Today's Music: What's the Message to Our Kids?

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What's the Message to Our Kids?

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In Vulgarians at the Gate (2001), author Steve Allen shared with his readers the sadistic brutality of some rap lyrics. For example, the Geto Boys wrote the song "Mind of a Lunatic." The rapper's lyrics speak of a woman who was abducted by the rapper, dragged back into her house and raped at knifepoint. Though she begged for her life, the rapper killed her and molested her corpse.

Mr. Allen then discusses the philosophical argument as to whether this cultural fare is acceptable or whether it's dangerous and destructive. Obviously Mr. Allen—himself the author of thousands of song lyrics and the score for several musicals—was very much opposed to it.

Under the assumption that no children would be reading his book, he felt "it is important to include at least a few all-too-typical examples of the genre so that there can be no doubt as to what is at issue. Today's purposely offensive material is much closer to men's room graffiti than to the art practiced by America's best song-poets" (pp. 250-251).

Then Allen shares the filthy, obscene and lewd lyrics of 2 Live Crew from the 1991 CD As Nasty as They Wanna Be. The cesspool lyrics, unprintable in The Good News, detail illicit sex and a complete lack of respect for human life. Regrettably, such obscene, violent, misogynist lyrics are all too common in what passes for music today.

Movie critic Michael Medved offers samples of similarly disgusting and degrading messages on pages 97-105 of his landmark 1992 book Holly-wood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values.

Parents who care about their children will screen their media diet and will teach their children by word and example a much healthier way to think and live. GN