April 06, 2004

Does Music Contribute?

Remember the outrage when young white teen males were committing acts of violence against each other and themselves, driven by the anger and nihilism of heavy metal music?

Activists like Tipper Gore vilified record companies for representing such bands as Metalica, Black Sabbath, and Judas Priest. Artists were prosecuted in court as contributors to the mental state of depressed and suicidal boys, and in some cases were found liable and forced to pay substantial monetary awards to their surviving families. Frank Zappa and many other writers, producers, and band members were compelled to testify before a congressional committee.

The world was being destroyed by mind-numbed suicidal white teen-aged boys, and it was all because of Rock and Roll!

We look back now and see that era redefined by the Conventional Wisdom and the media at large as a "tempest in a teapot." I remember the platitudes and the fear mongering Mothers and Ministers, and I wonder as I look at the news every day, why isn't the same level of fear and hysteria being directed at the edgy, violent, misogynistic, racist, and hate-filled music of today?

We hear of one isolated minister or another speaking from their pulpits about the violence of Gangsta Rap, or the overt sexual or drug references of Hip Hop music. And every day we hear the increasing death toll in teen-aged males decried by the press and by the greater community.

Every day we hear of another drive-by, another knife or gun in a studednt's backpack, another victim of the mindset promoted by these recording artists. But instead of any cry against the huge cultural machine which manufactures these cookie-cutter Thug-o-licious CD's and promotes them to ever younger and more impressionable children, the social activists and "Moral Leaders" of the community do worse than not speaking out. They do worse than remaining silent as these kids continue to die and kill each other. These "Leaders" embrace these promotors, producers and artists and hold them up as good examples and role models for all of our children.

This phenom is not isolated to one ethnicity or economic group or social level. It does not pick and choose based on education, experience, or upbringing. Yet as 8 and 9 year old girls dress to excude their impending sexuality, and as boys of the same age begin to engage in more aggressive and territorial ways, it becomes more and more compelling for parents to direct their children away from the messages which bombard them daily and toward persuits which expose them to values and behaviors which will serve as paterns toward productive and successful futures.

Is it simplistic to blame it on the music? Perhaps it is, but at the very least the music is a representative sample of the cultural implosion we see all around us. The music, and it's parallel video universe, not only expose people to a mindset framed in criminal and hedonistic behaviors, but do so in a way which glamorizes the mindset and the culture which espouses it.

Tipper Gore and the rest of the indignant and angry mothers of the 80's? Where are you and your counterparts now?

Posted by Mamamontezz at April 6, 2004 09:56 PM


I was taken in by your post today. As an aspiring teacher to be, I have found it more than a little disturbing how capable music is of influencing "the younger generation" - add to that the popularity of music sites that offer free downloads, and you've got 12 year old girls running around singing Missy Elliot's "Work It" without giving a second thought to announcing they're going to "shave their chochas". The effect is even more pronounced on the young men at the middle school, especially with the popularity of channels like MTV and BET on the military base here. Glad you wrote about this.

Posted by: Alex at April 7, 2004 03:49 AM

poker me up

Posted by: poker me up at December 30, 2004 02:12 PM

People like you frighten me. Images in music and art are reflections of our society, not exhortations for the masses to act upon. There will always be those troubled souls searching for some sort of justification for their violent nature. Believe me, if musicians weren't around to blame, these folks would be finding another "explanation" for their psychosis. Who knows? Maybe they would be saying that Jesus made them do it. (the Crusades????)

The images that these icons promote appeals to young masses simply because they are human -- and young adults. Sex speaks to them, because their sexual identities are just coming into being. They glorify violence because they are conflicted inside, and regardless of what they might say, all human beings feel angry and violent at times. Better that these young people seek their release vicariously through these musical artists.

I understand the need to look toward pop culture as the problem, but I believe there are worse demons in the world. How many are killed by war each day? How many women are subjugated throughout the world, and even in our own country through domestic violence? Why are there such racial and cultural divides in our society? Artists, poets and musicians (at least, I believe, the great majority) produce some truthful messages...ones that uncluttered minds embrace.

Posted by: Judy at March 25, 2005 09:33 PM

I agree with you about the way you view the issue. I remember, long time ago, Jack London said something like "Everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has a positive side." I also find it interesting to see different points of views and learn useful things in the discussion.

Posted by: Richard Hill at May 17, 2005 08:59 AM

Posted by: sizepro at May 17, 2005 06:59 PM

Below is all monet works.

Woman In A Green Dress painting

Winter At Giverny painting

View Over The Seas painting

Vetheuil In Summer painting

Vase Of Flowers painting

Train In The Country painting

The women in the Garden painting

The Valley Of Falaise painting

The Turkeys painting

The Thames And The Houses Of Parliament painting

The Studio Boat painting

The Shoot painting

The Seine Estuary At Honfleur painting

The Seine Below Rouen painting

The Seine At Rouen painting

The Seine At Lavacourt painting

The Seine At Bougival painting

The Seine At Argenteuil painting

The Seine At Argenteuil I painting

The Sea At Fecamp painting

The Road To Chailly painting

The Red Cape (Madame Monet) painting

The Red Boats painting

The Picnic painting

The Marina At Argenteuil painting

The Luncheon painting

The Ice-Floes painting

The Garden of the Princess painting

The Church Of Vernon In The Mist painting

The Church At Vetheuil painting

The Boats Regatta At Argenteuil painting

The Beach At Sainte-Adresse painting

Terrace at St Adresse painting

Sunset painting

Sunflowers painting

Sun Setting Over The Seine At Lavacourt painting

Still Life With Melon painting

Snow Effect With Setting Sun painting

Sailing At Sainte-Adresse painting

Sailing At Argenteuil painting

Rue Montargueil with Flags painting

Rough Sea At Etretat painting

Promenade Near Argenteuil painting

Poppy Field In A Hollow Near Giverny painting

Poplars painting

Pond at Montgeron painting

Palazzo da Mula at Venice painting

Monet_Self_Portrait_In_His_Atelier painting

London Houses of Parliament at Sunset painting

La Porte D Amount Etretat painting

La Japonaise painting

La Grenouillere painting

In The Woods At Giverny painting

Impression Sunrise painting

Hyde Park London painting

Haystacks at Giverny the evening sun painting

Haystacks At Chailly painting

Haystack snow effect painting

General View Of Rouen From St Catherine s Bank painting

Garden In Flower At Sainte-Adresse painting

Floating Ice Near Vetheuil painting

Cliffs Near Dieppe painting

Boulevard Des Capucines I painting

Beach at Honlfeux painting

Argenteuil painting

A Windmill at Zaandam painting

A Corner of the Studio painting

A Corner of the Apartment painting

Monet Spring Flowers painting

View At Rouelles, Le Havre painting

Camille At The Window painting

Landscape With Thunderstorm painting

Monet Purple Poppies painting

The Red Boats, Argenteuil painting

Regatta At Argenteuil painting

A Woman Reading painting

Wild Poppies, Near Argenteuil painting

Monet The Luncheon painting

Still Life Apples And Grapes painting

Springtime At Giverny painting

Apple Trees In Blossom painting

Tulip Fields With The Rijnsburg Windmill painting

Haystack at Giverny painting

Haystack At Giverny painting

In The Woods At Giverny painting

Girls In A Boat painting

Boating On The River Epte painting

In The Rowing Boat painting

The Seine At Port-Villez painting

Poplars on the Epte painting

Monet Water Lillies I painting

Monet The Waterlily Pond painting

Woman with a Parasol painting

Camille Monet in Japanese Costume painting

The garden in flower painting

The Artist Garden at Vetheuil painting

Jeanne-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden painting

Boulevard des Capucines painting

Posted by: handmade painting at May 27, 2008 02:42 AM
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