Sexting “Banned” in Texas

Posted on: 08/31/09 12:05 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Now sexting is banned in a Texas school.

Hmmmmmm. I can just picture the conversations now.

“Hey Blake, do ya want me to send you a picture of me naked?”

“Well Amber, I would have wanted that last week… but now the school has banned it, so we better not.”

I’m not knocking it… I’m just chuckling at the fact that we have to put that policy in print. Don’t get me wrong. I actually agree. But it’s just like I always tell my kids when they get busted doing something that I had never actually never prohibited. “Yes Alec, you’re right. I never outright told you that you couldn’t hang the dog over the balcony by his back legs. But I would have hoped that common sense would have kicked in on this one!”

Well, for some kids, apparently common sense hasn’t kicked in. That’s why a Houston school has put the policy in print. Here’s a snippet of last week’s Washington Post article:

At 19, Melanie Young knows firsthand about the devastating consequences of sexting.

Too bad she didn’t learn her lesson sooner.

“I thought it was fun and just a way of flirting,” the McKinney resident said of sending a nude photo of herself to a male friend when she was 16. “I sent it to someone that I thought I could trust.”

Turns out she couldn’t. The person she sent the picture to promptly forwarded it to others. She was stunned when she went to school soon after and a classmate showed her the embarrassing photo on his cellphone. Other students saw it, too.

One in every five teenagers say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves, according to a 2008 survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

And while some youths may see “sexting” – sending sexually suggestive or indecent text messages or pictures – as harmless fun, some Texans are beginning to take steps to stop them.

(the entire article about banning sexting)

For more about sexting, check out our recent Youth Culture Window article on the subject.


Good Girls Go Bad

Posted on: 08/27/09 4:32 PM | by Jonathan McKee

David and I try to keep our thumb on the pulse of the music charts as much as we can, understanding that music is a huge influence on teenagers today.

The charts have been in my blog quite a bit lately, with Drake’s explicit Best I Ever Had, and the Black Eyed Peas’ racy I Gotta Feeling both in the top 10.

Earlier this week Dave gave me the heads up about a new song that has crept its way up into Billboard’s and iTunes Top 10. The song is called Good Girls Go Bad, by a group called Cobra Starship (no relation to Jefferson).

David researched the song and has written a Youth Culture Window article about the song, the lyrics, the video and the group.

Here’s just a snippet:

The song employs an interesting “symmetry.” Saporta sings a verse about his coercion capabilities on the opposite sex, and moments later, the female vocalist affirms a very similar sentiment. Like a snake responding to a charmer, the girl plays her part…right into his hands. Take a look for yourself.
(male singer)
I make them good girls go bad
I make them good girls go
Good girls go bad, good girls go bad
I know your type, you’re daddy’s little girl
Just take a bite (one bite)
Let me shake up your world
‘Cause just one night couldn’t be so wrong
I’m gonna make you lose control
(female singer)
I know your type, boy you’re dangerous
You’re that guy I’d be stupid to trust
But just one night couldn’t be so wrong
You make me wanna lose control

The entire article will be featured on our front page and on the YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW page all this coming week.

Young People Multi-tasking… Not so Well

Posted on: 08/25/09 8:47 AM | by Jonathan McKee

You’ve probably read a little about this younger generation being better multi-taskers than we are. If you’ve attended my CONNECT workshop or any of my PARENTING workshops, you’ve heard me talk about it.

A new report from researchers at Stanford says that even though they might be multi-tasking… they might not be doing it very effectively.

Yahoo news reports:

The people who multitask the most are the ones who are worst at it. That’s the surprising conclusion of researchers at Stanford University, who found multitaskers are more easily distracted and less able to ignore irrelevant information than people who do less multitasking.

(the entire article on multi-tasking)

I’ve been reading debate about this fact for years (I’ve blogged about multi-tasking before). I recall articles that argued kids can indeed multi-task better, but it creates more stress.

Our kids are growing up in a world that almost demands better multi-tasking skills. As the years progress, it will be interesting to see if the end result of this mayhem is two steps forward… or a step backward.

Ever wish you could just slow everything down two notches? I think of a line from the movie The Shawshank Redemption when Brooks got out of jail after serving almost his entire life behind bars. “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.”

(ht to David)

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Alec’s Black Belt

Posted on: 08/22/09 3:18 PM | by Jonathan McKee

It was a fun day in the McKee household. My 16-year-old earned his black belt today in a Korean art called Tae Kuk Mu Sul.

Alec started Karate at the end of grade school, but was in one of those schools that graduates kids regardless of whether they earned it or not. (Congrats! You’re to the next level. That will be $50 more for the belt!) He worked his way all the way up to red belt in that school (only brown and black to go), then decided to try this other school (Tae Kuk Mu Sul) that was less “businessy” and more about training.

Alec started over at white belt at Tae Kuk Mu Sul and worked hard for a little over 2 years now.

All month he’s been working towards his blackbelt test. Today he earned it.

Exciting stuff! I’m proud of him. Quite an achievement.

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You’re the BLEEP Best

Posted on: 08/18/09 10:20 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yep… that’s the chorus of the number three song on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart right now. Amazing.

The song is by Drake. It’s called, Best I Ever Had and the chorus features him simply repeating, “You’re the f**king best…”  Creative, huh?


The music video starts with a slow motion shot of huge breasted women running onto a basketball court, with their merchandise swaying to and fro in slow motion.

I’m working on my parenting workshop this morning– I preach at a church this weekend, then I get two hours with parents from the church that afternoon. As part of my Parenting the Texting Generation workshop I always update them with the current songs and videos that their kids have access to. I can only sigh as I’m looking at the Top 10 this morning with “I Gotta Feeling” still at number one (I ranted about that to you last week) and now Drake’s Best I Ever Had as number three.

It never fails. Whenever I do this parenting workshop a large number of the top 10 songs are explicit, over-sexualized or raunchy. And the response from the parents is always the same. They are shocked and had no idea that these messages were in the top songs. Furthermore, they had no idea that iTunes and YouTube provide easy access to most of these songs and videos.

Another funny note: The CLEAN version of the song. You see… if you look up Best I Ever Had on iTunes there is the Explicit Version and the CLEAN version. Do it… I encourage you to do that search. Then click on the CLEAN version, double click the song and listen to the 30 second free preview of the “clean lyrics.” Here’s what you’ll hear:

I know you got a roommate, call me when there’s no one there
Put the key under the mat, and you know I’ll be over there
I’ll be over there, shawty, I’ll be over there
I’ll be hitting all the spots that you ain’t even know was there

If you don’t know what “hitting” means, I encourage you to look up “hit it” in our slang dictionary.

I look forward to my time with parents this weekend.

Indiana and Notre Dame

Posted on: 08/15/09 5:42 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I just finished teaching a workshop to youth workers from 8 different churches in South Bend, Indiana. It was a fun time– great people.

I had never been to South Bend before. The hotel I stayed at was right across the street from Notre Dame. I walked over to the campus- beautiful. Really amazing.

Just a few weeks before I was in Boston and visited Harvard. Sorry… Harvard’s campus doesn’t hold a candle to Notre Dame. Notre Dame felt so much more like a community, where Harvard felt like a bunch of buildings crammed into the middle of a crowded city. I’m sure there is much more to an education than the “feel” of the campus… but as for atmosphere… Notre Dame wins by a longshot. Pretty cool football stadium too.

I’m now back in Chicago- I fly out tomorrow. I grabbed some Giordano’s Pizza, my favorite pizza across the nation… off to bed soon.


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My Thoughts After Watching Teen Choice 2009

Posted on: 08/11/09 9:49 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday I blogged that I’d share my thoughts with you after watching the Teen Choice Awards 2009 that aired on Fox last night. This show always provides us with an informative glimpse into our youth culture. Last night’s show didn’t fall short of that.

I don’t know where to start: Sean Kingston’s pole dancers? Britney’s “Ultimate Choice” award? Miley’s “J-lo dress?”


Yes, there were a few, “Oh my!” moments. But overall the show was actually pretty tame. Just more of the same: people that shouldn’t be role models receiving awards from teenagers for movies teens shouldn’t be watching, TV shows they shouldn’t be viewing, and music they shouldn’t be listening to. (Wow… I’m starting to sound old and grumpy!)

The lowlight of the show was Miley.

Yesterday I jumped to Miley’s defense. She’s young and has definitely made some mistakes. But I’m not one to talk. When I was her age I was doing things that would make you shudder (I wasn’t following Christ).

Miley seems to be on the same quest that many young stars have navigated. She’s looking for her place, and she seems to be wondering if that place requires racy outfits and sexy dance moves.

The news is buzzing this morning about Miley’s outfits and her “pole dance” at the show. ( I’ll let you decide for yourself what to call it. She did hold onto a pole and dip once. Not sure what she was thinking. This article actually includes a home-made video from someone at the awards who recorded Miley’s performance) Her new song, “Party in the USA” included a nice little line about moving her hips… and she definitely did.

I don’t know if that whole dance bothered me half as much as her dress that she war later when she gave Britney her award. Again I’ll say, “Billy? Dude… that’s your daughter up there! Don’t you feel like covering her up a little bit?!”

Another moment in the show that reflects our culture was the new award, “The Choice Fabulous.” This is a new award that seemed a little vague, but they announced it as an award to a guy who isn’t afraid to “where heels.” So call it what you may, it was the “Choice Gay” award. When the skirt-wearing “Miss J” accepted his award, he made sure to thank “every single gay, lesbian…” etc.

Should parents worry about their kids watching this show?

I definitely am always concerned about the subtle elements of shows like this (past years haven’t always been so subtle). The subtle messages of this show are, “These are the people to be!” “These songs are the songs to listen to!” “These movies and TV shows are the ones to watch!”

That’s why I’m disappointed when shows like “Gossip Girl” are awarded. I’m bummed when Miley introduces a racy Britney montage and then calls her, “my hero.” I’m not excited about the Black Eyed Peas song “I Gotta Feeling” is performed live, directing even more kids to their racy video.

This show gives a pretty accurate glimpse of what this generation values. The good is standing side by side with the profane and it’s all politically correct.

Parents should not only be aware of these influences in our kids’ lives, we should dialogue with our kids about these influences. Keep your eyes on resources like this blog and our frequent Youth Culture Window articles that keep you current.

Here’s the complete list of this year’s Teen Choice Awards winners:

Choice Movie Action Adventure: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
— Choice Movie Drama: “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Bromantic Comedy: “Marley & Me.”
— Choice Movie Comedy: “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.”
— Choice Movie Chick Flick: “27 Dresses.”
— Choice Movie Horror/Thriller: “Friday the 13th.”
— Choice Movie Music/Dance: “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”
— Choice Movie Hissy Fit: Miley Cyrus, “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”
— Choice Movie Actor Drama: Robert Pattinson, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Actress Drama: Kristen Stewart, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Actor Action Adventure: Hugh Jackman, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
— Choice Movie Actress Action Adventure: Jordana Brewster, “Fast & Furious.”
— Choice Movie Actor Comedy: Zac Efron, “17 Again.”
— Choice Movie Actress Comedy: Anne Hathaway, “Bride Wars.”
— Choice Movie Actress Music/Dance: Miley Cyrus, “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”
— Choice Movie Actor Music/Dance: Zac Efron, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”
— Choice Movie Villain: Cam Gigandet, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Fresh Face Female: Ashley Greene, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Fresh Face Male: Taylor Lautner, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Liplock: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Rumble: Robert Pattinson vs. Cam Gigandet, “Twilight.”
— Choice Movie Rockstar Moment: Zac Efron, “17 Again.”
— Choice Summer Movie Drama: “My Sister’s Keeper.”
— Choice Summer Movie Comedy: “Up.”
— Choice Summer Movie Romance: “The Proposal.”
— Choice Summer Movie Action Adventure: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
— Choice Summer Movie Star Male: Shia LaBeouf, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
— Choice Summer Movie Star Female: Megan Fox, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
— Choice TV Show Drama: “Gossip Girl.”
— Choice TV Show Action Adventure: “Heroes.”
— Choice TV Show Comedy: “Hannah Montana.”
— Choice TV Animated Show: “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
— Choice TV Reality: “The Hills.”
— Choice TV Reality Competition: “American Idol.”
— Choice TV Actor Drama: Chace Crawford, “Gossip Girl.”
— Choice TV Actress Drama: Leighton Meester, “Gossip Girl.”
— Choice TV Actor Action Adventure: Tom Welling, “Smallville.”
— Choice TV Actress Action Adventure: Hayden Panettiere, “Heroes.”
— Choice TV Actor Comedy: Jonas Brothers, “Jonas.”
— Choice TV Actress Comedy: Miley Cyrus, “Hannah Montana.”
— Choice TV Breakout Show: “Jonas.”
— Choice TV Breakout Star Female: Demi Lovato, “Sonny with a Chance.”
— Choice TV Breakout Star Male: Frankie Jonas, “Jonas.”
— Choice TV Male Reality/Variety Star: Adam Lambert, “American Idol.”
— Choice TV Female Reality/Variety Star: Lauren Conrad, “The Hills.”
— Choice TV Villain: Ed Westwick, “Gossip Girl.”
— Choice Fab-u-lous: Jay Alexander, “America’s Next Top Model.”
— Choice TV Sidekick: Emily Osment, “Hannah Montana.”
— Choice TV Late Night Show: “Chelsea Lately.”
— Choice TV Parental Unit: Billy Ray Cyrus, “Hannah Montana.”
— Choice Summer TV Show: “Princess Protection Program.”
— Choice Summer TV Star Female: Selena Gomez, “Princess Protection Program.”
— Choice Summer TV Star Male: Daren Kagasoff, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”
— Choice Music Single: Miley Cyrus, “The Climb.”
— Choice Music Hook-Up: Lady Ga Ga and Colby O’Donis, “Just Dance.”
— Choice Music Male Artist: Jason Mraz.
— Choice Music Female Artist: Taylor Swift.
— Choice Music Rad Artist: Kanye West.
— Choice Music R&B Artist: Beyonce.
— Choice Music Rock Group: Paramore.
— Choice Music Breakout Artist: David Archuleta.
— Choice Music Love Song: David Archuleta, “Crush.”
— Choice Music R&B Track: Beyonce, “Single Ladies.”
— Choice Music Rap/Hip-Hop Track: Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow.”
— Choice Music Rock Track: Paramore, “Decode.”
— Choice Music Album Male Artist: Jason Mraz, “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things.”
— Choice Music Album Female Artist: Taylor Swift, “Fearless.”
— Choice Music Soundtrack: “Twilight.”
— Choice Music Tour: Demi Lovato and David Archuleta.
— Choice Summer Song: Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, “Before the Storm.”
— Choice Male Athlete: David Beckham.
— Choice Female Athlete: Shawn Johnson.
— Choice Male Action Sports Athlete: Ryan Sheckler.
— Choice Female Action Sports Athlete: Stephanie Gilmore.
— Choice Male Hottie: Robert Pattinson.
— Choice Female Hottie: Megan Fox.
— Choice Web Star: Fred.
— Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon Female: Selena Gomez.
— Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon Male: Jonas Brothers.
— Choice Comedian: George Lopez.
— Choice Celebrity Activist: Hayden Panettiere.
— Choice Celebrity Pet: Bo, the Obamas’ dog.
— Choice Video Game: “Rock Band 2.”
— Choice Celebrity Baby: Honor Marie Warren, daughter of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren.
— Choice Celebrity Dancer: Selena Gomez.
— Choice Twit: Ellen DeGeneres.
— Ultimate Choice Award: Britney Spears.

Teen Choice

Posted on: 08/10/09 12:03 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Every year I watch three TV award shows that provide a pretty accurate glimpse of our current youth culture: MTV Movie Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, and the MTV Video Music Awards.

This year we already caught a glimpse from the MTV Movie Awards- a rather revealing glimpse (Click here for my summary of that show). MTV’s VMA’s are just around the corner (September 13th). The Teen Choice Awards air tonight, Monday, August 10, on FOX. (my apologies to those who are receiving this blog via email on Tuesday)

What do I expect from this year’s Teen Choice Awards?

My pre-show thoughts:

1. The Jonas Brothers are hosting. That might actually help the show stay a little more clean than normal. That doesn’t mean that all the guest there will be role models, but the host does have a huge effect on the flavor of the show. Last year the show cleaned up when Miley hosted- hopefully it will happen again.

2. Miley is performing her newest single, “Party in the U.S.A.” Miley is always interesting to watch. Through the good and bad, she’s always been a pretty clean role model (a way better role model than when I was a teenager!). I’ll be curious to see the direction this new single takes her.

3. Twilight, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight. Did I mention Twilight? Yeah… that’s what the show is going to feel like (12 nominations going into it)

You can check out the official web site here: and watch the show tonight on Fox. Expect my post-show thoughts later this week.

Tweens Have a Feeling

Posted on: 08/5/09 11:48 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I was checking out iTunes today– I always like to see what kids are watching and listening to. I noticed that the Black Eyed Peas song “I Gotta Feeling” was still the #1 most downloaded song, and its video is at #5. I’ve blogged about this song and video before. The song is very catchy. And like most of their songs, it doesn’t contain explicit lyrics, so it’s deemed “clean.”

Then there’s the video.


This is also deemed clean. If you didn’t catch my last blog about it… you might want to take a look at it. Your kids can see this music video on YouTube, AOL, iTunes… anywhere. After all, most computers that have some sort of “Net Nanny” or “Cyber Patrol” parental controls don’t block iTunes. (I use a monitoring software on my kid’s computer, but it allows iTunes) 

After looking at iTunes, I searched YouTube to see what kind of traffic the video was getting and I found this homemade video from two little girls.

I’m a little torn when I watch this. On one hand I see two cute little tween girls (they look about my youngest daughter’s age- somewhere between 10 and 12) who really seem like they are really having fun making a fun music video. It’s cute- swinging on swings, jumping on couches and doing gymnastics. But then you see them doing what the music video world has taught them well– imitating the party scene, and mouthing words like “Losing control” and “Take it off.”

I’m not freaking out… I’m not judging anyone. To me it’s just sad to see the loss of innocence. The contrast between two little girls playing on swings one moment, then holding up a Martini glass, tossing money in the air like a rapper… pretty intriguing. And if that contrast isn’t enough. Click from the innocent image of a child doing cartwheels on the grass to the original video where women in bikini tops grope and kiss each other. What are the odds that these two girls did NOT see this official Black Eyed Peas video? Would you want your 11-year-old seeing that video? Would you want her remaking that video?


40 and Still Hot

Posted on: 08/3/09 2:23 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m back home from WI, I preached both services at my home church yesterday, and now I’m back in the office today getting a ton done (I never can take a day off the first day back from a trip- WAAAAAY to much to do. If I spend one day working solid, catching up, then I can relax much easier the next day. Tomorrow I’ll take off.)

Tomorrow is a special day in our house… Lori (my beautiful bride) turns 40! That’s right. She will officially be the hottest 40-year-old on the planet!

I’m 39. What can I say. I nabbed an older woman!

I’m treating her and her best friend Dixie to manicures and pedicures at a Salon tomorrow morning. Then Dix will take her to lunch, returning her to me shortly after. I’m hanging with her in the afternoon (we might even watch Anne of Green Gables– one of her favorites. That’s right- I’m a man and I might watch Anne of Green Gables!!!!), and then I’m taking her out tomorrow night.

Lori and I have been married over 18 years. She’s my best friend, she’s the person I enjoy talking with more than anyone, she’s still extremely hot EVEN AT 40, and I want to spend as much time with her as possible! Gotta go. Work to do!


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