Tuesday, October 20, 2009

media + music + teenagers = violence?

"There has been much publicity about unprovoked, mindless acts of aggression. The perpetrators of such violence do not fit neatly into certain categories or age-groups, but range right across the whole of society. How can that be? There must be certain common denominators.

Clearly, no one factor can be held responsible, although a number of obvious ones abound, eg:-

Increasing drug, solvent and alcohol abuse -

Public apathy when faced with anti-social behaviour

Lack of respect for authority and/or common decency

A tendency for people not be to accept responsibility for their actions


Amongst the many theories which have been advanced so far, disquiet has been voiced in respect of some computer/video games which seem to glamourise brutal acts. Many experts have dismissed such influences as minimal; however, during the course of my work (using music to teach), I believe I have uncovered a powerful conditioning process, further consolidated by subliminal reminders, which should not be ignored."

this is what im studying in english
my school sometime teaches the best stuff :)
so basically we watched a movie about how media influences violence.
i got music for my 'media.'
my teacher believes that music is pro violence.
but how can you classify violence?
in the above statement it says that, 'Increasing drug, solvent and alcohol abuse' is a responsible factor.
what im trying to express, is quite the opposite.
so i'm doing it on a show that was on, inside: straight edge.
now, im not straight edge or anything like that im simply just expressing a point against how drug and alchoal is NOT pro violence towards a certain type of music, punk rock/hardcore.
this is basically just getting all my thoughts out onto paper.
im going to show you the statistics on three different types of music, from three different generations, and then hardcore. rock music (early 70's), indie/peaceful music (early 60's), rap music (90's onwards) and punkrock/hardcore (late 80's onwards)

rap music.
March 3, 2003 -- Teens who spend more time watching the sex and violence depicted in the "reel" life of "gangsta" rap music videos are more likely to practice these behaviors in real life, suggests one of the first studies to specifically explore how rap videos influence emotional and physical health.

After studying 522 african american girls between the ages of 14 and 18 from non-urban, lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, researchers found that compared to those who never or rarely watched these videos, the girls who viewed these gangsta videos for at least 14 hours per week were far more likely to practice numerous destructive behaviors. Over the course of the one-year study, they were:

* Three times more likely to hit a teacher
* Over 2.5 times more likely to get arrested
* Twice as likely to have multiple sexual partners
* 1.5 times more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease, use drugs, or drink alcohol.

"What is particularly alarming about our findings is that we didn't find an association with just violence or one or two risky behaviors," says researcher Ralph J. DiClemente, PhD, of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. "We found an association with a string of these behaviors."

His study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health, only involved black girls living in Birmingham, Ala. -- all of whom were already sexually active. While the researchers surveyed viewing habits for various types of rap videos, gangsta rap was by far the most popular among the girls practicing these destructive behaviors.

rock music.
A concert held by the group "Guns N' Roses" (July 2, 1991 in St Louis, Missouri) ended when the enraged mob of 2500 youths staged a riot, resulting in 60 of their numbers being injured. The journal Rolling Stone informed that the participants in this concert, "developed into a furious uncontrollable mob, hurling bottles, destroying seats, ripping apart bushes, breaking and setting fire to instruments... This riot continued for over an hour before a squad of special police arrived to restore order. (Rolling Stone, Aug. 22, 1975 p 15). This type of violence is far from being an isolated incident.

Sometimes, this type of frantic behavior at rock concerts leads to killings. In a town called Jefferson-Township, (New Jersey), a youth named Thomas Sullivan stabbed his mother, Betty-Ann, to death in the basement of their house. Setting fire to the divan with the aim of destroying the house and killing his father and younger brother, he ran outside and committed suicide by slashing his wrists. All week long before this carnage, Thomas had been humming a rock song about blood and killing your mother. Police later established that Thomas was a talented student, outstanding sportsman and had belonged to the Scouts. He began to dabble in "hard metal" rock music and, before committing his crime, he confided to his friends that Satan appeared to him and ordered the killing of his family.

Different forms of violence are on the increase in rock music. For example in a song titled "I Kill Children" by rock group Dead Kennedy we hear "I kill children, I love to see them die. I kill children to make their mothers cry. I crush them under my car and I love to hear them scream. I feed them poison candy and spoil their Halloween. I kill children, I bang their heads in doors. I kill children, I can hardly wait for yours." In the album "Hell Awaits" the band Slayer has the lyrics: "No apparent motive. Just kill and kill again. Survive my brutal slashing. I'll hunt you till the end."

Iron Maiden's mascot is "Eddy" a dead man who kills with great delight. According to Satanist and brutal murderer Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker"), it was AC/ DC's song "Night Prowler" that became part of his motivation to murder 30 people. He said the song gave him "inspiration. "Night Prowler" contains the stanza, "No one's gonna warn you, no one's gonna yell 'attack!' and you can't feel the steel until it's hanging out your back, I'm your night prowler."

One study revealed that of the 700 most popular songs of "heavy metal," 50% speak of killings, 35% of satanism and 7% about suicide. Sheila Davis, professor of lyric writing at New York University, is convinced that "better give serious attention to the content of pop songs and to evaluate not only what lyrics are saying to society but, more important, what they may be doing to it" (USA Today, October 11, 1985, p. 10).

indie/peaceful music
Sixties Music and How it Reflected the Changing Times Chris Montaigne Professor Shao Rhetoric II The 1960’s in the United States was a decade marred by social unrest, civil rights injustice, and violence both home and abroad. These were some of the factors that lead to a cultural revolution. The revolution attempted to diverge the fabric of American society. Teenagers were living dangerously and breaking away from the ideals that their parents held. In the process they created their own society (Burns 1990). They were young and had the nerve to believe that they could change the world. Their leaders had lofty goals as well. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had dreams of a truly equal America. John F. Kennedy dreamed of a young vigorous nation that would put a man on the moon. The youth wanted to live in a state of love, peace, and freedom (Gitlin 1987). Through the stormy decade of the Nineteen Sixties it seemed that popular music was at the eye of every storm (Burns 1990). During this time musicians reacted to what they saw, often the youth of the Sixties were living out lyrics and popular songs of the day (Anderson 1969). For every headline there was a song by artists such as Bob Dylan, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Jefferson Airplane, and The Beatles. Some remember the decade’s music as a representation of the moral decline and the representation of the inappropriate ideal of the youth (Szatmary 1996). The youth movement became the counterculture and they became hippies. The hippies preached mysticism, honesty, joy, and nonviolence (Time 7 July 1967, 4-5). Music played an intricate part in the hippie lifestyle. The music reflected the sentiment of the youth. It became an outlet for teenagers to express themselves and voice their concerns about society (Burns 1990). Folk music was the musical choice of the youth in the early Sixties. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were the most popular folk singers of the day. In the early sixties the union of the civil rights movements and folk music on campuses lead to the rise of folk songs called “message songs” (Szatmary 1996). Songs like “Blowin in the wind” by Bob Dylan began opening up the minds of the youth to the social problems facing America such as the civil rights movement. The Rascals “People Everywhere Just want to be Free”, Joan Baez’s “We shall overcome”, and Dylan’s “The times they are a changin’” were message songs that helped start the firestorm of politically charged music that fueled a revolution and a generation (Baggelar, Milton 1976). Songs of the decade reached for the poetic, symbolic, and the mystical to better pinpoint the mood of the times. With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy folk music movement began to fraction. The disillusionment and shock caused by the assassination had an especially strong effect on the youth (Anderson 1996). Drug abuse became a trademark by the youth the hippie movement (Steinbeck 1971). The use of drugs was glorified in many ways by bands like The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd. This music became known as “acid rock” (Szatmary 1996). The music fashioned the ideas of peace and love along with it a dark trend. San Francisco was bursting with rock activity and it became the center for the hippie culture. The heart of the hippie activity was the Haight-Ashbury district (Burns 1990). Thousands of middle class, college educated youths flocked to San Francisco to demonstrate their counter cultural beliefs. These summers began to be known as “Summers of love” (Szatmary 1996). They lived on the streets, did drugs and sat in groups strumming their guitars (Frike 1989). They wore flowers in their hair leading to the nickname “flower children” and phrase “flower power”. Songs like White Rabbit by the Jefferson Airplane told the stories of their mind-altering experiences; “one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives don’t do anything at all…remember what the doorknob said, feed your head”. The Beatles wrote the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as a tribute to psychedelic effects of LSD (Hertsgard 1995). The Civil Rights movement may have been the most emotionally charged movement of the Sixties (Anderson1969). The music reflected this feeling. Soul music and Motown became the driving music by the black artist who fought for equality. Songs by Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown expressed the sentiments of the times (Szatmary 1996)

we see here that the 60 influenced LESS violence but MORE drug abuse.
so what about music that is less about hate and more about pro life and peace but STILL expressed in agressive form? and has come from a morale of not drinking, smoking, doing drugs OR having promiscous sex?

A Brief History of Straight Edge
Straight-edge refers to a philosophy that's most basic tenets promote a drug free lifestyle. It developed as an offshoot of the punk rock/hardcore scenes of the early 1980's when the term itself is believed to have been coined by Ian Mackaye, in the self titled song, while he was the singer of the seminal hardcore band, Minor Threat. Mackaye eschewed the nihilistic tendencies of punk rock, promoting instead the simple (almost simplistic) philosophy of "don't drink/ don't smoke/ don't fuck."

In the 12 years since the demise of Minor Threat, these simple beliefs have transformed the minds of scores of teens worldwide. Increasingly disenchanted with societal ills, young men and women adopt the straight-edge doctrine as a blueprint to better first themselves, and then the world in which they live. While the original definition of straight-edge only included the rejection of mind altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement and awareness of environmental and political issues.

As noted, straight-edge grew out of the punk rock/hardcore scene and so music plays an important role. The Teen Idles, an early 80's Washington, DC hardcore band, and something of a precursor to Minor Threat, can arguably be called the first straight-edge band. Since that time there have been hundreds if not thousands of bands who've so labeled themselves. Early bands included Minor Threat, SSD and Uniform Choice. In the mid to late 80's, straight-edge hardcore reached a zenith, especially in the greater Metropolitan area of New York City. This atmosphere led to the creation of Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Wide Awake and arguably the most prolific band of the era, Youth of Today. While the bands of this period did much to popularize straight-edge, they also contributed to its closeminded and antagonistic aspects. The attitude between straight-edge and the rest of the world often took on adversarial tones during this time, largely becoming "The positive youth crew versus people who drink, smoke and/or do drugs." Many people dislike straight-edge and its adherents because of such intolerant views.

Straight-edge today, while nothing like the "halcyon" days "back in '88," still offers a viable and positive lifestyle. Bands such as Strife, Mouthpiece, Earth Crisis and Snapcase, continue to proliferate and bear the standard. While its detractors often claim that straight-edge(rs) are no more than suburbanite, cliquish, fashion victims, few can argue that the philosophy is still valid. The drug-free lifestyle has left its positive impact on more than one wayward youth. Perhaps the ideals and ideas are more pertinent today than ever as the focus begins to reach beyond affecting merely oneself to altering and improving one's society and environment.

straight edge(rs) are commonly seen with an X as, during the 80's if you were underage at a club you couldn't drink being given the X on your hand.

so, how exactly if this punk/hardcore music CAME from a straight edge culture could it be all about violence? does this prove your point AGAINST agressive music always having an effect of drug abuse?

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