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Opinion & Essays - Jun, 1996 Issue #40 

by: Rich and Wendy Simpson
from the brochure of STEPPING STONES
Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Just turn on MTV and see what it tells you about popular culture today and the shape that we are in. The problem is not just with the quality of the music, however simplistic and repetitive it may be. The music is secondary. Most rock, rap and punk music expresses strong adolescent impulses and sentiments. The music is packaged to convey images and messages that make a powerful impression which is hypnotic and hard to resist. Teens are lured out onto the edge where they begin to crave danger and excitement. They come to mistake this wild feeling, this new sense of power, for freedom and independence. They begin to acquire a new identity which they come to believe is their true self. 

Adolescence is a time of sifting through the myriad of possibilities toward defining the self. Our contemporary culture offers the worst possible choices. Young people need to be presented with positive and viable cultural alternatives which can capture their interest and imagination. This is one of the things that we continually work toward. 

Copyright 1996, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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