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My parents judge me by my music
By CECILIA A. TUCKER
Published July 28, 2003
Music moves my generation, and my choices of music seem to make my parents crazy. I have listened to their music, and I go to sleep. Their music is so "sweet," but BORING. My music is about life and real stuff, not about the magic and fantasy of falling in love and living happily ever after.
Those days are gone, and obviously those songs didn't make such great impacts on them. Have you checked the divorce rate lately? There is no "happily ever after" anymore. So why are my parents so worried about the effect they think my music will have on me? Music is for the moment, not something that is life-changing.
My parents' biggest complaint about the music I like is that they cannot understand the words. Therefore, they see no value in what I select because the words are unclear to them. Now pay attention: My next thought is important. Their next complaint is the use of four-letter words in my music. The artist is not candy-coating the lyrics as some other artists do. My parents are offended by the "trashy" language the artists I listen to use to express themselves. I thought they couldn't understand the words in my music. I am confused.
Maybe the truth is that they don't like the way teenagers express themselves these days, though the teens know better than to communicate that way in front of their parents. Sometimes when I hear music I feel better because I realize that other people have some of the same problems I do.
My music is literal and speaks to me when I am happy as well. I like the beat. I like the bass. I like the lyrics. I like the DJs. I like the banter. I like the conversations they have about funny stuff as well as the more serious subjects. Yes, the radio stations I listen to have thought-provoking conversations on them too. How can anyone say I listen to junk?
My dad listens to the sports talk shows or Rush Limbaugh, and in my opinion both are worthless. My mom still listens to those dreamy love songs or Dr. Laura and Delilah. Sometimes, religious music is an issue in our house.
I don't want anyone telling me what I can and can't listen to; why should they? Why are their stations more acceptable than the ones I choose? They are not, in my opinion. My parents listen to what they like. Why can't I listen to what I like? The music I listen to is for me and not for them; if they do not like it, they are not being forced to listen to it.
Music was once called the universal language. I guess my generation has redefined music because it is definitely not universal anymore. Even the beat and rhythm of my music irritates my parents. They think my music in no way represents anything aesthetic. Obviously they don't hear what I hear. I know the words and rhythm speak to me.
I sing in the shower just like my dad does. I hum the music and sing the lyrics just like my mom does. My music is my music. Why are you so offended by it? Why do you let it bother you?
If I complained every time I had to listen to your "tunes," I'd be whining all the time; that's what I think you are doing when you have to listen to my "tunes." Why is my music so bad? Do you hear me use the four-letter words I hear on the radio? Do you think I will turn out badly because I listen to "trash"?
Let's talk about my music and your concerns without all the threats you make about taking away my CDs and destroying all the radios in the house. That's a little drastic and violent, isn't it? Is that what you are afraid my music deals with? I know I am stretching to make a point, but it is true.
- IT! Private thoughts of the Indomitable Teen is written by Cecilia Tucker under the editorial guidance of a panel of teenagers (in exchange for pizza and volunteer hours). Tucker is a licensed marriage and family therapist at the Counseling Center for New Direction in Seminole. Comments are welcome. You may write c/o: IT!, Xpress, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail Floridian@sptimes.com If you are interested in being on the teen editorial panel, please contact Cecilia Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org