This showdown is intergalactic
The Whole Thing’s Going to Blow
I don’t mean to upset you, but you are aware that our sun will blow up one day! All life on this planet will be toast. Our houses, cell phones, and the whole solar system; gone, gone, gone. Only a heap of space dust will survive. Will any record of our existence remain?
The Golden Record
Don’t worry; some human relics will go on. Forty-four years ago, NASA launched the Voyager spacecraft, and on it, they placed an earthling time capsule. That capsule included some choice snippets of how earthlings busied themselves while here. One of these icons was a recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. His music goes on into other galaxies recorded on the Golden Record aboard the 1977 spacecraft.
Mr. Van B. will represent the human race’s highest cultural achievement (on the off chance that if Extra Terrestrials come upon this “Voyager message in a bottle,” and if they have ears.) Who knows, the 5th Symphony could live on in galactic perpetuity. Beethoven embodies some of the highest cultural achievements of our species.
Big in Space, Small on Spotify
Though he might reach top the charts in interstellar space, Mr. Van B.’s doing poorly on earth’s charts. I read in today’s news:
“For instance, if you search for Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on Spotify, the most popular recording of the most popular piece in the classical repertoire is the one made in 1984 by Herbert von Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic. The first movement has been streamed (on Spotify) about 1.5 million times… By contrast, the hit song “Driver’s License,” by the teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo, was released in January 2021 and by the end of May it had been streamed 800 million times. . .”
” How many Americans pay attention to serious contemporary literature, art, or music? An estimate of one-half of one percent of the population..”
New York Times 9/4/21
So What’s the Big Deal?
What does that say about our planet’s intelligent life forms?
Does it say:
* NASA need more Rodrigo fans?
* The elite half of one percent of the population will be represented in perpetuity without Driver’s License?
*Get over it. Nobody cares—philistine extra-terrestrials with neither pop charts nor ears will meltdown that Golden Record.
* There’s nothing to say because an E.T. listening to our earthling vinyl music in the year 72,887,022 is equivalent to us hearing troglodytes banging drums in a cave
Is the Human Race Evolving?
Contrasting pop music with snooty “high culture” might sound funny, but deep down, I’m not laughing. People like me take our “serious music” seriously. I dedicate hundreds of hours practicing classical music on my oboe. So when I read reports of Beethoven’s comparatively trivial standing on the charts, I feel like we earthlings just made a U-turn in Darwinian evolution.
Call me a snob but is Rodrigo that good? Is she attractive? For an 18-year-old multi-millionaire; pretty good! She knows her audience for sure and has out-of-this-world videos. But is she ready to represent our life form for millions of years in space?
Hell No! Her following will be gone in a generation not, millennia.
If Ludwig is a musical icon for all 8 billion of us earthlings, why can’t he get more Spotify action?
Quick. Download Mr. Van B.’s 5th. If you don’t, the next spaceship might have Britney Spears representing you in the galaxy.