The subject line on the email in my inbox said, “Moms group question -- song lyrics.”
The first draft of my reply read: “AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGG,” but I thought better of it. Email isn’t good for conveying deeply held emotions. (Just ask South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford).
Here was the question: Several mothers of girls ages 10 to 12 want to know if they should allow their daughters to buy instrumental versions of two currently popular – though extremely inappropriate – songs, “Poker Face” by “Lady GaGa” and “Low” by “Flo Rida featuring T Pain.”
I know what you’re thinking. Are those the names of singers or brands of tooth ache remedies?
“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of one Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, who, according to Wikipedia, is a Catholic school graduate and erstwhile student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. “Flo Rida” is a hip-hop, R & B and rap singer from Florida (get it?), known also by his given name, Tramar Dillard; while “T Pain” is actually Faheem Rasheed Najm, a hip-hop star whose moniker is a nickname for a nickname – “Tallahassee Pain,” which Wikipedia says commemorates the artist’s “hardships while living there.”
Both of the songs in question include heavy-duty sexual slang, orgy-like dance rhythms, and degrading references to sex acts and money, exchanged casually on dance floors. As you can imagine, the music videos for these songs are equally pornographic.
The moms all agree that the lyrics of the songs, which their daughters already have heard, are unacceptable, but “the girls have indicated that they like the catchy beat to the songs rather than the words.”
The parenting dilemma: Should the moms A. print out the (pornographic) lyrics of these songs and review them with the girls to persuade them that they are inappropriate; or B. allow the girls to download instrumental versions as a way to protect the girls from the racy themes contained therein, despite the fact that they already know enough of the lyrics to sing along?
How about option C: AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG.
For once I might side with our deranged, obscene, sex-obsessed, hip-hop culture. Why not? At least “Lady GaGa” and “Flo Rida” are true to their convictions.