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    Music and Teenagers Essay (3057 words)

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    In 1985 the way music lyrics were looked at changed forever. You had organizations, specifically the Parents Music Resource Center, better known as the MARC, fighting against lyrics in certain songs. They wanted a way for parents to be warned before letting their kids listen to a certain song or album. Tipper Gore was a big part of how it started. She had bought her kids’ a Prince album. She was dancing in the living room with them to the music one day when she heard the lyrics and was shocked at what the lyrics were saying.

    She decided that something needed to be done so that parents would know what was on an album before buying it. Other parents agreed with and formed the MARC. As an organization they created a list titled ‘The Filthy Fifteen”. In which they listed fifteen songs that they deemed as inappropriate, stating their reasoning next to each song. This list had artists like Prince, Twisted Sister, Defy Leopard, and even Madonna and Cindy Lapper. These artists made this list because of themes in their lyrics such as sex, masturbation, violence, language, drug and alcohol use, or even occult.

    Keep in mind that these artists were topping the charts, and had videos on MAT all the time. The MARC arranged a meeting in the Senate, which was not very hard, seeing as many of the members were wives of the Senate Members. At this meeting they addressed many issues with lyrics in the music industry. The MARC had a strong testimony about the lyrics in the music they were attacking. Talking about things like what these lyrics said, and even giving examples.

    Before the trial they were also offered the choice of a warning label on records and Music and Teenagers By inexorability “The Parents Music Resource Center has asked the record executives to create an industry wide uniform standard defining what constitutes explicit and violent trial. We of the MARC are not trying to ban any songs, and we oppose censorship or government regulation. Instead, we believe that the music industry itself and its media outlets should voluntarily cut down on violent and sexually explicit material.

    We have proposed a rating system for records, tapes and videos that the industry could administer itself. ” She was saying that the Marc’s goal was to make it so parents could know what was on the album before they bought it for their kids. When the ARIA offered them the generic warning label it was Just that: Generic. They wanted something where they loud be able to see exactly what was on an album before they bought it and had their kids listen to it. When the NCR got together they decided there should be some kind of rating system that was worldwide and everyone could use so they knew what they were buying.

    The music was also represented at this hearing. You had the ARIA trying to stop this act all together and make sure that the music was protected against censorship. Stars like John Denver, Dee Snider, and Frank Kappa prepared testimonies against the MARC. The main concern for all of them was the idea of censorship. They defended homeless, and the music industry, by throwing out the first amendment. Like in this quote from Frank Kappa’s Testimony “Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are, in my opinion, more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality.

    Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religious Thought, and the Right to Due Process for composers, performers and retailers are imperiled if the MARC and the major labels consummate this nasty bargain. ” Kappa expressed the idea that anyone should be able to listen to the music they want. He was saying that the MARC had the wrong idea, and because of that they ere trying to make a law that was going to change composers, performers and retailers rights. Although he was assured multiple times that there would be no legal action, he continued on with his opinion of what was actually happening with the MARC.

    The same idea was shared by John Denver in his testimony. Censorship of the written or spoken word. It was so in Nazi Germany. It is so in many places today where those in power are afraid of the consequences of an informed and educated people. In a mature, incredibly diverse society such as ours, the access to all perspectives of an issue becomes more and more important. Those things which in our experience are undesirable generally prove to be unfettering and sooner or later become boring. That process cannot and should not be stifled.

    That which is denied becomes that which is most desired, and that which is hidden becomes that which is most interesting. Consequently a great deal of time and energy is spent trying to get at what is being kept from you. Our children, our people, our society and the world cannot afford this waste. ” John Denver shared the same ideas as Frank Kappa, but worded them differently. He compared what the MARC was trying to do to what happened in Nazi Germany. He said that when things are censored it blocks things. It makes it seem like and the ‘bad’ lyrics don’t exist, and in Denier’s opinion, censoring the people’s minds.

    You can shove things aside, try to hide them, but there will always be people who want to see what this bad is. People want what is being kept from you. It is human nature. The MARC trying to take that away was only going to draw more people toward it. His main idea was that you cannot keep things from the People. That they should be able to hear and see everything as it was meant to be heard and seen, without the censorship, cause then they can have a better perspective, and that is what it was all about in his head. Both were told not to worry about it by The Chairman of the Senate, John C.

    Detonator, saying, “They are not asking for censorship, they are not asking for Government action. Nobody has proposed that to my knowledge. There is no legislation that is pending that in any way suggests any censorship. The point is not less information. Nobody is trying to prevent rock stars from singing whatever they want or music companies from publishing whatever they want. The question is one of communication and openness. ” The Chairman said there was no one asking for censorship or even government involvement, and no chance for legislation.

    There were still a lot of question as to if there would be legislation, and people against censorship made that known. The Chairman once again responded by saying, “Zero chance of legislation. I do not think anybody has introduced a bill, and I do not really think that is a possibility at all” The chairman was assuring everyone that there was no chance of legislation. At doing this, he assured the side of the opposes who did not want the music to be censored, The trial continued the rest of the day. Both sides were equally heard, and it gave people a lot to think about.

    The hearing led record labels to label certain records with a generic label that reads ‘Parental Advisory – Explicit Content’. A label that warns the consumer that there may be something on the record that is not one-hundred percent appropriate, and may contain some explicit material. The side that was defending the music felt like they did something, the MARC got their warning label, even if it was not what they wanted exactly, and music was left alone for a while. There was still the controversy over lyrics and music though. Especially when rap and hip hop was introduced.

    Rap was popular when it first came out, and it still is. When it first came out there were artists singing about things like raping women, slitting throats and other violent topics. According to research from Manchuria University, music like this can make kids and teens have more anger, and cause them to be more violent. At this time there was more talk about a rating system being developed, but the idea did not go anywhere. There was still the issue that the all record labels could not all put ratings on an album based on certain standards.

    To get a rating yester among all the companies, and getting them to agree would be difficult, and cost a lot of money. It was not an option. Around 1999 there was another incident with music and violence. The Columbine Tragedy happened on April 20th, 1999. Eric Harris and Dylan Keyhole shot fellow students and their teachers at Columbine High School. Days following the events many rumors were going around. The two boys were rumored to be apart of the “Trench Coat Mafia”. According to other people Harris and Keyhole were both outcasts and did what they did for revenge.

    Marilyn Manson was also a big part of people and hints that were getting blamed for the boys actions. His music was allegedly what caused these two boys to do this. Seeing as Manson was an artist who was different in the ways he looked, sounded, and acted. He made the kind of music that ‘outcasts’ were drawn to, and he was Just easy to blame. Parents and the public needed to put the blame on someone, and since he was popular, and his music and he was controversial, he was the easiest suspect. When it got out Marilyn Manson was the supposed reason these boys went and shot teachers and classmates, the public took it to heart.

    There were movements and riots that were against Marilyn Manson. When asked about the tragedy in Michael Moor’s Bowling for Columbine documentary he said the following, “The two by-products of that whole tragedy were, violence in entertainment, and gun about with the upcoming election. And also, then we forgot about Monica Leninism and we forgot about, uh, the President was shooting bombs overseas, yet I’m a bad guy because l, well I sing some rock-and-roll songs, and who’s a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson? I’d like to think me, but I’m going to go with the President. Manson brought it down to who’s fault it really was, if it was his, or the president’s. There was a lot in the news in 1999 concerning violent behavior. Between the television shows and what was on the news violence was made known to the public. The president was firing bombs overseas, there were rumors going around about the president’s affair with Monica Leninism and then the shooting happened, and all of a sudden everyone was paying attention to that. There were more bombs shot at Shove on the day of the shooting than there were any other day of that year.

    Then news gets out that these two boys listened to Marilyn Manson and suddenly the artist gets blamed, and people forget anything else going on.. In reality the boys did to even like Marilyn Manson, they hated him. On Harrier’s blob he states that he loved, “Good, fast, hard, strong, pounding TECHNO!! Such as KM, PRODIGY, ORBITAL, REARMAMENT, and such. ” He didn’t even like music that sounded like Manson. But in the end people needed someone to blame. Marilyn Manson was growing in popularity, and since he was different he was easy to target. The music someone listens to cannot be the only factor in these kind of situations.

    Yes, it is a factor but not a very big one. Other things like emotions and outside influences, besides music, like current events, television and movies, and things going on around hem in their life, or Just in general. Teens can listen to this music and be perfectly fine, not be depressed, have a good home life, the kind of music you listen to doesn’t make you a bad person. Alice Cooper. Hugely successful and popular artist. He is the son of a preacher, and he still made the decision to get into music that is labeled as ‘satanic’ and ‘morale’s’.

    That doesn’t define the kind of person he is though. Dee Snider. He is a strong Christian, he has kids, makes heavy metal music, and still adheres to his beliefs. Just because he is a person who makes the kind of music that s titled as ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ doesn’t make him bad. It’s Just what you listen to. People listen to this kind of music for all sorts of reasons. Whether it be that they are depressed, and use it as an outlet, or they like how it sounds, or even the message behind the song. A genre is Just a type of music, not a labeling system for types people.

    So, can people actually be influenced by music? Of course they can. Teens spend a majority of their time listening to music. Some studies have shown that kids who listen to music a lot, but that doesn’t mean that bands like My Chemical Romance or Link Park are bad for your mental health. It could mean that kids are using this music to escape from the burden of their mental state. They use music as a solace. According to Pediatrician Brian Primacy, at the University of Pittsburgh teens who suffer from depression and listen to a lot of music “Don’t feel like doing anything, have to perform. Teens turn to the music because they feel like there is not anything else. They want to listen to something that they can connect to, and be surrounded by something they can be themselves with, not having to struggle to keep all their emotions locked up somewhere inside themselves. Parents can think of eons listening to a lot of music as their way of calling out for help. Music is not commonly the cause for a mental illness, but it can be an escape. Music can influence people though, especially when one in three popular songs has a reference to drugs, sex or alcohol.

    Which means for every hour of music that kids listen to they receive at least thirty-five references to substance use and sex. But then again, if a kid is that easily influenced-which most teens are seeing as their brains are still growing- should kids really be listening to music that will make them do bad things? About 4% of all music is anti-drug and sex. Getting access to that music is hard because it is not making the top 40 charts. The good news is that there is a whole subculture dedicated to anti-drug, promiscuous sex, and Just living a good, clean, or straight-edge, life.

    Straight-edge is a youth movement that originated in the late seventies and early eighties when the Punk Movement was getting started. It is based around the punk lifestyle, but there is one difference. People who are straightedge tend to live a life without drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and even promiscuous sex. A lot of straight-edge people are vegetarian or vegan, and some even go to the point where they won’t take certain medication. It started as a band thing. Band members were living this kind of lifestyle, and it slowly began to rub off onto the kids who listened and looked up to the band.

    These people did not like what was going on around them with the self destruction, self hatred, substance abuse, and random sex. This subculture that began in cities like Boston and Washington DC spread quickly across the world, and thousands of people live this lifestyle. People can listen to ‘hardcore’ bands, or even music similar to what is on the top 40, but get a positive message instead. Today we do not hear much about music controversy, We hear something about how Foster the People’s new song is really controversial, or how Eke$ha cannot play at a venue because of a lyric she has.

    We hear about Mille Cyrus doing something too sexual in a new music video, or lighting a blunt on stage. But with celebrities acting the way they do today it is not that shocking. In the sass’s there was a lot of new controversy. People were becoming more and more open, and music with controversial lyrics were topping the charts. Today all the music that has lyrics that would be considered bad in our common age is underground. You do not hear about bands like ‘Blood On The Dance Floor’ ‘Motionless in White’ or even ‘Escape the Fate’ and ‘Bring Me The Horizon’.

    If bands like those were making the top forty you might hear about more people complaining and wanting to do something. The top forty songs are by people like Robin Thicket and Mille Cyrus who clamoring sex, and insult women, but society has grown to the point where lyrics like that are normal. People Music does not affect teens in a way where it changes how they act and what they do, but the idea that it does has caused a lot of discussion and controversy. Groups have come together and protested the lyrics of certain songs, demanding a way that people will be warned of explicit content before buying an album.

    Most notably what went on with the Parents Music Resource Center and the Senate hearing of 1985. Music has been blamed for events such as the Columbine Shooting, teens acting out in violence, or Just being angst-filled. If that is the case, then why have we not heard more about people taking action? Teens have always been stereotyped as rebellious, and angst, they are known for acting out. A lot of times teenagers will listen to music hat they know their parents will not like Just because they know that their mom or dad will not like it.

    Luckily though, music that has some of the more darker, or highly sexual themes, are underground. There is always alternatives to that kind of explicit music. The straight-edge subculture is one that allows kids to listen to the same genre or kind of music, but get a positive message out of it instead because of a difference in lyric meaning. The way that teens act does not Just come down to what music they listen to, there are more factors than some of their favorite bands or artists.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Music and Teenagers Essay (3057 words). (2017, Nov 29). Retrieved from

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