The baby boomers are trotting out the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the "Summer of Love," complete with all that soggy and groggy Woodstock nostalgia. Perhaps the singular statement of that summer was the music and the open celebration of "free love."
All of which, believe it or not, is preferable to what is on the air this summer.
And what’s on the air this summer? Fucking! Whoo-hoo!
Start with the big hit "Birthday Sex," which brought quick fame (which is to say, infamy) to a singer named Jeremih. (Why must these people always celebrate illiteracy?)
Honestly? I think "these people," i.e., black people, spell their names like that just to piss you off, Brent. Because, you know, that’s his actual name.
His basic lyric is "Don’t need candles and cake / Just need your body to make / Birthday sex." But Jeremih also elaborates about how he wants sex in the kitchen, on a waterbed and so on.
I myself think birthday sex is a terrific idea. As far as gifts go, it’s thoughtful, inexpensive, and fun to unwrap. Even Bozell might like it — though in his case even if he keeps the receipt I don’t suppose they’ll want to accept a return.
Interestingly, and sadly, few can be found to disapprove of foisting these "adult situation" lyrics on children. Radio station managers are, as a group, completely apathetic. But school administrators? The Chicago Public Schools enlisted their newly famous alumnus Jeremih in an online Twitter campaign to urge Chicago teens to go back to school this fall.
Obviously, the Chicago Public Schools wanted teens to come back to school to fuck. Which actually sounds like something that just might effectively cut the dropout rate.
Oh, but I kid Bozell, the great big hairy dope. As it emerges, he has Scientifical Proof that Dirty Lyrics force teens to start humping like bunnies, causing pregnancy, disease, and, inevitably, death, which explains why there are no living teenagers, except the ones who are doing all the fucking.
Dr. Brian Primack of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School studied more than 700 ninth-graders and found in a study earlier this year that sexual songs lead to more sexual activity by teens: "High exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex in popular music was independently associated with higher levels of sexual behavior. In fact, exposure to lyrics describing degrading sex was one of the strongest associations with sexual activity." This might seem like an obvious finding, but no one in the music business bats an eye.
If you can spot the causation/correlation fallacy there, you win a prize (hot sex on your birthday, perhaps).
But it is the Ringing Conclusion that has me most moved and stirred, and faintly ill:
If tobacco companies can be blamed for lung cancer, and oil companies can be blamed for global warming, why aren’t radio stations and record companies that churn out pornographic music blamed for teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases?
Hell, why can’t song lyrics be blamed for lung cancer and global warming, huh? Huh? My question would be, "why do wingnuts fight like hell to deny actual hard science, like smoking causing cancer and carbon emissions causing climate change, yet lap up tenuous crap about lyrics causing gonorrhea?"
In Bozell’s case, perhaps, the answer is that there’s a shitload of money involved in this sort of culture war crap. And also you get to spend most of your time thinking about teenagers having sex. Win-win.