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Monday, July 14, 2008

Don't call me least for another twenty years...

As the mother of a four year-old girl, let me be the first to say that I do not support the growing movement toward creating younger grandmothers. What am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about the television shows, movies, and songs out there that glorify teens having sex. Previously, I've talked a little about the movie, Juno, but now I'm going to complain about this song called Teenage Love Affair by Alicia Keys. When I first heard this, it just didn't sit well. For one thing, Alicia Keys is no longer a teenager and if she's having this kind of affair, it's most likely illegal. For another, the lyrics:

Hey boy
You know I really like being with you right?
Just hanging out with you is fun

So maybe we can go to first base
Because I feel you
Second base
Want you to feel me too
Third base
Better pump the breaks
Well baby slow down
I gotta go home now

Well, let's just say that the lyrics caught me off guard. Could you be more suggestive without being Barry White? Perhaps I'm hypersensitive because I have a young daughter who is just now starting to ask questions about music lyrics, but that second base line really sounds bad to me.

During the school year, I substitute teach and I have noticed that kids have changed alot since when I was in school. They are listening to the popular music and trying to act out everything they hear. It's a little scary to think that there are eleven and twelve year olds out there who are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to have one of these encounters because this song is so popular. I know that there are all kinds of suggestive songs out there, but this one is targeted to a specific population. If it were just a "Love Affair," then it might be a given that they are not supposed to be doing this until they're older.

Granted, teenagers have been fooling around since long before this song was ever popular. I understand that. My concern is that we are getting more and more lax in our standards. It really isn't okay to encourage teens to have sex without at least adding in some information about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. Once they turn 18, they can do what they want but until then it is our responsibility to make sure they understand the consequences of all this seemingly romantic behavior. For example, maybe Ms. Keys could have added some additional verses to her song, something like:

Although I really want this
I can't help but worry
that I could end up pregnant
if we're in a hurry

Hope you brought protection
Because I don't know where else you've been
There's so many dangers to acting on this affection.
I don't even know where to begin.

Ok, so I never claimed to be a lyricist and that really sucks. The point is that without adding a little warning about the things that can happen when you start having sex, the song is just contributing to the delinquency of minors. I generally like Alicia Keys and have enjoyed her music over the years, however, I'm disappointed in this, her latest effort. It has a good beat, but those words just get in the way.

Years ago, I probably would have loved it. When I was a teenager, I thought it was cool to listen to songs like these and daydream about Prince Charming, but let's face it, he doesn't exist. Songs like these leave out the important stuff, like commitment, maturity, and responsibility. Not the most entertaining topics, but when your children are being influenced 100% by these songs, you want those themes to be included in there with all the other stuff. Your other alternative is to turn off the radio and television and blindfold your child and lock them away so that they don't do anything wrong before they're 21 or so. That's not too cool, though.

Until next time...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

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