It's 2010 + The Beatles are too Raw (Xmas + Record-R)

onetetonetet 1,753 Posts
edited December 2010 in Strut Central
So my sister and her husband are ultra-religious and live In a secluded rural area. They are not quite Tea Partiers, but that reference point gets you in the right ballpark. They have two kids -- my niece, age 5, and my nephew, aged 10.

My nephew has exhibited every sign that he'd be a real music lover -- at the few family functions where popular music has flowed readily, he has freaked the fusk out -- but his parents do everything in their power to control his access to everything except Christian "rock" (or whatever).

Last year I made the mistake of telling my sister ahead of time that I planned to get him the Beatles "red album" as a gift; he knows I got into music through the Beatles and expressed some interest in hearing them. She told me that I needed to wait a year, as he wasn't ready for "songs about girls" yet. Now, in this Waka Flocka age we live in, I'd think even an extreme christian might find songs about hands-holding a refreshing sentiment for kids -- but after some pointles attempts to reason wirh her I bit my tongue, waited, and gave him the album a year later (yesterday).

Now today I hear from my mother -- equally religious and probably a co-conspirator -- that the kid will still not be allowed to hear the Beatles. In freakin 2010.

This is crazy, right? How should I handle this? I made it out of a similar environment, but I grew up near DC/Baltimore with a few hip friends and plenty of access to culture. This kid is in a church school in the middle of nowhere with strictly controlled Internet access, and I rarely see him.
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  • Dude Lucy in the sky with diamonds is LSD! Are you crazy? Those guys are a bad influence. Gateway drug to buying white computers.

  • fairytales guide our decision beyond childhood. amazing.


    the early 20s backlash once he sees the real world will be something to watch.

    their holy book has sex, murder, whores and saints. but the beatles cant be tolerated.

    give him a boxed set.

  • PrimeCutsLtdPrimeCutsLtd jersey fresh 2,632 Posts
    give him the album anyway. Burn him multiple copies.

  • luckluck 4,077 Posts
    There are many options. Plus, you know, he's only 10. There are years of personal exploration to be had, and some of the best knowledge is self-attained. I can attest to this fact. He will not go the rest of his life without hearing the Beatles. So work with the parents for now. There are - honestly - perfectly good Christian options.

    1. D.R. Hooker
    2. Agape
    3. The Staple Singers' "Uncloudy Day"
    4. Anything else explicitly Gospel or Xtian, yet still musically important or incredible (hundreds of albums).

    The rough route: send him an iPod shuffle pre-loaded with lyrically benign stuff that you could fob off as "Christian," even though it's not. The device is easily hidden, and it would be hard to bitch about the music if it is found. Send him some ungooglable Pop and Psych and play up the metaphorical "she-means-'God'-so-Christians-can-use-it-to-witness-to-nonbelievers" angle.

    Otherwise, does he have e-mail and access to an external drive?

    P.S. Tell him to read Song Of Solomon. He'll appreciate it on a whole 'nother level in 2 years. Then tell him to read the stories of Rahab or Esther, whereupon he'll have to implore his mother for some embarrassing logistical parameters.

  • PrimeCutsLtd said:
    give him the album anyway. Burn him multiple copies.


    Seriously.
    Hide them all over his house.
    If that doesn't work, call DYFS...

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    Get your sister's permission to give him legit "Christian Rock".

    Then send her this....









    P.S........Sis, if you scroll down a little there is a Beatle song......let me know if this one is OK to send?












  • luckluck 4,077 Posts
    Additionally, is instrumental music okay? That's a door to thousands of songs. The Meters, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and even the (gasp) Beatles fall into this gray area.

    And there are, of course, plenty of ways to open his mind in the coming years that have nothing to do with music. But you should also keep another thing in mind: this child might well grow up to become a Believer. If that's his choice, there's only so much you should ethically interfere with. I'd offer a rational counterweight that's not just as didactic as his parents'. Love is the key.

  • Options
    luck said:
    There are many options. Plus, you know, he's only 10. There are years of personal exploration to be had, and some of the best knowledge is self-attained. I can attest to this fact. He will not go the rest of his life without hearing the Beatles. So work with the parents for now. There are - honestly - perfectly good Christian options.

    1. D.R. Hooker
    2. Agape
    3. The Staple Singers' "Uncloudy Day"
    4. Anything else explicitly Gospel or Xtian, yet still musically important or incredible (hundreds of albums).

    The New Creation
    Out Of Darkness (Hendrix-ian British greatness)
    Christ Tree - Trees Community

  • send him Sgt. Peppers but hide some weed in the LP jacket first...

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    If they are really serious about this don't be the one they can blame for "corrupting" their kid which will eventually happen Beatles or no Beatles at 10 years old.

    Beat them at their own game......load him with cool Christian music until they or he comes to their senses.

    And if they don't like D.R. Hooker or Fraction, tell them you'll pray for them to let Jesus and his music in to their hearts.

    Or you could always give him a Barbie Head.

  • DelayDelay 4,530 Posts
    Send him azitis

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    Possum Tom said:
    Send him azitis

    zactly......

    I was listening to that LP a couple of weeks ago and couldn't believe how much it sounded like this.........


  • onetetonetet 1,753 Posts
    thanks for the replies.

    PrimeCuts, I did give him the cd. Everyone paid lip service to it being a fine present in the moment, but today I hear that it's been confiscated after I left. I haven't talked to my sister directly yet (I want to strategize first), so I dunno if he was told he needs to wait another month or year, that it's verboten forever, or what.

    I don't want to corrupt him, just give him access to culture and alternatives that let him see more of the world than he's getting in his current highly controlled and limited environment. Certainly, I recognize that him becoming a believer (whether a nuanced one or a mindless follower) is a likely option; I also know deep resentment and rebellion is another, especially if he looks back and feels his parents denied him normalcy, fun, worldliness, etc.

    I don't think gospel or cool private-press Xian releases are the answer; one, I wonder if it's wishful thinking that he'd enjoy these at this age and background, and two, his parents are not very adventurous and will likely be suspicious of anything "weird" or "other," even if it's Christian. I also don't want to play by their rules entirely and set a precedent of buying him Christian music the rest of his childhood/adolescence.

    Parents, what are some instrumental artists that your kids really respond to? At that age, I was very fixated on vocals, and so far that seems to be the case with my nephew as well.

  • LokoOneLokoOne 1,823 Posts
    I read an interview with Axl Rose years ago where he discussed growing up in a similar environment and not being allowed to hear 'rock' music. So his friends would play him songs over the phone when they called him. Might be another way to get some music to your nephews ears.....

  • luckluck 4,077 Posts
    Well, your conversation would probably start with her explanation of her new parameters and why she has moved the goalposts on you. You'll probably, at some point, express your confusion as to why this has occurred, although both of you know what is going on - your nephew is in the process of indoctrination. Let her know that you are merely using a communication tool - music - that falls among your expertise. You might find it helpful to say something akin to "I am a collector of music and only wanted to give your son something that I would have liked to have heard when I was his age. I thought that the Beatles - a universally beloved group raising few parental red flags - would have fit that bill. I want to know how I can share the happiness I get from music with your son without abrogating your household rules."

    I'm not a father, so I'm only guessing. Still - put yourself in your sister's shoes; she's trying to raise her child according to Proverbs 22:6, and she thinks that putting her son in a Jesus bubble is the best way to do it.

    If your goal is to "let him see more of the world than he's getting in his current highly controlled and limited environment," then Classical music is always a good look. You can even justify it by going into the religious beliefs of many of the composers.

    At the age of 7 or 8, I was bouncing up and down on the household trampoline to "Hooked On Classics." A lot of the stuff some of us have mentioned (including myself) is probably too advanced for him right now. A couple of years down the road, like when he's 12 or so, is probably a better time to dip into the collection.

    Also, there's nothing "weird" or bad about something like "Uncloudy Day." It's an important piece of music that people on this board should hear, irrespective of their religious beliefs. If they toss something like that, they're not even cloistered Christians at that point, and you'd have (in my opinion) a right to worry about your nephew's development.

    Just some thoughts. I know to some small degree what your nephew is going through; my father is an ordained minister and only wanted my siblings and I to listen to music that "glorified God." As a result of my Evangelical upbringing, I barely listened to anything "Secular" until I was in High School.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,030 Posts
    Personally, I like the instrumental music option. If he's got a feel for pop songs, then an album of instrumental jazz standards - especially those with a decent rhythm section - might be a way to slip in some pop content without being overly obvious about it.

    Also, and this has nothing to do with music, but in the long term, just be that cool uncle who's willing to be supportive and let dude crash at your spot when he becomes a teenager and decides (perhaps) that Jesus-bubble-land isn't really where he wants to live for the rest of his life. If he has any inclination to break free, he'll need allies.

  • dayday 9,612 Posts
    onetet said:


    Parents, what are some instrumental artists that your kids really respond to? At that age, I was very fixated on vocals, and so far that seems to be the case with my nephew as well.

    I just loaded James Brown, Thriller, Wave Twisters, The Beatles, Elton John, Jazzy Jeff, Run DMC, Led Zepplin, Daft Punk, John Lennon, EPMD, Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Gap Band, Queen, AC/DC, A Tribe Called Quest, Stevie Wonder, New Edition, Slick Rick, Marvin Gaye and more on my 8yr old son's ipod (most of these by his own request). Surely we're both going to hell.

    All kidding aside, I can't tell you how frustrating it is to see people on this shit in 2010. I respect people's beliefs and all, but banning the Beatles most milquetoast album is beyond comprehension to me. Even IF there was "objectionable" content in there, he probably wouldn't even pick it up. My aunt bought me Prince's 1999 when I was 8 and I had no clue what he was singing about, I just liked the music.

    Not sure if that helps, but I can't get with the whole holy roller/everything is black and white mentality in general. I'm more concerned with lil man's stifling upbringing than any music he might be exposed to.

  • dayday 9,612 Posts
    mannybolone said:
    Personally, I like the instrumental music option. If he's got a feel for pop songs, then an album of instrumental jazz standards - especially those with a decent rhythm section - might be a way to slip in some pop content without being overly obvious about it.

    And this.


  • Prog band does a concept album on the ten commandments.

  • leonleon 883 Posts
    The Beatles may sound like a harmless pop group to you people but their lyrics spun backwards are pure evil.
    ALSO


  • jammyjammy remixing bongo rock... 813 Posts
    this mix tape of christian records is awesome...


  • MjukisMjukis 1,675 Posts
    Why not give him this? The path from saved to strutter will be set.

  • DB_CooperDB_Cooper Manhatin' 7,823 Posts

  • onetetonetet 1,753 Posts
    luck said:
    Well, your conversation would probably start with her explanation of her new parameters and why she has moved the goalposts on you. You'll probably, at some point, express your confusion as to why this has occurred, although both of you know what is going on - your nephew is in the process of indoctrination. Let her know that you are merely using a communication tool - music - that falls among your expertise. You might find it helpful to say something akin to "I am a collector of music and only wanted to give your son something that I would have liked to have heard when I was his age. I thought that the Beatles - a universally beloved group raising few parental red flags - would have fit that bill. I want to know how I can share the happiness I get from music with your son without abrogating your household rules."

    I'm not a father, so I'm only guessing. Still - put yourself in your sister's shoes; she's trying to raise her child according to Proverbs 22:6, and she thinks that putting her son in a Jesus bubble is the best way to do it.

    If your goal is to "let him see more of the world than he's getting in his current highly controlled and limited environment," then Classical music is always a good look. You can even justify it by going into the religious beliefs of many of the composers.

    At the age of 7 or 8, I was bouncing up and down on the household trampoline to "Hooked On Classics." A lot of the stuff some of us have mentioned (including myself) is probably too advanced for him right now. A couple of years down the road, like when he's 12 or so, is probably a better time to dip into the collection.

    Also, there's nothing "weird" or bad about something like "Uncloudy Day." It's an important piece of music that people on this board should hear, irrespective of their religious beliefs. If they toss something like that, they're not even cloistered Christians at that point, and you'd have (in my opinion) a right to worry about your nephew's development.

    Just some thoughts. I know to some small degree what your nephew is going through; my father is an ordained minister and only wanted my siblings and I to listen to music that "glorified God." As a result of my Evangelical upbringing, I barely listened to anything "Secular" until I was in High School.

    This was a very helpful and appreciated post. Thanks for taking the time to share these thoughts.

  • onetetonetet 1,753 Posts
    mannybolone said:
    Personally, I like the instrumental music option. If he's got a feel for pop songs, then an album of instrumental jazz standards - especially those with a decent rhythm section - might be a way to slip in some pop content without being overly obvious about it.

    For sure. I???m leaning toward filling an ipod with these kinds of things when his birthday rolls around in a few months. Here???s where I could use some guidance ??? music that actually sounds good to kids, rather than music I???d like to think they???d appreciate. Things like the Meters do go over well?

    I also wonder how he'd respond to things like Latin, Tropicalia, etc where the lyrical content should be incomprehensible to him -- and thus, presumably, beyond reproach. But again, it might be wishful thinking that he'd really enjoy it. More to the point, his parents may also find arbitrary objections that are really about them not wanting to expose him to things they find weird or different -- and, ultimately, about them maintaining a sick level of control over what he sees and hears.

    mannybolone said:

    Also, and this has nothing to do with music, but in the long term, just be that cool uncle who's willing to be supportive and let dude crash at your spot when he becomes a teenager and decides (perhaps) that Jesus-bubble-land isn't really where he wants to live for the rest of his life. If he has any inclination to break free, he'll need allies.

    Yeah, I had a cool uncle into jazz, soul, world literature etc who showed me that the sheltered Christian life my mom wanted for me wasn???t what I wanted, and I would very much like to do this for my nephew. I have a good idea of what that would look like once he???s a teenager, but finding ways to start doing that at age 10 has been tricky for me.

    day said:


    All kidding aside, I can't tell you how frustrating it is to see people on this shit in 2010. I respect people's beliefs and all, but banning the Beatles most milquetoast album is beyond comprehension to me???

    I'm more concerned with lil man's stifling upbringing than any music he might be exposed to.

    Yeah, this situation is really eating at my mind. I have a lot of resentment about the strict religious way I was raised, and it boggles my mind that my sister has not only followed that path, she???s taken things even further. I was listening to the music I wanted to by age 10, why can???t my nephew do the same 25 years later? The few times he's heard good music (e.g. Jackson 5 at a wedding), it's thrilled him. What sane and loving parent wouldn't see that as healthy and encourage that interest?

    As you suspect, the Beatles ban isn???t an isolated thing ??? to my mind it???s a small detail that aptly illustrates a larger attitude to child-rearing that is repressive, unhealthy, and probably cruel. I don???t want to see *anyone* grow up thinking life is all about Jesus, Wal-Mart, and Chick-fil-A (not necessarily in that order), let alone a close relative.

  • mannybolonemannybolone 15,030 Posts
    Actually, instrumental Latin could be a pretty interesting way to go. Might be interesting to test the waters (and could lead to a very interesting - albeit sanity-challenging - conversation around "inappropriate rhythms").

    I'll say this much as a parent - no one likes other people opining, whether implicitly or explicitly, on their approach to raising their own children. Few things could likely drive a wedge between you and your sister's family faster than the idea that you're trying to criticize, let alone undermine, how she raises her kids. You may very well think her approach is unhealthy but it's her call. Your best hope is that your nephew will develop enough of an independent personality and spirit to choose his own path later. The best you can do, as I suggested earlier, is to just make it known you're an ally and, in the meanwhile, be patient that he'll find his own path in the world.

    BTW: You can diss Jesus and Wal-Mart but leave Chik-Fil-A alone. ;)

  • BreezBreez 1,707 Posts
    You are fighting a losing battle. Your nephew is going to go through a lot just to do the smallest things. I hate to say it but kids like this get a little taste of freedom they go all out. From what I've witnessed in my years, keeping your kids sheltered on a short leash just leads to rebellion. He'll get tired of all the "keen on Jesus stuff" and break free. In this day and age this type of sheltering usually leads to the overprotective parents becoming very young, pissed off grandparents. Just respect your family's wishes and try not to be the bad guy. He'll find his way. Good Luck homie!

  • onetetonetet 1,753 Posts
    mannybolone said:

    I'll say this much as a parent - no one likes other people opining, whether implicitly or explicitly, on their approach to raising their own children. Few things could likely drive a wedge between you and your sister's family faster than the idea that you're trying to criticize, let alone undermine, how she raises her kids. You may very well think her approach is unhealthy but it's her call. Your best hope is that your nephew will develop enough of an independent personality and spirit to choose his own path later. The best you can do, as I suggested earlier, is to just make it known you're an ally and, in the meanwhile, be patient that he'll find his own path in the world.

    Definitely hear all that. Part of why I put this out there was to take the situation out of the closed-circuit that is my crazy family, and see how intensely the reactions of strangers would be. Namely, does the Strut think blocking a 10-year-old kid's access to "Twist and Shout" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is

    --crazy and cause for serious concern
    --overly strict but her call
    --common and reasonable

    The weird thing is that my sister verbally encourages me to be the "cool uncle," even using that term and referencing the uncle that helped me discover music and literature. But whenever I take that to heart and actually try to talk about things I'm interested in -- city living, international food, film, music -- making every effort to keep it age appropriate, the reaction is like I handed him a Burzum lp and the Satanic Bible.

    mannybolone said:

    BTW: You can diss Jesus and Wal-Mart but leave Chik-Fil-A alone. ;)

    :freeway:

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    [--overly strict but her call

  • onetetonetet 1,753 Posts
    Breez said:
    You are fighting a losing battle. Your nephew is going to go through a lot just to do the smallest things. I hate to say it but kids like this get a little taste of freedom they go all out. From what I've witnessed in my years, keeping your kids sheltered on a short leash just leads to rebellion. He'll get tired of all the "keen on Jesus stuff" and break free. In this day and age this type of sheltering usually leads to the overprotective parents becoming very young, pissed off grandparents. Just respect your family's wishes and try not to be the bad guy. He'll find his way. Good Luck homie!

    Yeah, based on my own upbringing and other extremely religious households I've observed, I think the mostly likely outcomes for the kid are ultra-conformist or angry, resentful hellraiser. In my head I'm thinking that music could save him from either fate as it did me (for the most part), and that a dose of Earth, Wind, and Fire and Motown now might just save him from a lifetime of meth, handguns, and gus-huffing later.

    But obviously I can't present that case to his parents. In their serene and infinite wisdom I don't think they have a honest outlook on what realities a rural teenaged boy will encounter these days, and envision him remaining the perfectly-behaved 10 year-old believer forever (if a foot or so taller).
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