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A parental warning that has the words "explicit lyrics" on it is basically self-explanatory. It means that the lyrics are about killing people, using drugs and abusing females, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

As people have become more "politically correct" in this country, they take offense at little things such as swear words and slang.

First of all, musicians sometimes need to use swear words to get their point across. As Nick Hexum from 311 says, referring to the band's lyrics, "It brings out a positive message in an angry way."

People these days are easily offended, so advisory labels are put on anything that even looks suspicious.

The "explicit content" label basically means that the CD or cassette has pictures that may be offensive to some people. This does not mean naked people. It may mean that people may take the artwork the wrong way.

It may also mean that the CD has both explicit lyrics and pictures, but this is usually not the case.

The thing that the advisory labels don't tell us is that these same albums that are supposedly so "bad" are also sending us a positive message as well. These bands are simply trying to make people pay attention. Because they are musicians, they know no other way than to use lyrics.

The bottom line in this issue is that our parents need to put more trust in us. If we think something is too offensive for us, we won't buy it. It would just be a waste of money, which most kids don't have a lot of.

Kids form ideas very early, and generally stick to them. Parents don't need to think that we are going to buy something because it says "kill everybody." We're going to buy it because we like the music.

And even though some of our parents don't think that it is music, to us it is. It's part of what makes us who we are.

There have been some cases where kids have used lyrics as an excuse for their behavior. Most kids do not do that.

If kids swear, it's usually because of what we've heard at school. The bad lyrics don't affect kids one way or another. The good ones, on the other hand, kids write in their diaries, in notes to friends, etc.

The next time you want to buy a CD with a parental warning, ask your parents to check it out first. In most cases, they'll find that the album is not as bad as they think.

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