Decency in entertainment has been on a slippery slope, ever since rappers started dissin’ “bitches”and shoot ’em up video games made it to the top of Christmas wish lists.
Now, VH1 wants to broadcast the musical stylings of convicted murderers, rapists and thieves.
On Oct. 18, VH1 is airing a new program, “Music Behind Bars,”a new documentary series that can only be described as “Making the Band”meets “Oz.”
According to the VH1 website, each episode focuses on a particular band and “the redemptive effect that music has on its members.”
The show also looks at their lives and crimes.
Shot inside the walls of Pennsylvania’s maximum-security Graterford Prison, the first episode features Dark Mischief, a heavy-metal band who has two convicted murderers among its members.
At Gratersford, those with good records can form music groups, as long as they perform a mandatory two-hour concert every few months.
The band must also conduct its own publicity and find time to rehearse.
And if the show is poorly attended, or the audience gives them a bad review, the band can lose its musical privileges.
First prisoners were learning how to be better criminals, now they’re learning how to be rock stars.
But that’s not the only failure here.
VH1 is hoping that the television audience will drool over a dimwitted drama about prison bands faced with talent shows, cell searches and lockdowns.
The disgusting part is VH1 is probably right.
For all our talk of moral superiority, we have degenerated to the point where we are not repulsed by graphic, senseless violence.
In fact, we package and promote it for profit, and buy it and watch it for fun.
Then, we sit, dumbfounded by the fact that violence pervades our society.
So, despite its insidious nature, “Music Behind Bars”will attract an audience, who will become a legion of loyal and adoring fans.
But hopefully, before that happens, victims’ rights supporters will have their way.
Parents of Murdered Children, a support group for survivors of homicide victims, has vowed to start a letter-writing campaign to get the show canceled.
Where do I sign?
Kia Gregory can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org