Monday, August 08, 2005

What Indeed?

I guess this falls into the ‘too little too late’ category of journalism.

Giles Hattersley of the Sunday Times has started listening to contemporary music and is shocked, shocked I tells ya about some of the lyrics teens and their younger siblings are listening too.

In the record shop, Charlie's friend Anna says, "The rudest thing I've bought was Khia." It takes some persuading to get her to tell me how it goes. Finally the 13-year-old rappily sings, starting, "Right now, lick it good.." followed by a lyric that's too shocking to repeat.

And asks:

How did this stuff get into the mainstream? "When we compare music today to the past, we can see there is now a total lack of self-censorship," says Turin University professor Franco Fabbri, a world authority on popular music in history. "Although vulgar language has been a basic foundation of culture since ancient Greece, the problem is that because the media allow us to hear many more songs than our ancestors did, musicians have to be as vulgar as possible to be heard."

Well, kinda. This crud got into the mainstream because we as a society let it brought about by a total lack of self-censorship. We bought into the wowserism argument – ‘it’s only a word, it’s only nudity, everyone does it, it’s totally natural.’

And indeed, if I want to walk naked around my house I do, but I make sure the curtains are closed because dear readers, it is all about context (and courtesy) not about being a prude.

There is nothing wrong with sex, in its proper context, like Bill Clinton can have sex with whomever he likes, but it shouldn’t be with an intern in the Oval Office.

The bleat that ‘it’s my right to say/do whatever I like’ needs to be rejoined with ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’.

Other people have to live on this planet too and the rights of the individual do or say something does not impinge on the rights of others to not see or listen to it.

The lack of self censorship leads to the antisocial game play in newly banned (in Australia) Grand Theft Auto and Atari’s new graffiti game, Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure incidentally one which MTV enthusiastically reviews.

And yet we wonder at what the world is coming to.

We shouldn’t though - it’s as plain as the Oral Sex School pointer on the cover of August’s Cleo.

I am bitterly bemused when the media writes hysterically about paedophiles yet does not appreciate the sexual abuse of children that occurs daily as they are exposed to the hypersexualised and violent content of certain songs, TV shows like Big Brother Uncut, and even on the supermarket shelves.

Surely a child should be able to go to the shops without being sworn at in adult song lyrics and having to ponder the question Hooking Up: Is It The New Causal Sex?

-- Nora

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