Boston Teen Party

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LadyGaGaTheFameMonster.JPGKids are stepping it up in Boston. A panel of 14 teens recently started pointing to some contemporary music and telling their peers, “watch out for this junk.”  And their list of noxious tunes included well-known hits from artists such as Lady Gaga  and rapper T-Pain.

It all started with the Boston Public Health Commission asking youthful volunteers to toss their opinions into the mix about some of the music that teens are listening to—especially songs that might offer “unhealthy relationship ingredients.” So after this group of kids spat out their gum and sat up straight, they were given a seven-week course and then told to get back to their iPods and do some discerning.

They came up with a “Sound Relationships Nutrition Label” (now tell me they didn’t have some wannabe-hip adult helping with that title)—an evaluative thumbs up or down on the messages in songs.

“We aren’t telling people what they should or should not be listening to,” said the commission’s executive director Barbara Ferrer in an Associated Press interview. “We are giving them a tool that will help them make an informed choice about what they put in their bodies.”

Now, setting all that government speak aside, wouldn’t it be cool if teens would start listening to other teens and begin thinking twice about some of these unhealthy, misogynistic attitudes that are being repeated over and over in their tender ears? And wouldn’t it be incredible if that somehow gave rise to an en masse revolt against all the garbage being pumped out by the Gagas, T-Pains and Pitbulls in the gutter of musicdom?

I’d be the first to cheer that revolution on. Hey, I’d even help with a better name for that teen ratings list. How about: Thoughtful Ratings of the Artistic Scrap Heap? It’s a little cumbersome, but the acronym might catch on.

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

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