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Censor Yourself!

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Hearing your 9-year-old sister spout a graphic sexual euphemism is never really a pleasant experience. I’ve got to imagine it wasn’t any less painful for my mom to hear either. But it happened anyway, and it wasn’t the only time that I’ve heard some alarmingly vulgar expression fly out of my sister’s mouth. And yet, she clearly didn’t come up with these terms on her own. If you think she had any idea what a “disco stick” was before bopping her head along to a Lady Gaga tune, you’ve got it all wrong.

I guess what I’m really asking is, what has happened to modern music? Does anyone remember a time when trendy songs had real quality? It seems like anything not produced by Disney that is popular enough to make the iTunes Top 100 is inevitably going to raise some eyebrows. Today’s rap and pop artists seem to find some sort of merit in filling their songs with trashy language, blatant sexual content, and degrading sexist or racist remarks. And hey, if it’s for a purpose, I’m all for it. Freedom of speech, man! You take a look at talented rappers like Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., and they used offensive material to make a point. Even modern-day rock artists like System of a Down make use of vulgarity to drive across social and political messages about the world we live in, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But when crudeness and bigotry are used to serve no other purpose than, well, the sake of crudeness and bigotry… there’s a serious problem.

I’ll admit that it’s not the older people I’m worried about. Adults and teenagers have grown up to some extent. High school students like you and me aren’t likely to learn anything new. Granted, there are studies out there stating that one of the chief reasons for early teenage sexuality is the perversity of the media, but that’s not the issue at hand. I’m afraid for all the elementary school youngsters like my sister and brother who are out there digesting all the inappropriate kitsch that permeates their favorite music. Let’s not kid ourselves: children admire and absorb nearly anything they are exposed to. And now, thanks to the thoughtless impropriety of today’s hit songs, we’ve got little boys singing about pot smoking and the shape of women’s butts. Fantastic.

Frankly, I don’t like Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers. They hurt my ears. But if they’re going to provide the kids of 2010 with innocent and good-natured music without ulterior motives or underlying indecency, I take no issue with them. In fact, I’m thankful for their existence, because the pure and unsuspecting youth of today are losing their innocence way before their time. So the way I see it, if Miley Cyrus isn’t going to corrupt my siblings, she can make all the music she wants.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

mrob234 said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm
very well written! the opening is attention-grabbing and the closing is positive. also, i agree with everything you said, which is a plus.
 
jhoz94 said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 1:05 am
I hate what some music is doing to the youth of our society. In some cases its appropriate but in other cases it just goes way to far. Good article. 
 
ginohessej49 replied...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 1:40 am
I agree with that 100%
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm
I try to be open about music even if I dislike it, but I must agree here. Maybe the 'vulgarity' is sometimes part of the art, but not in most cases. It's sad what it's doing to society. Thanks for writing this.
 
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