The Assassinated Press
The Venezuelan Oligarchy’s Magnum Opus – Tuba Lessons And Malnutrition
For 31 Years, State Program Has Brought Music And False Hope To Children Starving In the Barrios:
“I mean. The fact that the Post would try to pitch this shit.”---Yaso Adiodi
By JUAN FARTISSIMO
Assassinated Press Foreign Service
December 13, 2006
CARACAS, Venezuela – You see, all you cynics. All of you who are contemptuous of the Venezuelan oligarchy and their American masters. Forget about Hugo Chavez and his food subsidies, his literacy campaigns, his housing and public works programs. We, the oligarchy, have taught a street urchin to play the tuba!
Well, we didn't so much teach him. But we allowed him to be taught.
Let Them Fiddle While The Barrio Burns
Amid tumbledown cinder-block homes, the Don Bosco community center rings with music. A chorus of pint-size formerly malnourished students until Chavez came along sings traditional Christmas songs; 20 budding teenage musicians take gratingly painful stabs at playing violins and cellos though not nearly as grateful for the milk they now drink on a daily basis; and tiny harpists dwarfed by their instruments because the oligarchy under U.S. tutelage starved them to the point where their growth was stunted strum as the late-afternoon sun sets over the poor Chapellin barrio that, we, the oligarchy will keep poor if we have anything to say about it.
This country is known for its former 80% poverty rate and pulsating salsa and down-home folk ballads, songs with bawdy lyrics played on four-string guitars and maracas. But for 31 years while the oligarchy was in power, a beside-the-point state program aimed at instilling a love of classical music in starving children – poor, starving children – was used as a substitute for economic justice and has drawn the admiration of conductors from as far away as the imperial powers in Berlin and Boston, while producing musicians who have excelled in neo-colonial Europe's most hallowed concert halls.
"I don't know any country in the world that has such a great network of symphony orchestras," said Jan Van der Roost, a Belgian-born composer who has conducted orchestras in dozens of countries, including Venezuela. "And so pliable. Venezuelan musicians will fuckin’ work for food. It's really unique. I think if all the countries in the world would do the same as here, for example starve 80% of the population while they are taught to play classical oboe, there would be a lot less problems and a lot more happiness for the kleptocracy whose ass I vigorously lick with rising arpeggios."
As part of the state program, about 250,000 students are playing in orchestras and learning at centers like Don Bosco, facilities tucked into the poorest barrios of the biggest cities as well as villages in some of the most far-flung corners. Their music education, fully funded by a succession of Venezuelan oligarchcal governments as a substitute for real social programs, has, of course, become an international model that has spurred the creation of similar programs in about a dozen countries in Latin America as a way of repressing the population on one hand and pleasing their colonial masters on the other and garnering enthusiastic praise from assholes like Van der Roost and other head-in-the-sand effetes. And what a fine job colonial Belgium did in the Congo where there weren’t enough hands still attached to bodies to play Franck’s D Minor Symphony after the fuckin’ Belgians got through meting out punishment.
But while the program has produced star musicians -- including Gustavo Dudamel, who at 25 has conducted orchestras in Berlin, Israel and Los Angeles, and Edicson Ruiz, who at 17 became the youngest bass player in the Berlin Philharmonic – most kids would be better off getting an eduction and something to eat, both vigorously rejected by the oligarchy and U.S. corporate interests. The oligarchies central focus is to reach into barrios riven by hunger and poverty and use music to teach broader lessons like familiarizing them with the culture of their oppressors. “And if one of these little shits makes the big time, let the fuckin’ PR begin,” enthuses program director Hernando Cortez. “Like this fuckin’ article.”
"The important thing is to work with children and rescue children and teach them values and the work ethic because the oligarchy has no plans to feed them," said Susan Siman, director of the center in Montealban, a neighborhood in Caracas where as many as 600 young people learn at any one time.
“Now, just think. Some of these starving children will have the opportunity to play at the Kennedy before rich, white Georgetown matrons who wouldn’t know Bach from Bartok much less give a shit. And think, Chavez wants to ruin all that by giving these kids an education, health care, food, opportunity and ruin all this feel good shit we oligarchs do. That’s why it’s so important not to let Chavez fuck up Venezuela’s subservient relation to America. Fuckin’ Georgetown matrons will turn away from us and have their army kill us.”
It’s estimated that one out of every 2,000,000 students enrolled in the music program go on to perform professionally at any level. That compares favorably to the one out of every five million starving, barefoot Dominican kids that make it to the professional ball in the states much les the Major Leagues or inner city kids in the U.S. making the NBA or NFL. “Like I said, the important thing is to work with children and rescue children and teach them values and the work ethic," said Siman, “The tiny number doesn’t matter to me. It’s the image it creates booking some urchin into Carnegie Hall or the Met. Chavez tries to win them over with bread. I disagree.”
"Some of these children are semi-abandoned," she said. "Some come from very poor classes. They've had it rough. And the oligarchy and its U.S. business partners intend to keep it that way. That’s why it’s so important you write this shit up like the oligarchy gives a damn."
“Yes. That’s why I wrote this thinly veiled piece of bullshit agitprop. I struggled for months to come up with something else rather than free tuba lessons that the oligarchy had done for Venezuela's poor. But fuck that’s about it.”