Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be...

Tim Brennan


“I read the news today, oh boy” —The Beatles


Manti Te’o. A victim or liar?


Shocking. A squeaky clean football star from a squeaky clean school embroiled in a mind-bending, confusing controversy.


Really? Shocking? It was for me. Then I became numb and asked myself why this was so shocking.


Scandal at Notre Dame. It was only a matter of time.


Let's see, pedophile coach at Penn State protected by iconic head coach. Rules violations at USC, OSU, and Oregon, which cause entire teams to suffer the consequences while the coaches bolt for better jobs and the stars still get NFL contracts.


On a smaller scale, stories of arrests, accusations of sexual violations, and cheating have become so commonplace as to not merit news.


That's college. How about the pro level? Dallas Cowboy player kills teammate. Kansas City player kills girlfriend then self. Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback accused multiple times of rape. Baltimore Ravens linebacker implicated in shooting death. Cleveland Browns receiver guilty of vehicular manslaughter. Eagle quarterback is an ex-con animal abuser.


The league clearly endorses violent high-speed contact, and has evidence of brain injuries leading to lifelong health issues and buries that information.


The NBA is not immune. Delonte West was found driving a motorcycle with an arsenal of weapons strapped to him. Jayson Williams shot his limo driver and covered it up. Isaiah Thomas guilty of sexual harassment, and really, really bad management. False imprisonment. Kidnapping. Menacing with a deadly weapon. Different players, different teams.


Baseball. So many cheaters, they are closing the doors to the Hall of Fame.


Golf. Tiger.


Cycling. Lance.


In the world of professionals with advanced degrees, we have investment bankers running Ponzi schemes. Accountants creating fraudulent loan docs and then foreclosing on homes of veterans.


Politicians. I’ll avoid party rhetoric and just mention the dearth of legislators who have been caught lying about walking the Appalachian trail, soliciting sex in airport bathrooms, taking money from retirement funds, on and on.


We haven't had a story about a teacher dating a student in a while. Phew.


News reports about doctors abusing the insurance system seemed to have decreased in the past year. Aw gee, that's nice.




Boy Scout leaders.


Role models. Role models. ROLE MODELS?


Getting sick yet? I am.


What does this have to do with a music blog? If your kid came to you and said he or she wanted to be in a band, you might say, “that’s no way to live.” Why not? Most people would not think of a rock and roller as a role model. Maybe we should. Rockers don't seem to make as much news as the above mentioned. And before you start on some other gangsta crimes, or pop-star flame out, I am speaking of the working musicians. Think local band Shovels & Rope, Bruce Springsteen. This is a very different world than rap, hip-hop, or manufactured pop.


Too much drinking? Some drug use? Honestly, you can't put that in the same light as the list I've reminded you about earlier. I've seen as much drinking and open drug use with parents of private school kids.


What do rockers do? They bring enjoyment, energy, and fun to people's lives. People find the love of their lives over the spark of a song. That’s not such a bad thing—to make rock music. To make a room of people come alive in unison. That is freaking magic.


Mamas, buy your kids a guitar. Give them a chance at an honest life. Don't let your babies grow up to be doctors and lawyers and NFL players and such.


“And Ziggy played geeeeeetaaaaaaarrrr!!” David Bowie