Fifth Estate # 299, October 22, 1979

Sweet Music-Muzak—that background music featured in supermarkets, office buildings and factories is invading the People’s Republic of China. The Western regional director of the-Muzak Corporation, Bert Mitchell, has told Pacific News Service that a Muzak salesman has just returned from a very successful sales trip to the Chinese mainland. According to Mitchell—in his words—”He spent a whole month there, selling our systems. The Chinese were crazy about them.”

Muzak is reportedly already in use in the Soviet Union as well as in every European country.

Muzak officials admit that they carefully tailor their music to be unobtrusive—almost “invisible”—while helping to increase worker productivity. During traditional slow times during the working day in offices, the number of beats in Muzak songs is subtly increased from 100 to 150 per minute to spur the employees on to work harder.

The Shahmobile—When the Shah of Iran changed employment earlier this year, he canceled an order for a $245,000 Cadillac which according to its makers, “does everything but fly, swim and make you a cup of coffee.”

The car, which is apparently too wide for the roads in Mexico, where the Shah currently lives, comes equipped with machine gun mounts, tear gas vents, radar, an anti-kidnapping electronic system and a gadget that can spill 25 gallons of oil on the road behind to give pursuers the slip.

CCS Communications Control, Inc., which outfitted its expensive extras, is trying to unload the car on another wealthy buyer who has need of its accouterments. It describes the car as “for the man who has everything—and wants to keep it.”