Vol. 4 Issue 22 | June 1, 2018
Three Things This Week
Why it’s noteworthy: Though not the first K-Pop song or artist to make waves (#GangnamStyle), BTS is the first to breach the international scene so quickly and thoroughly, in part due to their sound, but possibly mainly due to their willingness to tackle tough subjects. Their name translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts,” which one member explained “means to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets.” Teens who are part of BTS’ ARMY (fan base) probably resonate with what they depict in their lyrics and videos. If that’s the case, take some time to watch some videos and read through the lyric translations, then ask them what about the music they like so much.
2. Active Shooter
What it is: Good news: It’s not another school shooting. Bad news: It’s a video game that simulates school shootings.
Why it’s terrible: The game allows a player to take the role of a SWAT team member or the shooter, and if the latter is chosen, the player is encouraged to open fire in classrooms and auditoriums. After much backlash, the game will no longer release as planned on June 6, and the publisher responded, saying they would likely remove the shooter’s perspective before releasing. Sadly, it’s not the first game of its kind. For now, our kids can’t play it, but it does provide a great opportunity to foster discernment: Why is this game so abhorrent? Is it any different than, say, Fortnite or Call of Duty? How? Would you have played it if everyone else had been? Do games like this desensitize players? Why do we find violence so entertaining?
3. JR Smith’s Blunder
What it is: Thinking his team was winning, Cleveland’s JR Smith got an offensive rebound late in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and instead of laying it in for the win, dribbled out the clock.
Why it’s a life-lesson: Smith’s gaffe will go down in hoops history, and the internet is roasting him. Lebron’s on-court reaction to Smith’s mistake became a viral meme, with thousands sharing their sarcastic version of the events. Social media is an unforgiving beast, and whether you make a mistake on TV or on the playground, the voices can be relentless. “At its best, social media has given a voice to the disenfranchised. At its worst, it’s a weapon of mass reputation destruction.” For your teens, social media has the power of life and death, and what might seem like a funny joke can lead to shame. Help them remember that “online shaming is a door that swings only one way: You may have the power to open it, but you don’t have the power to close it. And sometimes what rushes through that door can engulf you too.”
Sounds of Summer
Remember those songs that formed the backdrop to your lazy days of summer break? Whether it was a family vacation to the beach or a summer camp romance, music sticks with us, carving out places in our memories forever linked to certain people, places, or events. For better and worse, here are the songs that will be forever linked to the Summer of 2018 in your teen’s heart.
- “Nice For What” by Drake: This upbeat track is a change in tone for Drake, whose recent hits have had an angry, edgy side.
- “This is America” by Childish Gambino: Political, satirical, and prophetic, the song continues to send shock waves across America for it’s biting indictment of gun violence.
- “God’s Plan” by Drake: Falling to third on the list, it became the first song ever to post three weeks of more than 75 million U.S. streams. Crazy.
- “Psycho” by Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign: The third single from his sophomore album, Psycho is a stereotypical rap song praising jewelry, cars, sex, and booze.
- “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris, & Grey: Back in January, Target released an ad-slash-music video of the song during the 2018 Grammy Awards, showing the power of music to push products.
- “Yes Indeed” by Lil Baby & Drake: The single recently jumped from No. 49 to No. 6 allowing Drake to pass Elvis Presley for the fourth-most Hot 100 top 10s among solo males.
- “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line: The country/pop rock song is the modern rendition of Doris Day’s Que Sera, Sera.
- “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai: Her first top 10 song, Mai’s smooth song speaks of unrequited love.
- “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande: The lead single for her fourth studio album, Sweetner, marks her return to music after the 2017 Manchester bombing.
- “Fake Love” by BTS: It’s the first K-pop song to reach Streaming Songs’ top 10 since PSY’s “Hangover,” featuring Snoop Dogg, in June 2014.
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