We were sitting at the water’s edge, having a drink after a relaxing walk. The winter sky had a depth of blue which was breathtaking. The warm sun drew us into the open, away from the confines of indoors. A few fishermen had settled next to the dam, baiting their hooks against the backdrop of snow capped mountains reflected in the still water surface. It made the moment seem like a picture book. The discussion we were having was far removed from the serene natural beauty.
“I think the best way to get my teenage son to stop listening to rappers like Eminem is to make him aware of the possible motive which these angry young artists might have. I take him into music shops to show him the covers of these CDs. Some of these covers show sinister pictures of babies being eaten by giant cockroaches. On most of them there is always a picture of a young boy somewhere in the corner, almost like a sublime message to attract young boys. I don’t think I can get him to abandon his music just because I dislike it. After all, in my youth my father banned the Beatles’ music, but we still listened to it when he wasn’t around. I suppose he will do the same. Maybe it is a generation thing!”
He was trying to rationalise away his fears and his deeper knowledge of what could be harmful to his son. His eyes reflected his feeling of powerlessness. This is most probably what sparked my response.
“Difference is, today these rappers and bands of young male artists target young teenage boys as their market. A recent study published in Time Magazine tried to establish the connection or not between young males who go onto shooting sprees in schools and their love of these lyrics. As with most human behaviour, nothing definite can ever be established due to the many variables in society. However, the preference young males have for make- believe war games, whether in movies, videos, TV games or computer games, together with the constant exposure to violent lyrics of why they should hate God, their parents and whoever else is on the list, does not make for a calm and productive teenager who is testosterone filled as it is. If he was my son, he would be dealt with with more authority than reason. Few youngsters can differentiate between good and bad, that is what a parent should be teaching them.”