Negative Influence of Popular Music on Youngsters

Monday, May 24, 2010

Classmates´ blogs

I started with looking at Tatia Kukhalashvilis blog which seemed very actual for me as the issue set in the blog personally affects my life. I found some useful information there, as well as ejoyed the pictures of skinny, unhealthy models and some actresses. If you are interested in Media portrayals of women, than it is the right place to go and do some reading.

Another blog I visited belonged to Baia Dzagnidze, speaking of sex in mass media. I commented one article which was particularly about pornography in the internet and children that actually visit these pages and might have some hamrful outcome on their behavior and perceptions. I thought it is also closely correlated to our contemporary life, however there is no specific solution to the problem, that was why I was interested of Baia´s opinion about who is responsible and how can we prevent teenagers from negative influence of Sex in mass media.

I visited Denis´s page about stereotyping several days ago and found it very emotional, but somehow very subjective. It was about how Russians are stereotyped as Vodka addict homeless dirty people, however another side of the coin was completely ignored. I just added that people throughout the world respect Russian literature, music, art and it is very lame to ignore all of that. For more information you can read article here:

Peter Cizek spoke of some interesting issues in his blog about media taking away our privacy. There were interesting examples in support of his thesis as well as good links that I followed such as: California Paparazzi Lawyer where you can find basic information about the anti-papparazzi law, such as history, basic criminal facts or dates. I Advertising nowadays plays vital role on our lives, so Vivian´s blog was very helpful also in terms that it provided infrmation about how buzzmarketing and advertising are related and how does advertisments try to manipulate with our minds. One article is headlined: Children and Advertisment. Some clever ideas and link proving that ads affect kids are presented there. I found it very educational and engaging.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

5. Academic Essay. You Don't Mess With Music

Music nowadays goes far beyond than simply getting pleasure, relaxation or spiritual nourishment. Since the late 1960s, with the first Woodstock festival in the United States, music started to inculcate new ideology such as: “make love, not war” or “bed peace”, and that’s when the hippie era began, messing up youngsters mentality. This epoch changed the function of music for teenagers: from source of joy, to hypnotizer. The further step, closer to our reality, was Kurt Cobain - the king of Grunge and a teen idol in early 1990s. Known for his controversial lyrics and behavior, he became important figure and icon in music industry, in the United States. Teenagers tried to resemble him in actions and observed him as part of their lives. This was the reason for four teenagers to commit suicides in 1994 after the death of Cobain, as they could not envisage their existence without their hero. Nowadays, such artists as Marilyn Manson promote socially unacceptable behavior and vicious lyrics, encouraging young adults to be “free” and “expressive”. However this can be considered as one-sided justification of what he does.

For the sake of self-expression, artists imperil lives of teenagers who might misinterpret their music and behavior. In the Picutre on the right, you can see Manson tearing apart the pages of the Bible, while performing Antichrist Superstar during the Dead to the World tour. “Many children do not have parents and these lonely kids try to gravitate to people alike Marilyn Manson, with whom they identify themselves”, stated Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor, whilst having a discussion with Marilyn Manson (O’Reilly).

Dr. West, a national expert in the United States, identifies hip-hop as revolutionary form of music: “Rap music identifies young black women in five sexual personas: diva, a woman who trades sexual favours for luxury; gold digger, a woman who trades sexual favours for basic necessities and leaves men bankrupt; freak, a sexual powerhouse; gangster bitch, a "tough" girl; and baby mama, a child's needy mother”. Gold Digger, By Kanye West, is the classic example of this belief: "She take my money, well I'm in need, yeah she's a triflin' friend indeed. Oh she's a gold digger, way over time that digs on me.” Simultaneously the music video contains sexually aroused women in lingerie (Saengian).

Psychological research was conducted to assess the youngsters’ behavior after listening to rap music, which revealed that, teenagers watching rap videos were more accepting violence, especially against women. Additionally, female adolescents were more inclined to accept violence against them in relationships (Copley).

Although, there exist such organizations as ROC – Rock Out Censorship, which works hard for what they believe in and that is – no censorship. “You’ve got a right to rock: don’t let them take it away” (Rock and Roll Confidential). However this is not a powerful organization, as their plural activities are limited to issuing newspapers, having a community and supporting each other. ROC is oriented on style, rather than social values. Their official website contains pictures of celebrities, showing middle fingers under the headline, “Free Speech” and this way they try to set new criteria for being “cool” or “stylish”.

Despite all these evidences how negatively music can influence teens, on the other hand it is impossible to keep youngsters in absolute vacuum. There cannot be complete censorship in democratic society however it is possible to fortify artists’ social responsibilities and ban outrageous musical content during daytime. Government is the protector and guide of the society, so they can actually construct general restrictions and directions for media and provide young generations with healthy products.

Works Cited:

Copley, Jennifer. “Rap Music’s Psychological Effects.” 8 May, 2008.

O’Reilly, Bill. “Bill O’Reilly Factor” Video, YouTube. <>.

Rock and Roll Confidential, “You’ve Got a Right to Rock: don’t Let Then Take It Away.” Rock Out Censorship.

Saengian, Kathy. “Researcher Cites the Negative Influence of Hip-Hop.”, 15 Apr. 2008.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2. Columbine Massacre: Who is to blame?

Marilyn Manson was another performer with weird appearance and controversial musical content until April, 1999.

On April 20, 1999 in Columbia occurred a high school massacre when two teenagers killed 12 peers, 1 teacher and injured 21 other students. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold then committed suicide.

What connection does it have with Marilyn Manson? Well, this particular artist was partially accused for the crime, as these two mentally unstable youngsters turned out to be highly influence by his music and were his huge fans. It was argued that their action was encouraged and inspired by Manson’s creative work.

Manson's on-stage actions - including sex acts and smoking human bones - have caused upheaval in the US society, pushing him to mainstream fame.

The disgust spread across the US. Right-wing groups tried to get the shows banned, the police filmed them looking for evidence of obscenity. He was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida for pretending to urinate on stage.

One accusation against the band was that they handed out cocaine to a crowd of 3,000 and abused a bus full of kidnapped children and animals on stage.

In one instance he describes how he opened a canister of 500 crickets with which he planned to smother himself.

"When I opened the can, they had all died. The stench was one of the most disgusting things I had ever inhaled. I threw up instantly, and half a dozen people in the audience did the same. Even if I hadn't begun the concert with a message, I ended with one: disgust is contagious," he says in his book.

At the American Music Awards, Manson said, "We want to represent peace because we feel that if you give the world peace they want war. So we feel that by representing peace we're furthering the destruction of mankind with our music.

But in the end, who is to blame for Columbine Massacre? Should we blame the killers or their influences, or maybe both of them? Researchers in Indiana have measured the effects on a brain scan. The study investigator, Dr. Vincent Mathews, said prolonged exposure to violence actually affects brain function and behavior.

Here is the link, in case you are interested to watch the documentary about Columbine Massacre, but sadly it is just a trailer I found:

4. Recommended Web Pages

If you decide to closely research the negative influence of music on young people, than I would recommend several web pages, which would deepen your knowledge and understanding on this subject. The first one is the official web site of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry oriented on defining how different factors affect children’s mentality including media. There are useful researches and statistics. This is a trustworthy site because American Academy of Child and adolescent Psychiatry represents an authoritative organization.
This is a link to specific article on the website referring to negative influence of Music and Music Videos.

Another website you might find interesting is where you can find various blogs, news and researches in relation to Media and society issues. The educational resources are both for teachers and for parents, providing them with practical guidance and advices on how to cope and get the best out of Media for children.

Also: provides various articles about teenage hood in general as well as particularly media influence on youngsters. You can find out more about this age group, their mentality and way of perceiving the world. All of us were teenagers, but we frequently forget how we used to think and feel.

Bill O’Reilly is a very intelligent journalist having his program “O’Reilly Factor”, where he usually discusses main issues of contemporary society. You can watch his archived videos on his official website In one of his programs, he interviews Marilyn Manson and criticizes him for outrageous public behavior, being a disgraceful role model to youth. It is worth watching.

2. My Brother is a Rock Music Addict, thus violence, drug, alcohol and cigarette addict too

Two current events related to my theme? There are more than two, dozens and dozens probably, but the one that actually did affect me personally, was my 14 year old brothers attitude and behavior, which is really frustrating.

I have noticed that as he grows up, he becomes more self-confident and impudent. Well, we can assume that this is normal for his age and it is a natural development; however the fact that most of the time he spends locked up in his bedroom,
with amplifiers on its maximum, reads books about Kurt Cobain’s biography using his dirty language whilst speaking, or spends hours researching different web pages about Hippies, is a little bit distracting. Music shapes his new world which is socially unfriendly and disturbing. He refuses to communicate with us, because “we simply can not understand him”. But come on, I was a 14 year old teenager 5 years ago, but did not think that the world was against me. Rather than listening to parents, he prefers taking advices from late Nirvana troubled frontman, who by the way committed suicide in 1994 God knows why.

The scandal occurred when my mom found a pack of red Marlboro in his bedroom a month ago, because Gallaghers from Oasis smoke the same cigarettes! Unbelievable what a negative influence artists might have on kids. Gallagher brothers are seen smoking everywhere, in the professional pictures, during the concerts, during certain interviews… It is the part of their image, their music, their art. Cigarette, alcohol and violence became an integral element of art, which helps products to sell. Come on, earning money can not be more important than healthy mentality of the future generation. It becomes more evident when you see someone close to you on the wrong track and can’t halt the process..! Well, I am against banning something as well, because personally I’m a democrat and support freedom in most of the aspects, but artists frequently forget that they are idolized by thousands of youngsters, due to whom they earn millions, so they are responsible towards them.

Certain category of Music can be especially harmful. Yes, it has any right to exist, promoting it as something "valuable" and preaching youngsters to follow it, is incorrect and deceitful.

3. Under the Influence of...Music? blog by Tara Parker-Pope

I was thinkging today, that this blog about Music as negative influence however, might be exaggerating some aspects of the issue. For instance, there is nothing wrong with the fact that “nearly 9 out of 10 adolescents and teens have an MP3 player or a compact disc player in their bedrooms”. What's wrong with having an MP3 player, the thing is how do we use them. This fact proves the importance of music in teenagers’ lives more than any other media. That is why we need to be more cautious, as children feed on music and music videos. They get spiritual nourishment and idea about life most effectively from music.

“Music is well-known to connect deeply with adolescents and to influence identity development, perhaps more than any other entertainment medium,” said the study authors.
That's exactly what I am talking about! So, be more attentive, as media channels will air outrageous musical content as long as it earns some money and follows some principles of ethics. Follow the link below to read the full blog by Parker-Pope:

Yeah, and when I watch this video, I become really, really, REALLU curious to try some of these:, have a look, do you get the same feeling? The song is one of my favorited by the way.

3. Under the Influence of...Music? Blog by Tara Parker-Pope

Yesterday, I came across a very interesting article on New-York Times blog by Tara Parker-Pope which I found extremely effective, because it included various statistics and researches proving my opinion about negative influence of popular music. The article was titled “Under the Influence of… Music?”
It turned out to be that, one in three popular songs contains explicit references to drug or alcohol use according to a report in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

93 songs out of 279 most popular songs of 2005 according to Billboard magazine, portrayed substance abuse, 23.7% depicted alcohol use, 13.6 % depicted marijuana use and 11.5% depicted other or unspecified substance use. Okay I might disagree here, because lyrics which contain substance abuse might not destroy lives of teenagers and it is unacceptable to live and raise children in complete vacuum, but the fact that music as art became something associated with substance abuse or violence, something nasty indeed, is pretty upsetting to me. You can find the chart above on the following link:
The whole fun from music is taken out. Instead of becoming more playful and brighter, music goes near to violence, alcohol and drugs which are considered to be symbols of “freedom”; and music on its behalf is the way to freedom and no one can restrict artists from self expressionism. Okay, nobody argues that people must not be free to express their ideas. Express what you want, but when you bother me, with your expressionism, than it becomes violation of my rights.
Obviously Tara Parker-Pope agrees with me upon this statement as her article speaks against so called art which actively promotes drug abuse and violence.