We Shouldn't Shield Our Kids From Pro-Suicide Music (VIDEO)

chloe lattanziOkay. Before I start defending Olivia Newton-John's 25-year-old daughter Chloe Lattanzi and the violent music video that's got parents everywhere up in arms, I have something to admit. Yes, before I start ranting about freedom of speech and artistic license and all of that, let me just make something perfectly clear: I think Lattanzi's video sucks.

The song itself, "Play With Me," also sucks. (I had to put the video on "mute" to get through the entire thing.) But I'm not here to critique Lattanzi's music, I'm here to say that the enraged parent "watchdog" groups accusing Lattanzi of glamorizing suicide are missing the point entirely.

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The video plays out as a series of suicide scenarios: Lattanzi electrocuting herself in a bathtub; Lattanzi slitting her wrist; Lattanzi holding a gun to her head; Lattanzi hoovering up a ridiculous amount of cocaine. In every scene, a bland male model type stands by, watching (I couldn't even tell if it was the same guy in every scene, he was so boring).

So apparently the overriding concern of angry parents is that Lattanzi will somehow make their kids want to try the same things. Um ... well, for argument's sake, I guess we can pretend that Lattanzi is actually cool enough to make any of these self-destructive behaviors appealing.

Here's the deal: This stuff happens. People -- teens -- do bad things to themselves. Quite frequently. There's no way around this unfortunate fact, so to try and protect our kids from reality is pointless (it won't work) and a waste of an opportunity to have a good parent-child discussion about the issues being raised. Nowadays they call that a "teachable moment," I'm told.

The term "teachable moment" is a good one, actually, because it puts a positive spin on potentially uncomfortable situations: Instead of sweeping it under the rug, let's use this disturbing music video as a conversation starter. Why do you think she's trying to electrocute herself? What's making her so unhappy? What if she was your friend, what would you say?

I welcome moments like these with my 10-year-old daughter, and this is why: I know we're going to have to talk about this stuff at some point, and it feels a lot more natural to get the conversation rolling when the topic presents itself -- for the both of us, I think. After all, how effective are those "let's sit down and have a talk" talks? Too awkward for all involved.

Again, I really, really didn't like Lattanzi's video or song, both of which seemed like a pathetic attempt by the love child of Trent Reznor and Fiona Apple to make a statement her parents did a much better job of making years ago.

But am I offended, as a parent? Nah. Just as a human being with ears and eyes.

Do you try to protect your kid from disturbing content like "Play With Me"?

 

Image via YouTube

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