Off Topic Messages

The Death of Rock?

Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:21 am ... 976802.htm

Rock's ticker has stopped


By Thane Tierney (record-label executive)

Here's an excellent way to celebrate rock 'n' roll's 50th birthday: Pull the plug and give it the proper burial it deserves.

Rock has been in a persistent vegetative state for more than a decade, and it shows no signs of coming back. Ever.

Want evidence? Look at the top-15-grossing pop (very broadly defined) tours from last year. The top five were Prince, Celine Dion, Madonna, Metallica and Bette Midler, all of whom have been recording in excess of 20 years. Ditto all the rockers in the next 10 (Elton John, Rod Stewart, Van Halen, Jimmy Buffett, et al), with the exception of Dave Matthews, who has been around a mere dozen years. (Just for reference, a dozen years is the span of time between Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and the Beatles' "Hey Jude.")

Look at the top-albums chart. It's dominated by rap. There are three rock records in the top 20. Three. In 1967, it was 15.

Cue the howls of protest.

"If only your harebrained correspondent knew about (insert band name here), he'd play a different tune.''

"I just got the new album by (insert band name here), and it's the best thing since (insert classic-rock-band name here).''

"That moron doesn't know anything about real rock. Rock lives!''

Uh-huh. So does Elvis.

As long as there's a Disneyland, there will be barbershop quartets. As long as there are cruise ships, there will be swing bands. As long as there are electric guitars, there will be rockers. So what?

To its credit, rock lived a good long life. Like an old bluesman, though, it seems to have lost its birth certificate. Various reports have it born in 1951, when Jackie Brenston recorded "Rocket 88,'' or 1947, when Roy Brown cut "Good Rockin' Tonight.'' Its birth date is most commonly given as 1955, the year when Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock'' hit No. 1.

In its adolescence, rock not only articulated the angst of a disaffected youth, it also shaped language, style, clothing and politics. It sought to raise consciousness, from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth'' to John Lennon's "Imagine.'' Even apolitical Elvis got into the spirit with "In the Ghetto.'' Rock abdicated its primacy in those roles to hip-hop and rap years ago, and rock's audience largely abandoned it; just ask any record company for the figures.

Endless recycling, not only of riffs but also of the music itself, sapped rock of its vitality. Time was, oldies were dragged out of retirement solely on holidays for the inevitable Top 100 Countdown of Your All-Time Favorites. No longer. Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon,'' Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama,'' and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven'' have all been in continuous rotation on radio for more than 30 years, especially among broadcasters such as Clear Channel Communications and Infinity Broadcasting. Had this been the case in the '60s, we would have grown up listening to golden oldies by the likes of Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians, the Ink Spots and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.

Historically speaking, rock had a great run. Dixieland flourished for about 30 years; big-band swing lasted about half that long. As those styles ran out of gas, their most talented practitioners retired or led the charge to the next big sound. Rock stars, however, seem locked into the same old, tired groove.

When are these guys going to hang up their rock 'n' roll shoes anyway? Eric Clapton is 60. Mick Jagger is 62. Paul McCartney is 63. Ringo Starr is 65. Chuck Berry is 79. Anybody who says any of them is just as good now as he or she was then either wasn't there, or has been huffing glue for the past 40 years.

I can't blame rock fans for being stuck in the denial phase of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief. But it's time to move on, before rock's carcass starts stinkin' up the joint.

Sure, filling out rock's death certificate is problematic. It's as hard to attach a specific date to its demise as it was to affix one to its birth. Some would place it at disco's ascension in the late '70s; others would say punk's arrival spelled the death knell for substance, replacing it with fashion.

Personally, I would point to 1992, when Eric Clapton's "Unplugged'' album turned rock's most eloquent cri de coeur, "Layla,'' into a lounge-lizard anthem. It might not have been the actual agent of rock's death, but it was a potent indicator: The soul of rock's greatest living guitarist had been snatched by Bill Murray.

So let's light the birthday candles one last time, drag out the family album(s) and tell each other the stories we've heard endlessly for the past half-century. Then blow the candles out . . . and leave them out.

Roll over Beethoven, and tell the Eagles the news.


Miscellaneous note from Monterey County Herald:

''The first T-shirt with a rock likeness was put out by an Elvis Presley fan club around 1956,'' Kramer, 43, says. ''It's very rare and had a rendering of the famous Tampa '55 photo on it, colorized.''

Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:29 am

I thought there might be an element of truth in that, and there probably is, but to a much lesser degree than the writer would hope.

Rap, sure, but isn't there a trend, albeit a slow one, where the clock is turning back ?

What is Rock ?
What isn't Rock ?

When bands like Oasis take off like they did does that not say more for the lack of other similar bands as much as it does about the musical talent of Oasis ?

What about someone like Robbie Williams ? Robbie is Rock ? Sure he is, it's about the people that buy into him as much as it is the artist himself, take a look at Robbie live in Berlin.

Good article though in that it did provoke thought. But rock is about an image and everyones still copying Elvis. That's when Rock began, when Elvis introduced the image not when any particular song was released.

Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:08 am

Rock was still pretty vital and dominant into the late 1990s. In fact, when Clapton made that album, rock was in one of its most vital phases as the sound of Seattle was exploding all over the charts and bands like Metallica has just gained a massive popularity. There is no question now that rap and black pop are the dominant popular music of the day.

It does not mean that rock is dead. It means that it is not the dominant form of popular music. It is now a traditional form like the blues and I don't think that's anything bad. I don't think it was oldies radio or classic rock radio that sapped of its vitality, it's just that it had its moment. The basic structure is pretty much limited and it reinvented itself countless times within that structure. Like I said, it doesn't mean that a distinctive original approach is not possible but there doesn't seem to be any new movements on the way.

Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:03 pm

Interesting article, Eileen but the glib tone of the author grates.
Does he celebrate Hip-Hop's rise? I bet he or she does.
Also, they seem to worship at the alter of youth-obsessing.

I'm not all that sure that Hip Hop has the hold on the
broad public
that we are sometimes told. In either event, rap is by some
definitions already 30 years old! That's 1975, people.
That's pretty old too. And "later" acts like Run-DMC have
long since become favorite "nostalgia" acts.

As LTB points out, rock is now akin to Blues and other now standard
forms of music. People have been declaring that "the blues is dead" or "jazz is dead" forever. I suspect rock will always make a comeback.

It's a language and a framework that I can't imagine totally fading
anymore than the ballad. :roll: The 12 bars are going nowhere!

Besides, the point about old codgers in rock if anything ignores
the commonality between rock and blues (or country), where, if
anything, age helps. One can gain just the right seasoning
and world-weary wisdom just by living and getting older.

Muddy Waters' "'77 Comeback" (just six years short of his death) had a
new vigor on par with anything he'd ever done. Albert King
rocked like it was no-one's business up until 1992. We can learn from these guys, and yes, cut a break for the otherwise over-exposed
rock giants now pushing 70. For instance, the reunited Cream just
played the UK and then MSG in New York last week, to rather
good reviews. (And many were prepared to jump them. The critic
posted below is as harsh a critic of rock dinosaurs that I've seen normally...)

Boomers have
a hard time imagining their rock heroes shouldn't get old. And the
snide ones coming after (say, Punk fans) may also have
to adjust to this fact of life.

"Long live rock"!
Cream plays the Garden, 2005: Clapton with Ginger Baker

Long-awaited licks of
Cream served up at MSG

by Jim Farber (NY) Daily News

Eric Clapton plays the guitar as Ginger Baker bangs away on drums during Cream's reunion tour at the Garden last night.

Talk about your leisurely breaks.

A staggering 37 years after Cream last set foot on American soil, the trio reunited Monday night for the first in a series of three shows at Madison Square Garden.

Unsurprisingly, the reconstituted Cream served up last night wasn't quite the same brew that peaked in the '60s. Rarely did their riffs, leads or beats strike the unique dynamics and strategies of Cream's genius. Thankfully, they did mine other qualities in the music that proved stalwart and pleasing in their own right.

At the Garden, fans got to hear a sleek and pruned version of the world's premiere power trio. In classics like their opener, "I'm So Glad," or "Born Under a Bad Sign," the players carefully navigated the melodies and offered thoughtful swipes at jams. Only a few times, however, did the group approach the spontaneity or abstraction that once made this act the cream of all jam bands.

When the group formed in 1966, their fantastic notion was to treat blues-rock with the wild improvisation and dense soloing of free jazz - to mix John Mayall with Ornette Coleman. Toward that end, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker used to play like they were trying to run each other off the stage. Bruce's bass solos in particular shoved and prodded Clapton's leads, until you weren't sure if the two were about to fight or embrace. It was a riot of sound, and a profound one at that.

Just twice last night did the neo-Cream approach that kind of mania. In "N.S.U." and "Sweet Wine," the players teased and flirted with each others' licks to create a heady cascade of solos. Elsewhere, in "Stormy Monday" or "Sleepy Time," Clapton hit his peaks while the others held back.

Even in these sections, the group found a power in the sexy grind of their blues riffs. Songs like "Badge" and "Tales of Brave Ulysses" had real swing.

Other numbers lapsed into the tepid. The band played "Crossroads" at half the pace of old. They pulled their punches on "White Room," and "Toad" found Ginger Baker shuffling more than pounding.

However, the excitement generated by the pure notion of Cream playing together again carried them through. And rarely did they fail to deliver at least a tasteful performance. But for a group that staked its legend on pushing rock's boundaries, it's too bad their comeback didn't foster a greater sense of adventure. -JF

Originally published on October 25, 2005
Cut 'em some slack, Farber, they were better than you expected! :lol:

Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:23 pm

I can't say anything about Cream because I didn't like them when they were young.

I too notice the Baby Boomer disdain and denial of aging in the piece. The writer hopes his or her idols will go away because seeing them old reminds them of their own mortality and the passage of time. We would never in another field tell a person they couldn't follow their passion any more just because of age. I mean if they're still physically able to do it than we should celebrate them.

I also think there is an element of the baby boomers constant need to seem hip in the article. "I'm down with the hip hop. I don't listen to those old dinosaurs." (On a sidenote Greg, I think you are way too hard in general on hip hop. Like early rock and roll it is something that has opened up music making to the masses. I'm not saying I enjoy it as much as other forms of popular music but there is some worthy work being done there.)

While the work currently being done by the mentioned artists does not stack up against their classic recent work by Dion certainly does. And the stuff that Johnny Cash did in the ten years before he died was definitely of a piece and arguably more consistent than his early work even on Sun.

Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:32 pm

One cannot spell crap without including the letters RAP.

Ten Things That Every Rap song MUST have:

Jewelery aka Bling
Women’s Breasts
Women’s Legs
Women’s asses
Sex with women
Drinking alcohol
Smoking grass

Fo shizzle, YO!!!

Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:51 pm

Well, LiketheBike,
I didn't expect you to like Cream from past comments, but they
did dent the pop charts. I like that quite a few "classic rock" acts even
then weren't afraid of 45 rpm success. They are quite played out,
but what a trio they were. Jack Bruce was a hell of singer, too.
To these ears, they were a terrific hybrid of blues, jazz, rock,
and new and "Old Tyme" pop.

The attitude about youth seems to be a very American tendency, at that,
particularly when now coupled with demographic and market studies.
What a cocktail that is.

And given that it is a record exec, he's either a boomer riding the out
the extension of "Hope I Die Before I Get Old" credo or perhaps a later sort who came of age during punk or New Wave, and takes comfort in
seeing his "older brothers" age. Possibly, he's a true child of hip hop
(doubtful) but likewise, he's assuming Hip Hop is still "hip" by definition.

I'm hard on Hip Hop because I feel it still gets a critical free-ride. I'm
aware of some decent hip hop, but it seems to be the exception.

Like critic Stanley Crouch, I also can't get past the fact that it
seems to be a form of latter-day buffoonery, a minstrelsy
devoid of much in the way of musical talent. And one's that overly
hostile and negative, one that is one-noted in terms of it's emotional
He can say it because he's a noted jazz scholar andAfrican-American. You or I might be deemed "insensitive" or at least
"not getting it."

Sure, there's a racial dimension, too, one starkly different from prior
forms of black music that eventually won universal acclaim and fandom.
It seems white music lovers are either goaded into
respecting Hip Hop, or twist into pretzels convincing themselves they like it,-or are too cowered to criticize it publically. Even Spike Lee
has cricitized Hip Hop lately. He's (surprise!) the father of growing
children. The second article especially deserves your attention.
He's dead on.

Here's two recent Crouch articles on Hip Hop:

Hip hop takes a hit

Black women are starting to fight rap's degrading images

You never know in America. Just when you think something bad is going to go on far longer than it should, signs of its being brought to a sudden halt appear.

Nelly, a rapper from St. Louis who is notorious for his hedonistic rap videos and dehumanizing images of black women, has been stopped in his tracks by a group of concerned young women from Spelman College and young men from Morehouse College, two historically black schools in Atlanta.

The rapper chose not to appear at a recent fund-raiser in Atlanta for a bone marrow project to avoid being confronted by these students, who deem the images of women in his videos indefensible.

This was a first, and a long time coming - and it may be just the tip of a mountain that has been hidden from view by all the excuses made for rappers based purely on the big money they make.

A brother is just out there working hard to make some cash, say the apologists. All a rapper is telling us is what he is seeing. And nobody is forcing those women to roll their behinds at the video cameras. They are just trying to make a little money like everybody else.

The women at Spelman were not having it. They were tired of being referred to as bitches, as 'hos, as freaks. They demanded a change of direction and content. It is an issue of respect.

This should be a revolutionary moment in popular culture - the fire starting to get free. No group other than black women has sat in silence while being constantly dehumanized for so long a time.

That dehumanization has reached a level that makes the old-time movies full of giggling, handkerchief-headed black maids seem child's play.

How long could we expect women to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the obvious hatred of their sex expressed in rap videos? How long would it be before women grew angry at being perpetually depicted as hopped-up sluts willing to do anything for a chance to party next to young men with money?

I am seeing signs that what happened at Spelman and Morehouse colleges is far from an isolated reaction.

About a month ago, I was brought (coincidentally) to Atlanta by Leatrice Ellzy, a cultural producer who runs a lecture series called "The Intellectual Underground." One gives a talk and entertains questions from the audience. I made my usual attack on the new minstrelsy of rap and got a very good response.

Earlier, in February, I spoke in Minneapolis at the request of composer Bill Banfield, and got a similar response. Clearly, folks are getting sick of seeing women constantly insulted and degraded.

In the June issue of Essence, Diane Weathers, editor in chief of the magazine, takes a very serious swing at this media monster. Essence is the oldest magazine for black women in this country, and it is exciting to think of its taking on something as injurious to civilized male attitudes as hip hop.

I also have heard from various sources that we may see conferences being held on women and the crisis in hip hop and that protests in a number of places are in the planning.

Oh, happy day! Black women have been so important to so many things that have bettered our nation. If they move on it, they will bring this monster down. -Stanley Crouch

Originally published on April 23, 2004


Hip hop's thugs hit new low | Black popular culture continues to descend. The most recent and monstrous aspect of it comes, as usual, from the world of hip hop, where thugs and freelance prostitutes have been celebrated for a number of years.

This new development is observable in the work of Snoop Doggy Dog, Jay-Z and 50 Cent: the elevation of pimps as cultural heroes. That's beyond degraded.

A black executive in the world of popular music said to me a few years ago that the number of Negro performers who have actually become millionaires through hip hop sales is surely not even 100, but the price that their influence has extracted from black communities across this nation numbers in thousands upon thousands who have been murdered or beaten up or terrorized. After all, the celebration of thugs and thuggish behavior should not be expected to bring about any other results.

There are, of course, those who will say that all young people, not only in America but overseas, are in love with gangsters and thugs and the rebelliousness that thugs represent. That is why we find ourselves faced with white and Asian young people who suffer from the same abysmal taste and exhibit the same lack of social skills seen in the black and Latino gangster.

But it seems to me that if all those other people were serious about being thugs and gangsters, there would be an appreciable rise in their neighborhoods of the murder, gang violence and urban terrorism that so-called urban communities - code for black and Latino - are the victims of, day in and day out.

The truth is something else. When a small but extremely dangerous number of black and Latino young men imitate the behavior projected in gangster rap recordings and videos, they go far beyond the surface obnoxiousness that is common to most American young people.

This obnoxiousness has a strong tradition, coming from 50 years of rock 'n' roll in which adults and authority are looked upon as the ultimate enemies of teenage fun.

But with white kids, the point is irritating their parents, not becoming a member of a violent gang. Most of those parents are now Cher's age and are not at all bothered by noisy pop music turned up too loud. That is exactly what they grew up on, even if the style was different.

Those white parents can, however, be disturbed by racial epithets and the misogyny so rampant in gangster rap. Basically, that's enough for obnoxious white teenagers.

With black teenagers, we have another problem, which is that street behavior is defined these days as being "authentic" and "not trying to be white." Those who take that seriously have been committing intellectual suicide for years by aspiring downward.

No other ethnic group has ever judged its authenticity by the lowdown ways of its scum. But in the poisonous wing of gangster rap, anything is possible.

Stanley Crouch is a columnist for the New York Daily News, novelist, essayist, critic and television commentator. He has served since 1987 as an artistic consultant at Lincoln Center and is a co-founder of the department known as Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 1993, he received both the Jean Stein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a MacArthur Foundation grant. He is now working on a biography of Charlie Parker.

As it turns out, the guy who wrote the article, "Thane Tierney" is (was?) an exec at Rhino Records.
How 'bout that.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:19 am

Women’s Breasts
Women’s Legs
Women’s asses
Sex with women

Hey, I think I'm learning to love rap music!

Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:51 am

I have to take Crouch with a grain of salt. A few years ago, he dismissed Elvis and Chuck Berry and Little Richard etc. as "children's music." He's a jazz snob.

I take some of his points well including the glorification of the thug lifestyle. When gangsta rap came out, it served a function by throwing a mirror on this perverse but real lifestyle. Even then no one should have excused some of the uglier excesses even though in many ways they were a reflection not an endorseement. When the rappers tried to justify their actions is when people should have called them. That some rappers have glorified a lifestyle of murder and or pimping is wrong.

Personally, I always thought the martyred Tupac and Biggie were pathetic. I always chide my sister's kids when they get carried away with this story of destiny. I remind them that (at least at the beginning) Frank Sinatra did not like Elvis. But he never thought of killing him over it.

I'm not sure how much of a free pass it gets. It gets blasted all the time. There are some critics and social commentators who are afraid to get on artist because they don't want to miss the next Elvis. You can see this a bit with Eminem. While he is indeed a major talent and many of his tracks are exciting and funny. He can also grow tiresome very quick when he hops on his hobby horses and he is also a bit of a one trick pony. I saw a critic on TV who said he would be remembered over Elvis because he did with the real world and Elvis delved in fantasy. Not my real world.

The elevation of an artist like Eminem is not just a rap thing though. The culture as a whole has embraced, meanness and ugliness (taking that for the real world) as one of its central aesthetics. You can see it in non-rap music, tv shows, movies etc. That to me is where there's more of a critical pass.

Personally, I miss the quality of yearning in pop culture.

The sexism thing is kind of overblown in that pop music of all forms has always had a problem with this. But in terms of girls dancing sexy in videos I think that is people being too sensitive. Sex is a part of life and at some time you are going to think of another person- male or female- as a sex object. Sex does not automatically equal misogyny.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:32 am

Mick Jagger said, "Rock 'n' Roll died when our parents started listening to it". (He said that about twenty years ago, if I remember correctly?)

Yes, My Mam bought Elvis records, so did my mother-in-law :-) ... 202005.php

Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:34 pm

My take on the article is that the author believes the rock genre has been stagnant for quite some time. Nothing original in rock music or performance or image, nothing new to say, not even a reinvigorated something old. I can't come up with much evidence to disagree with that. And I particularly agree with the side note that my local classic rock fm channel sounds just like it did when I was in high school - I've made that comment so often to friends we've got an in-joke about it ("And next we've got... the latest album from Yes.... on the King Biscuit....Flour Hour....")

I'm not reading any celebration of hip-hop in the piece.

LTB I vehemently disagree about the 'sexism thing' being overblown. With a smile, but vehemently. It's ludicrous that I have to explain to an 8 year girl why she isn't buying the CHILD SIZED underwear in the CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT that say 'pornstar' on the butt. I won't even pretend to reasonably consider your opinion on this and am only proud to be wildly 'oversensitive' on the subject.


Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:24 pm

LTB wrote:
I have to take Crouch with a grain of salt. A few years ago, he dismissed Elvis and Chuck Berry and Little Richard etc. as "children's music." He's a jazz snob.

There's an element of that with Stanley Crouch,
and you can see a line against rock in there,
but there's some truth to it, too.
Rock'n'roll is very much youth-centered.

He's too readily dismissed as just
as "jazz snob." He's also always talking up the blues (as opposed to
true jazz snobs) as a music and asthetic. He's also one of the most
interesting observers on African-American life and politics -without
being a total "black conservative" type like Armstrong Williams, etc.
Stanley Crouch takes no guff from the right or left and on Hip Hop
he's largely right and unfraid to speak plainly about rap. He's
actually comes from a humble background and it shows. He's
no snob. He champions working-class music as a rule.

His bombastic take is probably necessary as few
among Black America (let alone the rest of the US) have articulated
a language to say, "hold on a minute..." America has relaxed
considerably since the early days of rock in the '50s and '60s but
today still finds it difficult to say "that's crap" without (sin of all
sins) "sounding like their parents." Now that a boomer shibboleth
if there ever was one. And it too will fade.

Interesting take on Eminem, LTB. I'm no big Bono fan, but when
I read yesterday that Eminem didn't even return phone calls from him
regarding Live Aid (kids in Africa wear his t-shirts, etc.), I thought
"what a punk." Check your egos at the door? Not with him.

Great point about ugliness in pop culture. That's what I probably
most dislike about hip hop and some forms of rock (mostly on the
margins now, such as "Death Metal," etc. The day we spit on
"yearning" in music (and Elvis had a lot of it) is the day we've devolved
socially. I was put off by some of those Cleveland kids quoted in the
articles Eileen quoted at what is called "Brookyn" High School. One
referred to Elvis as sounding like "little kids' music." Why? Because
it has things like melody? :roll: Now that's sad.

I'm also open on the sexuality issue. There's no reason to return
to the bland, uptight Eisenhower years which Elvis rendered obsolete.
But when there's no yin and yang, it's just pure vulgarism. Elvis
played with that tension, and certainly the '60s furthered it, but
they say there are no limits now and it's largely true. Even
Madonna :shock: is lately sounding like an arch-conservative when it
comes to sexuality and kids. Now that she has a few tykes, she
better understands the dynamic. Better late than never.

I'm with Eileen on this one.

As for "Rock" being dead, I don't think pop music is going away and that will include things that "rock" for a long time.

There's no reason for that exec to dance on its "grave".

Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:28 am

Two points-

1. Not everything has to be palatable for the consumption of children.

2. There is no question of rock's youth appeal but that does not make it Barney. If "Don't Be Cruel" is a children's song than "Romeo and Juliet" is a children's play.

Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:52 am

likethebike wrote:Not everything has to be palatable for the consumption of children.

I agree with that. I also think that products sized for children, marketed to children, and sold in stores or departments labeled "Childrens", "Girls", or "Boys", should be palatable for the consumption of children. (And of course not all will agree on what is and is not palatable.)


Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:07 am

I agree with your point. I think though that the people who put "porn star" on a pair of children's underwear should be held culpable for that kind of action. But then scummy marketers are all over.

I know it's overplayed but parents have to take some kind of responsibilty in terms of exposure to adult culture. I know you can't block everything but there are many people who don't even try and if you're not trying you can't complain. I was in the store recently and a kid went berserk for "Drawn Together" an adult cartoon that runs late at night on Comedy Central. I was very disturbed that the kid knew the show. However, it's an idictment of the parents. This show is on late at night. A parent would have to willingly let their kids in on this thing. You don't have to let your kids watch everything they ask. And you yourself can sacrifice as well. If a person wants to watch "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" wait till the kids are in bed. I know this isn't always possible but parents have to try as well.

Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:11 am

Eileen wrote:
likethebike wrote:Not everything has to be palatable for the consumption of children.

I agree with that. I also think that products sized for children, marketed to children, and sold in stores or departments labeled "Childrens", "Girls", or "Boys", should be palatable for the consumption of children. (And of course not all will agree on what is and is not palatable.)


I'm with you Eileen. And what's this trend for young teen girls to be wearing Playboy-branded clothes/accessories? Last time I checked, Playboy was an adult magazine with naked women in it. Hardly seems appropriate for a 13-14 yr old to have a Playboy t-shirt and keychain. Weird!

Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:35 am

likethebike wrote:I know it's overplayed but parents have to take some kind of responsibilty in terms of exposure to adult culture.

I agree with that too. Actually I would go further than that and say "adults have to take some kind of responsibilty in terms of exposure to adult culture." My initial comment though was in regards to sexism and me not finding the issue overblown, in case any readers are getting lost now. ;)

likethebike wrote:But then scummy marketers are all over.

I don't think it's a group of scummy marketers so much (the way it used to be), it seems pretty mainstream now.

TJ wrote:And what's this trend for young teen girls to be wearing Playboy-branded clothes/accessories? Last time I checked, Playboy was an adult magazine with naked women in it.

Yes, just more of that same trend.

There is much interesting discussion online on the broader topic because of a new book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy. I haven't read the book yet so no opinion, but I've read quite a few blog discussions and media articles that were triggered by its release - lots out there.

Unrelated to the book, I've thought for a long time that a real shift occurred during some early Britney marketing, what I called back then her 'pandering to pedophiles portfolio' - Britney about 15 years old posed sexually in surroundings, clothes, hairstyles appropriate to a 7 year old. When that received a thumbs up from the public, the line moved.


Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:51 am

That's an interesting point and I one I agree with to a certain degree. I very much perceived at that time that Britney was not necessarily appealing to pedophiles but appealing to a kind of jail bait mentality.

My point about the sexism was simply that I don't think appreciating the sexual quality of a woman or a man in a video is something that will completely distort your world view. It's reasonable for males or females to have purely sexual fantasies from time to time. I think most people can separate fantasy from reality.

Wed Nov 02, 2005 1:40 pm

Our 7 year old granddaughters are wearing nail polish... Oh dear!

But their mother a fine classical pianist is raising them them to appreciate classical music, Ballet, literature, Elvis and Kate Bush:-)

I suppose our new great grandson will be wearing ear-rings and stuff when he is four:-(

As for the golden age of Rock 'n' Roll...someone said the past is like a foreign country, they did things differently there. (Or words to that effect)

Wise words.

All the revision in the world will not make the slightest difference the general public know the truth, it's just common sense now.

Writers and popular music historians are tying themselves in knots and from what iv'e witnessed, they are getting nowhere fast.

A Trinity college graduate producing a radio show on popular music "Fanatics" here in Dublin invited me to his home to discuss the history of "Rock 'n' Roll". He was still researching. I spent three and a half hours with him and we had barely reached "Loving You" when his eyes glazed over:-)

Later we did a radio interview live on-air and he attempted to poke fun at us (Maureen was with me in the studio) as Elvis "Fanatics". He picked the wrong guy:-) In a moment he was hearing all about the International Conference on Elvis Presley and all about the Intellectual Elvis fans who attended...even Beethoven crept into the conversation. The two other guests on the show only knew what they had read in a few music history books. It was fun:-)

Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:33 pm

Well aren't you an Elvis fanatic ? I am.

A person with excessive enthusiasm for something.

Some even go on radio stations live on air, I haven't ever wanted to take my enthusiasm that far myself, but never-the-less I still regard myself as excessively enthusiastic in other ways. Nearly 5000 posts on here for example.

Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:24 pm

Chambers Dictionary. Fanatic = Unreasonably zealous. Are you Steve_M?

I like to think I am quite reasonable:-) Even about Elvis. It's hard I know.

Now if you would like to hear a lot more about a real Ludwig Van Beethoven fanatic, stick around..............I was playing his mad Seventh symphony this morning, you know the Irish one. It just grips your emotions, has you in tears, then happily dancing the wildest jig imaginable. Don't get me started on the Appasionata Sonata or the choral fantasy which our daughter played for months, every night on the piano back in the 70s, till I knew it note by note. As our son played Beethoven's violin music in another room while Maureen listened to a recording of Beethoven's Triple Concerto as I painted Beethoven in oils for a Beethoven fanatic who eventually took away the picture still wet.

Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:56 pm

The "juvenile delinquents" of the 1950s...!
LTB, of course, lax parenting probably is a plague in the USA now,
especially because the two-income household is now apparently the norm,either by choice ("got to have a big house and two cars") or,
as economists have noted, average male wages declined so much
after 1970 (after decades of booming) that one wage "wasn't enough"
to sustain previous standards of living. Plus, feminisim grew to the point
that a woman staying home to raise her kids was somehow seen as
backward. Today, the trend of educated women
(if that controversial NY Times article is to be believed)
recognized that they would not pay money to have strangers do what
they can do better. In either event, kids now more than ever
have fewer anchors in their life, with TV and video-usage at
an all-time (hourly)daily high.

But that said, the "societal glue" we once had is largely gone, LTB.
Very little is off-bounds during, say, prime-time television. Many parents
today feel under siege from the entertainment industry, be it Hip Hop,
video games or clothing. And it's not just sex but violence and
an overall "anything goes" attitude.

It's a real challenge for parents to shield their kids from that.
There used to be an impled social compact on right and wrong, particularly on sexuality.

I'm no stick in the mud but maybe we were too quick to end
the "family hour" that used to reign from 8-9pm. Or rather, it's
the TV execs who ended it, sensing that they could get away with it.
I also think this has driven otherwise reasonable people into the arms
of ultra-conservative churches that go farther in removing people
from a sense of "society." The latter is something to run away from,

We laugh at the "uptight" fifties that Elvis punctured,
but really, where
does it end? There's always been clear adult entertainment, but blur
the line to much and you a society effectively "eats its young."
And such cynicisim fuels futher cynicism, to the point where that
"yearning" you rightly mourn in pop music today becomes something for
an otherwise good kid to scoff at and turn to gangsta rap as some
kind of "fuel" and "outlet."

The comment I made about that Cleveland High School teenager was quoted saying that Elvis' music
sounds like "kids' music" to be shows how we have celebrated jadedness,
thuggery, and pure attitude. To even hint at real melody in song
today risks making one too "soft." The bass from the car right
next to you at a traffic light tells you all you need to know about
how music has become an "in your face" attitude weapon of sorts.

So it's true, actual children's music today often borrows from rock oldies, so perhaps hearing something like "Don't Be Cruel" could ring such a bell
for a now grown child. I can almost see that example (it is a "sweet" song) but "Baby, Let's Play House" or "Jailhouse Rock" or even
"Hound Dog" corny? Not to any kid truly listening. It may be sound
kind of "old," but harmless?: I agree definitely not.

P.S. to Eileen, re:
Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy. ... I mentioned this
book recently on FECC. Didn't read it but the book is attracting love/hate reactions...

Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:54 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:Chambers Dictionary. Fanatic = Unreasonably zealous. Are you Steve_M?

I like to think I am quite reasonable:-) Even about Elvis. It's hard I know.

Now if you would like to hear a lot more about a real Ludwig Van Beethoven fanatic, stick around..............I was playing his mad Seventh symphony this morning, you know the Irish one. It just grips your emotions, has you in tears, then happily dancing the wildest jig imaginable. Don't get me started on the Appasionata Sonata or the choral fantasy which our daughter played for months, every night on the piano back in the 70s, till I knew it note by note. As our son played Beethoven's violin music in another room while Maureen listened to a recording of Beethoven's Triple Concerto as I painted Beethoven in oils for a Beethoven fanatic who eventually took away the picture still wet.

I was quoting the Oxford English Dictionary, Maurice.

As for the rest I can assure you that many things you state are wrong but I would be interested in where you got the misinformation from.

Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:40 pm

Steve_M, "As for the rest I can assure you that many things you state are wrong but I would be interested in where you got the misinformation from."

I dont know what misinformation you are referring to? Please tell me.

Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:06 am

I meant that it did none of those things to me that you said it did.

As for being an unreasonably zealous fanatic in the purest sense of the meaning I would have to admit to being more so than not, and if there is no differing degrees or sliding scale to quantify it then it would have to be a "Yes, I must be".

I'm not sure what would make it reasonable or unreasonable, if it is what i want to do and no one else is affected then thats reasonable I guess, but long term I might be missing out on other things that i might regret later in life, just that I don't realise what they are at this point in time.