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Is Music Destroying our Society? | MarsBands.com | MarsBands
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Monkey Hear, Monkey Do

If your friend jumped off a bridge and told you to do the same, would you?

What if your friend told you to jump off the bridge in the form of a song or a video?  Bottoms up, right?  Everyone knows that music and TV are evil and simply by hearing or seeing something, the listener/viewer can be manipulated into doing anything – even jumping off a bridge.  I’m being facetious, of course, but sadly, there are people who believe what I just wrote.

The trend nowadays is that any time somebody does something shocking, terrible, or inhumane, immediately TV, movies, radio, and video games are blamed, or at the very least, listed as a root cause.  I’ll be the first to admit that those medium can have some affect on people.  For example, every time I’m driving down the road and I get stuck behind a line of idiot bike riders, I think to myself, WWGTAD (what would Grand Theft Auto do)?  But here’s the thing, despite thinking about plowing through that human roadblock, I’ve never done it.  I’ve heard all the terrible, vile, mean, and egregious songs, TV shows, and movies that are out there, and I’m still one hell of a stand-up citizen, if I do say so myself.

I have listened to Sublime’s “Date Rape” I don’t know how many times, but I’ve never gone on a date and raped anyone.  I’ve also listened to Nickelback’s “Rockstar“, but I am no rockstar, nor do I attempt to act like one.  Some might say that I am lucky, or perhaps I haven’t been exposed long enough.  My rationale?  Perhaps my parents actually did their job and raised me correctly.

I will also admit that music can teach people some rather unsavory vocabulary.  Some music more than others (yes, Rap, I’m referring to you).  But to say that by singing about certain things it will make the listeners go out and do those things, is preposterous.  It all comes down to the age old debate of whether music makes society or society makes music.  The majority of people who say that music makes society are the ones whose children or family have done something irresponsible and/or unforgivable and are looking for an excuse other than the obvious; the parents and family didn’t do their job.

And then there are the excuses why parents aren’t doing their job like, not enough time for parenting when both parents work, it’s too hard to keep track of everything their child does in this day in age, etc.  Well then maybe you shouldn’t have had kids.  Regardless how difficult it is, you had the kid(s) and now it’s your responsibility to said kid(s) and to society to do your damn job.  If you think music is making kids shoot up their schools, talk to your kids about it.  Take them to a shrink.  Watch your kids for those subtle and not so obvious warning signs, like, hoarding guns and ammo, building explosives, killing and torturing animals, posting manifestos online…  Who could have seen it coming?

Music doesn’t make society, society makes music.  Think about it this way.  The first humans appear on the planet (by any means you see fit, i.e., Adam and Eve, evolution, aliens).  Are they already influenced by the music?  What music?  There isn’t any music because the people (society) haven’t made the music yet.  Society came first, then music, so it’s illogical to say that music influences society.  Music, TV, movies, and video games are a reflection of society.  Still don’t believe me?

Do you watch your local news?  Maybe give it a watch some night.  The first 10 or 15 minutes all you’ll hear about is how some poor, uneducated, moron goes out and kills somebody.  You think they have a ton of access to the media?  They barely have enough money to buy their crack much less have money to buy a TV, CD or video game.  And yet somehow, these people have been corrupted by the all mighty media.

Then someone will inevitably bring up the fact that some people do have the money to be exposed to the media.  They’ll ask, what about the ones that spend their days listening to songs about smacking bitches and hoes, shooting people, or watching TV and movies about killing people?  Obviously they have been corrupted by the media, it’s the only explanation.

To which I would reply:  What about those priests who abused those little kids?  They were exposed to the ultimate good media and still ended up doing absolutely horrendous and unforgivable acts.  That leaves the nay-sayer with two possible answers:

1) All media is bad.  Not just the media that talks about killing people and doing terrible things, but all media, even the kind that tells us to all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.  Picking this option opens a whole new can of worms and will never be an acceptable answer because choosing such an answer would intrude on the rights of people who think there’s nothing wrong with their “good” music.

2) They were genetically predisposed to doing what they did.  No amount of media, good or bad, could have caused or stopped such evil from occurring.  This is also an unacceptable answer because it essentially states that “bad” media wasn’t the cause and therefore nullifies the entire argument.

In the end, the people who think media will corrupt you and turn you into Charles Manson won’t pick either answer and hold steadfast to their belief that music, TV, movies, and video games that depict violence and other atrocities are ultimately the work of the devil and no matter what kind of logic I try to use to refute their claim, they are right.

The real reasons we have so much violence and murder in this world isn’t because of what we hear on the radio, or see on TV.  The real reasons are parents that are too lazy or too stupid to do their job.  They don’t take the time to actually teach their child right and wrong.  They don’t teach the kid that you can’t always get what you want in life, even if you work really, really hard and that bad things will happen to you.  They don’t teach their kids that even though bad things will happen and you can’t always get what you want, that doesn’t give those kids the right to bring a gun to school and shoot everybody.

Instead, parents tell their kids that anything you want you can get.  You are special and you deserve the best of everything.  Those are the lucky kids, I suppose.  Then there’s the parents who don’t even care enough to tell their kids anything and expect that the government will just put a sticker on the CD or video game or movie and that will protect the kids.  Our government can’t even run their own country, what the hell makes you think they can take care of your kids?

The real reason we have so much violence and murder in this world is because some people are genetically predisposed to being fucked up in the head, to be blunt.  The same way a smoker can go his or her entire life and never get cancer and a non-smoker can get cancer without ever even seeing a cigarette, much less smoking one.  There’s no explaining it, at least not right now with our current level of technology.  Maybe in a few decades we’ll be able to identify psychopaths and troubled individuals pre-birth, who knows?

Could the music or TV show have put ideas into people’s heads?  Absolutely.  But if the parents do their job right, the chances are that unless it’s one of those people who are genetically predisposed to being a psycho, nothing bad will happen because they should know right from wrong and good from bad.  I can guarantee you that if we started putting the parents in jail along with their kids after their kids shoot up a school, other parents would take note and actually start doing their job better than they are now.  If we held the parents responsible and didn’t make excuses, things would be different.

Moral of the story:  Leave the media alone.  I may not like or agree with all of it, but I’m not going to blame it for something just to exculpate me or a family member.  You shouldn’t either.

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