|Will Smith and family react to VMA performance|
Since Sunday's racy musical(?) performance by Miley Cyrus, the former star of the Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, at the MTV Video Music Awards, there has been widespread condemnation, shock, and surprise expressed in the media. Such a reaction seems curious. After all, since MTV started in the 1980's it has regularly aired videos that would make most parents blush (see the reaction by Will Smith's family above to another performance at the VMAs). MTV and its owner Viacom don't see anything wrong with Cyrus's performance and they felt is was fine to share on a program rated as appropriate for ages 14+. What parent thinks that racy music videos are appropriate for anyone, especially teens?
The music industry has never been a beacon of virtue. Many of the singers from the 1940's and 1950's lived sordid lives, but at least their music was not sordid. From the 1960's the music culture has been openly promoting loose morals, hence the phrase, "sex, drugs, and rock and roll."
In the mid 1970's a Mormon religious leader, Gene R. Cook, shared a plane flight with Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Here is part of what he says happened:
when I got on the plane with this fellow I didn’t recognize him right off, and you know I’ll just have to tell you this story in great brevity, because I had two and a half hours with him and it was an interesting experience. I didn’t recognize him right off.
I told him I was an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are you?
And he told me “Mick Jagger.”
And I said “well I’m glad to meet you to.”
And he was kind of a prideful fellow and again I am not speaking again of the man, but what he was doing. And he told me his name again, and I said, “I’m glad to meet you Mick.”
And it still didn’t totally dawn on me, I just wasn’t expecting to see him there. And then he opened up this big magazine he was reading with all these wild eyed faced and very scantily dressed women to say the least, and said “that’s me.” And of course I recognized immediately who he was.
We began talking. I told him I have opportunity over the years to be with many young people all over the world. I’m interested in a question you can answer for me.
He said “well what is it?”
I said, “Some of the young people I’m with tell me that rock music, the kind you and others are involved in, has no real impact on them, for good or for evil. It has no real impact and others claim that it really does have a bad impact them. You've been in this thing for twenty years, I’d like to know, what’s your opinion?”
These were his exact words, brothers and sisters, an exact quote. He said, "Our music is calculated to drive the kids to sex."
I was pretty much floored, I’m sure I must have shown it on my face, and then he kind of rebounded a little bit and said, "of course, it’s up to them what they do. It’s not my fault, I'm just earning a lot of money."
And as the conversation proceeded, and again, there’s not time to tell you all, even a small part of it. He was delighted at the fact that in his mind the family was being destroyed around the world.
I am not advocating censorship or curbing free speech, but I do believe that people should speak out against 'entertainment' that is harmful to children. People are disgusted and all jump out of the pool when they see a piece of excrement, and rightly so. Shouldn't we react the same when we see garbage in the pool of entertainment?
There is something that you can do by asking your congressional representatives and senators to pass the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013. This bill would allow families to buy customized cable packages and leave out cable channels that they do not want--like MTV. The liberal entertainment industry is opposed to this legislation because under the current system, your cable bill payments support channels you don't want. Why should people have to pay for content they don't want or approve?
This may be one time that Washington can do something that conservatives would approve.
For a previous post on the devolution of music exhibited by Hip Hop click here.