In 1957, the Everly Brothers recorded a song called Wake Up Little Suzie, a song about a boy and a girl on a date that fell asleep and didn’t wake up till early in the morning. The song suggested that the couple slept together accidentally, but the song did not say anything specific or use any shocking words. Wake Up Little Suzie was nevertheless banned in Boston, and some people found it shocking that a song on the radio would suggest such actions that society thought to be immoral.
In the mid-1960’s, John Lennon was quoted as saying that he felt the Beatles were more important to kids than Jesus. It created a media backlash, and some radio stations stopped playing the music for a while and destroyed the records.
Change the scene to the present. I was walking through a store parking lot recently and a car drove by with very loud rap music playing extremely vulgar lyrics. This song was so explicit and vulgar that I am not sure I could describe what it was saying in any language that was not vulgar. No one batted an eye, no protests happened, nothing was banned in Boston or anywhere else.
Why has our society changed, and changed so quickly? Regardless of whether you agree or disagree about whether the change in morals is good, we can all agree that a dramatic change has happened in western culture, and the change happened in about one generation. Have other cultures changed so dramatically so quickly, such as asian, arabic, or mid-eastern cultures? Why would ours change and not theirs?
Will such a dramatic change impact our society in concrete ways?