Earlier this week, Arlo’s pediatrician and I determined that he’s now old enough to learn about punk rock. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of research, trying to find the best way to introduce the concepts of senseless violence and nihilism to a two year old.
I was hoping that I’d find some consensus in the literature, but it would appear that professionals working in the area of early childhood development are divided. Some think the CHiPs episode “Battle of the Bands” is best, while others advocate on behalf of the Quincy episode “Next Stop Nowhere.” As I really don’t want to screw this up, I’m looking for advice. Any guidance from academics in the audience would be appreciated.
CHiPs: Season 5, Episode 16 “Battle of the Bands” (January 31, 1982)
Quincy, M.E.: Season 8, Episode 8 “Next Stop Nowhere” (December 1, 1982)
[Not surprisingly, both episodes end on a fairly similar note, with more traditional American values winning out, at least for the time being, over the terrifying nihilism of punk. As Quincy says to Dr. Hanover at the end, as they slow dance to Glenn Miller, “Why would anyone listen to music that makes you hate, when you can listen to music that makes you love?” For my money, though, CHiPs has the better ending, with Erik Estrada triumphantly singing Kool & The Gang’s hit “Celebration” after having snatched a beautiful, innocent young woman from the clutches of punk, and delivered her back into the hands of the commercial mainstream.]