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Selective Hearing

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Music is a creative outlet for emotions, expressions and personal issues. It is also a place to force ideas and opinions on a mass of thousands. People can relate to it on many levels. But the problem of who should be responsible or regulate it exists. Who should decide what is played or sold?

Music has had both a negative and positive reactions, especially with the young. Should the parents be responsible or should the artists themselves? Should the Studios (Labels) take the heat or should the government get involved?

In the past couple of decades, music has been in trouble. It has been said to be the cause of deaths, suicides, unwanted sexual behavior, and other forms of indecency. It has taken blame for everything no one wants to be responsible for.

In 1985, Prince had a hit record with "Purple Rain". On the album contained the song "Darling Nikki" about a sexual woman who was "masturbating with a magazine". The song went on about with a sexual tone. Tipper Gore, felt that this was not proper for her daughter to have. She felt that the music needed to have ratings. She founded the PMRC - Parent Music Resource Center. They wanted a standard rating system to alert parents to the types of music that kids were listening to such ratings as "X" for sex related and "V" for violence. This was shot down. Instead, a "parental advisory explicit content" sticker was chosen. The PMRC is now made up of 19 women. Tipper Gore has since left the group now that her husband is vice president. They still are an active voice in the fight for free speech. The question raised is shouldn't parent be monitoring children's music anyhow? Has the family unit become that dysfunctional? What exactly can parents do? For one, parents should have some understanding of their kids and realize that times are changing and so are the kids. But in many cases the parents do not. Things are different than when most parents were kids. Relate to children on that level of "now". Talk openly about hard subjects such as drugs, violence, and sex. As for music, parents should be with the child in the store. Sales people should not be babysitters for kids. Parents should inquire about store policies and ask why something has the advisory. Most stores will tell parents the reasons. Parents could involve themselves with lawmakers to make structured laws against music. But they do that and it makes it more appealing to youth as a "rebellious" stage, something they are not supposed to have.

In 1990, the group 2live Crew released the album "As Nasty As They Want To Be" which sparked the single "Me So Horny". This album was deemed obscene and was quick to be pulled off the shelves. Any store found selling this would be closed and the person be arrested. Such a case happened. So why was this album so bad? Some felt this was so bad, it was like selling alcohol to a minor. They feel that children should not have any availability to it. Others such as Ira Glasser, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union feels that "what strikes one person as offensive and obscene does not strike another person as such." This would be a good example of free will, personal choices, and opinion. So who decides if something is bad for me? Children do not get to make the choice, but the parents do. So don't buy it would be a choice for them. But don't tell me I can't.

April 20, 1999 was the date of the Columbine killings. Where two misunderstood teenagers killed 13 people and themselves. Why? People asked. Was it that everyday peers picked on them? Teachers didn't treat them like athletic kids? The media searched for answers, and found that once again music was too blame. This time shock rocker Marilyn Manson was at the center of the fury. His earlier material was dark



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