Home Forums General Discussions Open Topic interview with PMRC director, re Marilyn Manson

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    Found this online. I’m not sure whether to laugh or be sick. Just thought you all might be interested.

    Edited Interview transcripts with Barbara Wyatt
    Director, Parents’ Music Resource Center

    DAVID: When parents call you, what do they ask? What do they want to know about Marilyn Manson?
    WYATT: They will ask "what do you know about the man Marilyn Manson?" And that there’s going to be a rock concert in our area. I’ll say from the reports that we get, and the lyrics that we have, if you are really concerned about it I would go check it out. Because we are very much aware of the fact that these are things that you may not want young children to see or hear. But we keep saying it’s up to you as the parent to decide. We can tell you what’s in it. Yes, there is sexually explicit material. They do use profanity. They do have satanic themes. And if you have an eighteen year old that’s going to go see this that is one thing, but if you have an eight year old you may get a little concerned about whether they’re able to handle all the messages. I do know that the young people are sometimes very much alarmed by the rather grotesque makeup that Marilyn Manson and his band wear.

    DAVID: Have you listened to the music?
    WYATT: I’ve heard just a little of it. You don’t need to hear much of it. If I spent my time listening to everything we would never get anything else done.

    DAVID: Is Manson’s music violent?
    WYATT: No, but it’s an interesting statistic now with males, ninety-three point four percent turn to music as their coping strategy.

    DAVID: What does that mean?
    WYATT: That means if they’re uptight or in a difficult situation they listen to music to relax. And of course if it’s violent music and they’re violent to begin with it’s more likely to catapult them into a violent act. This is research done by a Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve. I have used this a lot in talking about the reports that have come out stating that the music does have an impact on the young people.

    DAVID: Do you think that perhaps you’re selling more albums for him?
    WYATT: No, I think they would be sold anyway, but certainly it does catapult them to sometimes a greater prominence when we go after it. Our main mission is to educate the adults to what is in it. Now you choose what you would like to have for your children.

    DAVID: Let’s look at some of the lyrics here. Were there any particular lyrics that you wanted to point out to us?
    WYATT: Not specifically, I have read through them and some are worse than others. Certainly their messages are not ones that I would want young children to hear. I keep going back to what sixteen, seventeen, eighteen year olds listen to is one thing. But so many of these young children with a walkman, they can put it on and parents don’t know what they are listening to. This is a big concern for parents they want to know what’s out there, what songs or albums have sexually explicit material. Because, as you know, the labeling is strictly designed for the companies to please themselves. We don’t have anything to do with whether it’s labeled or not.

    DAVID: You have had issues with bands in the past. What makes Manson different?
    WYATT: Manson does not appear to be an act. This appears to be the real self.

    DAVID: Do you think his fans believe that?
    WYATT: I have done interviews with the young people and some say yes that is the real McCoy and others say no, he is just doing it for the attention.

    DAVID: Where is the harm? What can this music actually make a young person do?
    WYATT: Well, anything that you put into your brain stays in there. Your brain doesn’t sort out and say this is good so we will keep it and this is bad so we will not. When you bombard your brain with these grotesque songs that have messages in it that may not be ones that are in keeping with the values that your family would like to establish, then it can harm you.

    DAVID: What is going into the mind of teenagers through the music of Manson?
    WYATT: Well I think certainly the satanic themes are in here and he has said very clearly that he intends to take down Christianity.

    DAVID: Could it be that this is all just a big joke and maybe his fans don’t take that seriously, that only their parents take it seriously?
    WYATT: Oh I think that could be, yes. I think if the parents take the responsibility of raising their children seriously then you have to take it seriously. Your parents try to keep you on food that is acceptable to your growth and I think with the music it’s the same thing. One of the sad parts about our children today, is they don’t know other kinds of music. They are so involved in popular culture, they don’t know jazz, they don’t know American show tunes. They are not familiar with other music. They have shown that young people who are aware of, I’ll call it "good music," have improved their SAT scores. They do better in school. There are a lot of studies that have been done to show that different types of music do have an impact on the mind.

    DAVID: If his concert were a motion picture what kind of rating would you put on it?
    WYATT: I haven’t heard the language yet but I’m sure there is some in there that would probably be offensive, so PG would be the lowest one I would give it. One of the things is there’s no happiness to any of these, I mean they’re all so grim, they’re so sad. They are so down. And in the world today don’t you think we need a little of something that has some beauty to it? And there is none to this. To me it’s a frightening picture for a young person to go see.

    DAVID: But the really important question, where is the harm?
    WYATT: Again it’s what goes into the brain can stay in the brain and if all this is that grotesque, you can’t call it music. I mean there is no way that you could ever hum that tune. That is one of the things that was said the other day by a professor from NYU. She said, "the sad part is our children today can’t sing." Listen to the songs. They don’t have a melody. You could not sing any of this if you had to.

    DAVID: Haven’t we seen all this before? Hasn’t every generation had their shocker, so to speak? Elvis, the Beatles, Alice Cooper, Ozzie Osborne? And now this is just the latest generation.
    WYATT: That’s right, but somehow it seems to get worse. If you take Elvis and you compare it to today there is no comparison. I mean things were implied, today they are so blatant. The language, the explicitness, the anti-women, the anti-race, the anti-religion, they are not hidden. They are right out there in the front and they are offensive to many people and they are offensive to many families. This is why I think we have so many calls from parents who are concerned about this type of commanding individual. These characters are their heroes and they play a very important role in the lives of these young people.

    DAVID: How many calls a week do you get about Manson?
    WYATT: Oh goodness, probably several dozen. I know that does not sound like many but when you think of people calling from all over the country and I have to say we don’t only get calls from this country.

    DAVID: Several dozen a week though or total?
    WYATT: A week.

    DAVID: Ten or twenty years from now, are we going to look back on Marilyn Manson and wonder what’s the fuss all about?
    WYATT: I don’t think so because you keep saying, can they push the line any further? I’m not sure that they can but if you look at where we were eleven, twelve years ago when we first started the PMRC [Parents’ Music Resource Center]. I think it’s gotten a lot worse.

    DAVID: What’s a parent to do though?
    WYATT: I think one of the things you do is sit down and talk to your children and explain, these are the reasons that these things are not appropriate in our home.You have got to have that communication with your children and you can not wait until they are fourteen, fifteen and sixteen. You have to have it when they are young.

    DAVID: How young is too young for this kind of music?
    WYATT: Well I think that depends a lot on the young person themselves, there are some that are more mature than others. I would not let any under teenage years — eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve — go to this concert. I think they are so impressionable and they need a little more good in the world rather than all the things that make these people their heroes. That is the sad part about it, they like to copy them. Hopefully, if they have a strong base at home, and communication, then they will know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in their own family framework.

    DAVID: What kind of underground messages are people are getting? I mean is that the right word: "underground"?
    WYATT: I think you are right. There is an underground message in that he does promote the satanic theme and the anti-religion, anti-Christian message, there is a satanic message. The symbols that he promotes fit in with his mission.

    DAVID: Would you define that as underground or is mainstream?
    WYATT: Well he has become mainstream because he’s No. 3 on the charts. But as far as families are concerned, I think they feel that there is an underground situation that is moving and growing. And I think that is alarming.

    <small>[ 03-07-2002, 03:20 AM: Message edited by: rosa ]</small>



    This is the major problem for you Americans today….

    you ain’t listening to enough show tunes! ha ha.


    D Sylvester

    I’m probably going to catch hell for this but, honestly, her statements didn’t strike me as all that bad. I’m not saying I out and out agree with her views (or the PMRC as an organization) but I’ve read much less reasonable advocations regarding the control of music.

    TBH I didn’t think the PMRC still existed!




    Dear PMRC,
    This may come as a shock to you, but America isn’t a Christian nation, trying to induce "christian values" on everyone is not only offensive, it is also directly against the constitution your husbands are supposed to be upholding between paid vacations to Tahiti.


    Long Distance Drunk

    Ugh. When I was in Middle School, my dad let me buy NWA Straight Outta Compton, & I turned out OK. Honestly, I don’t think Manson is serious, and what could be worse for kids than "get drunk & screw." BAN BUFFETT!!!!



    Hey Rosa,

    That makes me want to laugh and be sick at the same time, what a pile of crap!!!

    Agree with malcom here they talk about universal values but always on religious scale…not everyone believes in that but they just can’t or won’t see it. What about the freedom of choice deal…hmmm guess thats not a value worth teaching kids.

    "anything you put in your brain stays in there. Your brain doesn’t sort out and say this is good so we will keep it and this is bad so we will not"

    Yeah Right <img>

    "not familiar with other music, "good music" improved their sat scores"

    I don’t think so <img>

    "sad part is our children today can’t sing, listen to the songs they don’t have a melody"

    Never Bought It <img>

    Show tunes <img>




    You know,I bet Manson likes show tunes <img>
    Like dms said,I did`nt know the PMRC was still around <img>
    My cousin is a Manson fan;what scares me though is he also likes Mariah Carey <img>



    Oh yeah,I wanted to say something about the jazz thing they mentioned;sure,there`s some people who won`t listen to jazz but there`s some who will;in my jazz group on AG the music tastes of the members are wide ranging.The other day an Aussie metal fan asked me what Thelonious Monk albums he should buy.There`s only about 4 or 5 people out of 31 that like only jazz.



    I think the secret to Jazz is to start off young, unless you’ve been exposed to it for most of your life you tend to think jazz is weird.


    Randy Jane

    didnt I see these people on tv the other day also claiming that N’Sync is satanic? They said that Kurt took his own life to influence others to do the same…..yeah, I dont even think Kurt killed himself. I havent taken my ACT or SAT (old enough but just didnt) but if I made a low score on it, they couldnt say its because I own a Manson album or two…they would have to blame it on my music taste as a whole. I grew up on Bluegrass, Country, 70’s/80’s rock, then got into other things, now I like pretty much whatever im handed. It was MY choice to not pay attention all the time in school, NOT the choice of J Mascis, or Kurt, or Manson, Haggard, George Jones or whatever…thats out of the question. Im not a metal fan, but if its live and I have the money, or free..ill go see it. That doesnt mean im going to come back a changed person. I like music in general (for the most part). I dont really think its the childrens fault today. I remember how I wa raised and how other kids at the time were raised, today, its nothing of the same. Kids are always lightly tapped on the hand, and then put in time out. I understand that works for some kids, but a "good ol fashioned trip hind th woodshed" will ALWAYS do the trick, but you cant do that anymore for retards claiming it as child abuse, (if a 9 year old picked up a gun in the south…he knows what itll do if you point, and pull the trigger, but when he shoots someone…aawww, hes just 9, he didnt know anybetter).

    My 8675309 cents.




    I was just thinking more about this;do they think if the kids listen to jazz and show tunes,it would be a better example then Manson or whoever else they`re offended by;do they know that about 80% of jazz musicians during the 50`s and 60`s were heroin addicts?or show tune writer Cole Porter wrote songs that were almost banned?

    Malcom-I did`nt know much about jazz until I was 15,yeah I agree,it was weird to me at first but that`s why I liked it.



    I don’t believe that it is the duty of parents to protect their children from the world (or from what they think are bad influences). Rather, it is their responsibility to raise intelligent children who are capable of thinking for themselves and developing their own tastes. If you can teach your child compassion, tolerance, objectivity, and above all, raise him to be self-aware and self-confident, you won’t have to worry about him misinterpreting some piece of art and going on a killing spree. Smart kids who listen to mischievous music don’t hurt people, but dumb kids who listen to mischievous music sometimes do.

    The thing that really kills me is this:

    </font><blockquote><font>quote:</font><hr><font> DAVID: Have you listened to the music?
    WYATT: I’ve heard just a little of it. You don’t need to hear much of it. If I spent my time listening to everything we would never get anything else done. </font><hr></blockquote><font>Oh, so the PMRC doesn’t actually listen to the music that they disavow? I thought it was a "Resource Committee"? How can it operate as a resource committee if it doesn’t review its own resources? It shouts fraud and misrepresentation of the highest order. Besides, a good parent shouldn’t have to call a group of strangers to invesigate her kid’s favorite musicians. A good parent will just ask her child.


    p.s. regarding jazz– I was just thinking about how, when I was younger, my mom would occasionally whip out this John Coltrane album. I couldn’t stand to listen to it because I really thought it was going to give me a nervous breakdown. Not that it was bad, but it was just so complex and cacophonous, and I was going through a bad phase at the time. Anything can send you over the edge if your brain is on the verge of it anyway.

    I remember there was some musician recently whose lyrics were blamed for a young girl’s suicide. He was asked about it on MTV, and basically said "Well, today it’s my song, tomorrow it’s a cheeseburger."

    <small>[ 03-08-2002, 04:30 AM: Message edited by: rosa ]</small>

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