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i might be wrong

radiohead.jpgThis is a piece of art from a fifth grader who was forced to listen to Radiohead as part of a class experiment. My interpretation of this artwork is that the poor child wanted to kill himself after being made to listen to Hail to the Thief and Kid A. Fifth graders, to the best of my knowledge (and I own such a child so I should know) are more likely to be impressed by punk rock and rap.

Ok, so the object of this lesson was not to impress the kiddies, but to get their impression. That said, I think listening to OK Computer in its entirety would have been a better idea. Kid A and Thief are above the levels of what a fifth grade brain can handle. The subtleties and undertones of both albums are barely palatable for adults; a cursory listen by a ten year old would result in just what the above picture demonstrates: a please kill me now before I go insane line of thinking.

To be fair, my own ten year old does like the latest Radiohead; to be also honest about it, it's because he likes the videos. However, given OK Computer and The Bends to listen to, he takes to them like a bee to honey; devours them, in fact and wonders how it is possible that this is the same band who came up with packt like sardines in a crushd tin box, a song which made my sensitive son cover his ears in pretend agony.

I wonder how the classroom experiment would have turned out had they listened to only The Bends or only OK Computer. Perhaps the poor children would not have been made to suffer, like poor Stephanya, who obviously had her little brain muddled and was left feeling despondent and confused. Or Adam, who was left feeling as if he had been haunted by ghosts and a cactus.

The complexities of OK Computer are rich and magnificent, yet they are understandable and reachable to a ten year old, while Hail to the Thief would make any student feel like little Hannah, who was obviously trying to sell her soul to Satan in exchange for his making the music stop.

Which leads me to believe that this was not really a class expirement in thought and art at all, but a punishment for some transgression the entire class had participated in, namely having the unfortunate experience of ending up with a teacher who has found new and improved ways to torture her young charges.

Clearly, this is a sadistic form of abuse and this teacher should be fired immediately, or at least made to write a thesis on how Radiohead has gone from a powerful, thought-provoking band to a parody of a parody of Thom Yorke.

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» Genius or Child Abuse? from Now That Everyone Else Has One
They made 5th-graders listen to Radiohead and draw pictures about it. From A Small Victory, the blog the leads the... [Read More]

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Michele reports on a experiment involving the music of Radiohead and a bunch of 5th graders. The results, depicted by a child's drawing, are not pretty. Then again what do expect the effect would be from listening to the navel-gazing... [Read More]

Comments

This may amuse you. From Jim Kerr's (lead singer of Simple Minds) online diary-journal thingie:

"For this was the moment I had decided to listen for the first time to Radioheads's new cd "Hail To The Thief" and well within seconds I knew that the next hour or so would tear me inside out emotionally, hurtling me forward instead into what I can only describe as a truly gothic journey. Honestly, I swear from the moment I heard Thom Yorke’s first wails I noticed an unusual amount of circling hawks right above me. Determinedly looking to kill. Everything had suddenly gone medieval in my head. The sun less a golden orb became a fireball dripping, and instead of feeling the presence of the beautiful wild flowers, my eyes instead were drawn to the amazing spiked cactus type plants that pepper Sicily and the Aeolian islands. Ugly, ugly plants. Nature most brutal, twisted and deformed yet also giving the sweetest blood red fruit, impossible to touch but delicious to taste. So Radiohead in fact!"

Apparently older persons are not immune to this effect. Later Kerr encounters Yorke in an elevator and notes that the other singer "looked like he was about to vomit."

hehe, you own a kid.

W.T.F. is "radiohead?"

Teacher should have the kiddos listen to some swingin' Sinatra, if ya a k me...

Well, now, this is an interesting spin on "music is corrupting young people's minds," now isn't it? :-)

Radiohead is some of the deepest darkest music of our generation. Personally i think Yorke is brilliant. But kids could never comprehend what any of the songs mean. Yorke himself probably isn't even sure. The guy who wrote that is full of shit, no kid really drew that picture!

your a foking stupid shut up your baby mouth and stop telling this lies about radiohead. i am 15 years old and i have been that happened to me. so stop talking shit about radiohead! you dont know how to apreciate the good music...

radiohead is the best

Of course kids cannot understand. Most adults don't understand it either! But that doesn't mean that Radiohead's music is a "sadistic form of abuse". Were you in that child's mind to interpret that the drawing is a direct result of being "forced to listen to Radiohead"?! Kids have dark thoughts too. You are underestimating them......