My mom was pretty gentle in my growing up. Except for the time I received an explicit love letter from a boy I'd met at a track meet who appeared (in the letter) to be as fast in relationships as he could run the hundred meter dash. I'd only met him once. The funny and interesting eighth grader with an orange stripe in his hair asked for my address, so I gave it to him. My mom set that letter on fire letting its ashes fall into the garbage. And that was that.
Then there was the time my mom trashed my sibling's Def Leppard and Motley Crue cassette tapes. Tapes cost money unlike the free music kids can get their hands on today. I'd jammed with my sister plenty of times to "Photograph" and "Animal" on our way to school. I could sing the chorus, but I really had little clue what most of the words said, or what they meant. My mom knew though, and her ire was profound.
She drew a line in the sand where there was none before. I was forced to realize that there is more to music than a jaunty beat. I began to realize that words and insinuations in songs have more impact than we give credit.
I'm a music lover.
I listen to music of all kinds. Pandora is a dream come true. The idea that I can listen to all the artists I want, the fact that I can switch to the genre that reflects my mood,... is grand. I have house-cleaning music and music that I play when I'm feeling sappy. Music nurtures emotions.
"Eyes are a window to the soul," someone said. It's also been said that, "Music is a window to the soul".
Getting to my heart's need to write today, I think that much music in its present audio and visual form is a window I'd like to close.
The lyrics have gotten downright vulgar. But in case you're a naïve kid like I was, you needn't look far for music videos and performances that will spell all things out for you just in case you missed it in words.
I've already written my thoughts on Miley Cyrus. I was disgusted at her sexual performance with Robin Thicke at the VMA's. I'm probably with thousands of others who were sickened by Beyonce and Jay Z's lewd act at the Grammys. She's wearing a get-up that nobody has any business seeing but Jay Z. Yeah they're married, but is anything sacred or private anymore?
Now I read that Rihanna and Shakira (two female stars) are making a video where according to "The Guardian," the duo sings "I'd do anything for that boy" while "touching each other's naked skin".
I didn't watch the VMA's or the Grammys so I'm hearing about this on Facebook and other media, but raunchy clips were shown on the morning news while my eight year old sat in front of the TV. Clips fill my newsfeed on Facebook too. Even when we make it a point not to watch it, it's there….in our faces. The part that alarms me though, is that it's in our kids' faces. Sexuality is not only sung about, but it's acted out right before their very eyes. Do you know what that's called?
It's called pornography.
Pornography- (according to Merriam) is the depiction of erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement
I know pornography has existed, but today it has become more-
- Accessible- on iphones and the internet. Kids can watch this trash and delete their history if they know it's something they shouldn't be watching. It's on TV too, prime time. It's too easy to be able to watch sensual material these days.
- It's becoming more and more acceptable. Miley and Beyonce, Rihanna? These are big names. Their songs are played by school bands and Kid's Bop. I've been guilty of playing their songs myself. These are talented ladies. They're familiar. So familiar, that the lines are blurred so that knowing when they stepped too far, often becomes unintelligible.
I'm there though. Like my mom who knew when and where to draw a hard line, I'm calling this new music what it is. Much of it is pornography. It's garbage. I'm going to talk with my kids about it. I'm going to pray about. If need be I'll be labeled a right-wing nut for having the audacity to dare say that this is beyond ok.
Enough is enough. We're past enough.
See the sensible response to this post and my friend's new blog (Paul Baker). http://pmbaker.com/keep-them-safe/