Monday, March 07, 2011

Parents role with pop culture

On the Pop Culture Happy Hour this week the panel discussed what pop culture items they would share with children, and they hit on many wonderful things—much of which come from the time of my childhood (The Muppet Show, Schoolhouse Rocks). And while that all brought up great ideas for what I'd want to expose our eventual children to, there's still that extent to which I worry will become the stuff against which they'll rebel when they get to their teen years (in other words, the Patton Oswalt concern). Eh, but maybe there's no avoiding them getting caught up in whoever is the David Cassidy/New Kids On the Block/Justin Bieber of the day when they hit that age.

That may be a rite of passage even. Not that it was for me, but if we have daughters then I won't be the best comparison point.


I don't actually remember my parents attempting to influence the tastes of my sister and me when we were young (but then, I don't recall much of the years when our parents were actually still together). Even merely what they preferred for themselves that we would have heard or seen by proximity seems to have had, at best, a coincidental impact on the tastes of what I ended up preferring.

Sure, our mother enjoyed the soft rock sounds of artists such as the Carpenters, and I'm not suggesting hearing that on the radio driving around with her in those years did nothing, but I think the time I picked up Richard and Karen's greatest hits on disc was as much due to the fact their good songs as any nostalgia.

The only album I remember from our father was the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five," and that I remember more for the album cover than from actually hearing it played with any frequency. That I started listening to the local jazz station when doing homework in my freshman year of high school was evidence that I was weird, sure, but it was not out of any subconscious nod to what Dad enjoyed.

There's been influential people I've met over the course of my life, or just books/TV shows/music that I've discovered on my own, but I can't really say my own parents were the source of much.

They merely didn't get in the way of letting me like what I liked, and I suppose in the end that's the best I could have asked of them.

1 comment:

  1. How fortunate you are! my parents played 60s easy listening music 24 hours a day. Hearing it today triggers PTSD episodes for me.


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