Thursday, 2 May 2013

Don’t blame the music!..

Last Friday night I caught an episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit, and apart from being an incredibly frustrating and irritating hour of television, days later I am still fuming about some of the content. The whole episode, in fact, was fairly poor, considering the powerful storylines that are sometimes offered by the series. This particular one relied on generic, stereotyped characters that were weakened by their familiarity, and brash delivery of subjects that unfortunately lost all meaning because of the way they were explored.

What has particularly stuck with me, however, was the first part of the episode, in which a generic ‘vampire wannabe’ was allegedly going around the city biting necks and draining his victims dry. What really annoyed me was the fact that this menace was dressed in a long, black, leather coat, had long hair and liked rock music. Of course, because what other kind of vampire could possibly ‘exist’ in the realms of television? And what leap did the writers make after strike one? Immediately the man’s issue must be a direct result of the music he listens to. Aren’t we all bored of this format yet? Haven’t we realised that listening to rock music doesn’t automatically turn us all into vicious killers? The very fact that I am still a free woman testifies to this.

The band in question was described as being like “Black Sabbath or Judas Priest, only sicker and more violent”. Sabbath and Judas Priest sick and violent? Sick and violent? Really? In this day and age we consider them to be sick and violent? What songs were the writers listening to? What lyrics were they traumatised by? What videos scarred them for life? Why this constant assumption that every bad deed is a result of rock music? I am so bored of this narrow minded attitude that refuses to place any blame for peoples’ bad deeds actually on them. Gods forbid we should be responsible for our own actions!

And this line was delivered by none other than Ice-T, a rapper whose career history, coloured with gang affiliation and parental guidance stickers, could far more easily be described as sick and violent than Black Sabbath. I’m not having a go at Ice-T, you understand, nor transferring blame onto any other kind of music or influence. I’m merely illustrating the contradiction here. Anyway, Black Sabbath. I’ve seen them live. I’ve had a pint with Tony Iommi. I assure you there was nothing sick or violent about them, nothing at all untoward beyond that melodramatic style that accompanies rock music from the era.

I could rant about this all day, and probably already have spent a large part of my life ranting about the fact that rock music doesn’t make us violent, so we need to end this continual blame that is placed on the music. I shall continue to rock on and attempt to rise above these ridiculous refusals of people to take responsibility for their actions.

Elloise Hopkins.

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