The Cost of Non-Parenting

Mary Eberstadt analyzes the social matrix from which so much of the violent youth music of our day comes. She summarizes:

And therein lies a painful truth about an advantage that many teenagers of yesterday enjoyed but their own children often do not. Baby boomers and their music rebelled against parents because they were parents — nurturing, attentive, and overly present (as those teenagers often saw it) authority figures. Today’s teenagers and their music rebel against parents because they are not parents — not nurturing, not attentive, and often not even there. This difference in generational experience may not lend itself to statistical measure, but it is as real as the platinum and gold records that continue to capture it. What those records show compared to yesteryear’s rock is emotional downward mobility. Surely if some of the current generation of teenagers and young adults had been better taken care of, then the likes of Kurt Cobain, Eminem, Tupac Shakur, and cer­tain other parental nightmares would have been mere footnotes to recent music history rather than rulers of it.

This is a long essay (read the whole thing – an excerpt form her book Home-Alone America) with many examples given from a multitude of muscians, both from their songs and from their commentary. It’s heartbreaking.
Surely at some point parents will come to see that their actions (and non-actions) have consequences.

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