved me right by showing that a brilliant song always wins.

Britain came in 5th place by putting up the most established composer Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber up front but it would have been better to show an open approach and allow someone fresh to compose and perform as they feel, instead of thinking about established.

Not even Andrew Lloyd-Webber can beat a fresh 22 year old who sings his heart out and wrote a song that was liked by all because it was nice. The UK entry was a ballad, technically good and well performed. I didnt’ even like the selection process that Andrew Lloyd-Webber was chosen to write the song and then part of the panel that chose the singer to perform it.

Why not have open selection processes whereby just the best song is selected regardless of other contractual obligations. I think at least that this is the reason why Britain has got such a problem to find an excellent entry. The Norwegian guy was simply honest and sang from the heart.

My biggest disappointment was that British voters gave the biggest vote of the evening to the German entry that again miserably flopped. Well it was just intolerable, the old style cabaret performance that was put under the table immediately by the brilliant commentator Graham Norton who also could not hide his surprise about the British vote. The German entry was so typical with authoritarian flavour.  I missed Terry Wogan who constantly makes me laugh and it is not easy to make me laugh.

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