A New York Daily News article asserted that 1 in 12 teenagers attempt suicide. It also reported that the suicide rate increased across a three-year period from 6.3% to 7.8%, which would come close to an astounding 25% jump within this relatively short span of time.
The article blamed bullying as a major contributing factor to this trend. An issue this broad and complex no doubt has many contributing factors. However, what I find interesting is that the left never examines itself as a probable cause of negative trends.
Let me suggest that a likely major contributor to teen suicide resides in input from the music industry.
This prospect came to my mind as a result of an email message I received from iTunes suggesting “Great Albums for Spring.” Of course, we tend traditionally to think of spring as a romantic time with flowers budding and birds chirping. It turns out that iTunes has a different take on spring, none of the albums they recommended suggesting anything so lighthearted. Of the 12 titles offered, four in particular being especially disturbing or depressing:
- “American Beauty/American Psycho”
- “Smoke & Mirrors” by Image Dragons with the cover depicting two hands bound together
- “Madness” by Sleeping with Sirens
- “1000 Forms of Fear”
The songs and lyrics tend to surpass the titles. It seems that a number of songs these days have picked up on the bondage theme of “50 Shades of Gray.” In fact, the number one song so far for 2015 is “Love Me Like You Do,” by Ellie Goulding, which is from the soundtrack of the movie. Lyrics like:
You’re the light, you’re the night
You’re the color of my blood
You’re the cure, you’re the pain
leave a lot to the imagination, none of it good.
As you know, most businesses have a profile on you, and therefore send advertisements they think will be of interest to you. No doubt it was either my download of Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto or Steve Amerson singing “Fairest Lord Jesus” that tipped off iTunes to send the collection of spring albums that they chose. Imagine what they would have sent me had I been downloading “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap or “B…ch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna?
Might it just be that these themes and the lyrics expressing them are contributing to teen suicide? What about movies and television with similar dark themes or video games in which doing violence becomes routine? If I were looking for a cause for teen suicide, these forms of teenage entertainment would certainly be one of the first places I would look.
An added reason to suspect music conveying chaos, evil, and other dark themes as a likely contributor to teen suicide is found in the massive rate of ingestion of this content by most teenagers. Estimates of how much music teenagers consume in a given day vary wildly, but my own experience takes me toward the higher end. It seems that almost every teenager I encounter has buds inserted in his ears, with the trendier ones now back to using ear phones. (I knew if I waited long enough I would be cool again.) It appears that many teenagers are plugged into music a large number of their waking hours. I knew one teenager, a Christian young man active in his youth group, who kept his earbuds in and iPod on all night, every night, listening to a singer who ultimately committed suicide. Imagine the perplexity of his parents should he do the same. “Whatever possessed him to do that?”
The left never takes responsibility for the nightmare they have created. Instead they point the finger at everyone else. The good news is that we know how to slow teen suicide way down: take the culture back from the liberals.