Saturday, September 5, 2009
Raising a Teenager
In case you need a little help. For parents and children to read together.
I really don't try to be hateful, but sometimes I'm forced into it. That 3 Doors Down song that they play during the Geico commercials is one of the largest and most foul, steaming road apples I have heard in recent memory.
Is this what we are giving to our children? I mean, seriously, is this the soundtrack of teenage angst these days?
OK, kids, gather round. Adrian's going to tell you a little story.
When you become a teenager--when you turn 13--you are given a slightly small window (16 should be a goal, 17 a breaking point, 18 the absolute last tolerable moment) within which you are going to be able to act like a lunatic. For whatever reason you select. It's sort of a social pact that we have with ourselves. A quick burst of the nutty, and then you go on and start to act like a normal human being again.
When you get there, this teenage period, part of this won't be your fault, which is why the rest of us will only resent you, not hate you outright. It'll be the raging hormones, which will require music.
Music that you will need to somehow reassure you that you're the only one who gets what it's like to be you. You know what? You are. The rest of us aren't you, so you're going to have to keep that in mind if you want to make any of this work.
3 Doors Down, and their stupid Let Me Be Myself song, are not going to help. Even if you think it will. It's too melodramatic, and what you don't want is melodrama, because nobody will take you seriously if you're being melodramatic. And, to boot, the lyrics are total crap. "If you don't mind"? Who are these people kidding?
As I've learned by watching my show, Weeds, thug means not having to say you're sorry.
So listen to something with a little quality. The first three Metallica albums are good. Someone who I hold in high esteem when it comes to metal argues for the fourth, but I'm not going to tell you to go four deep just yet. Pantera's first two--Cowboys from Hell and Vulgar Display of Power--are sublime. Must haves. I am quite fond of Sepultura's Arise and Death's Individual Thought Patterns, though I caught onto them late in the game. I am not well enough versed to recommend individual albums, but Anthrax and Slayer are required. And, to add, because you don't want to limit yourself or become an apolitical moron, listen to the first Rage Against the Machine album. And spend some time looking at the cover and thinking about it.
Parents, if you should become alarmed by the sounds coming from your child's music delivery device, let me offer this advice. Listen to it yourself. It'll help you deal with the child, who will be acting like a lunatic. And you'll have something to listen to together later.