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Film / Rock: It's Your Decision

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This is a movie about a kid whose love for music is transmorphed into something quote-unquote evil by his paranoid parents until he is turned into a raving, bigoted fanatic who loses his friends, his personality, and any sense of independence. You can make your point without writing off an entire genre of music as a tool of devil-worshipping, drug abusing homosexuals; that makes you sound fucking crazy, especially when your examples are debunked.
Brad Jones, reviewing the movie.

A fundumentalist Christian propaganda film about the evils of rock music. Jeff Sims is put under contract by a preacher to give up rock music for two weeks, and research whether or not it's good for him as a Christian. Jeff takes him up on it, and soon ends up alienating everyone in sight as he becomes increasingly "fanatical".

Trope: It's Your Decision:

  • Anecdotal Fallacy: After a period of not listening to rock, and thus starting to realize how "harmful" all of its lyrics apparently are, without exception, Jeff is in the mall where a boombox is playing rock music. Jeff feels "compelled" to stop and listen and groove along with it. He later claims that the music was trying to "control" him, and makes the point in his end-of-the-film speech that in fact when people are at a rock concert and are swaying along, snapping their fingers, humming it, etc., this is an example of the music "controlling" them. It is never suggested if the same is true of people who are moved to tears by classical music, or raise their hands and sing along when hearing church music.
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  • Broken Aesop: The action in this film is spurred by Jeff's mother becoming concerned about Jeff's recent bad attitude. Examples of his "bad" behavior include mouthing off to his mother and other boundary-pushing behaviors found in pretty much all children of any time period. In fact, Jeff seems to be a pretty good kid; he even feels guilty about talking back to his mother and delivers an unforced apology. It's later, after he's supposedly a better person, that he unrepentantly screams at her for being a hypocrite. Somehow showing us a kid that's pretty normal, or even better-behaved than average, turning into a judgmental creep doesn't exactly sell the "rock music makes your kids rebellious" message.
  • Clueless Aesop: The movie is supposed to have "Rock music will lead you down a life of sin if you don't reject it and accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior" as an aesop. It might've done an adequate job... if the main character didn't instantly turn into a supreme Jerkass and a holier-than-thou religious zealot when he finally did, turning on his friends and even his own family (who were trying to steer him away from rock music in the first place) when he starts viewing his mother's soap operas as evil, too, and ending the special raving about the evils of rock music (and homosexuality while he's at it) in front of his church group.
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  • Easy Evangelism: Jeff goes from a rock fan to a rock hater at his pastor's and his parents' urging.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Some rock stars lived "immoral" lives, and there were even a few who sang about it. Therefore all rock music, or even all "secular" music, is automatically an endorsement of Satanism and the Occult, drugs, drunkenness and promiscuity. Even Captain and Tennille.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jeff's mother uses a pastor to get her son off rock music, which ends up making him a loony fundamentalist that berates her for watching soap operas.
  • Large Ham: Jeff's speech at the end is done with more ham than William Shatner could ever hope to amass, and Jeff also serves it up with plenty of stuffing and gravy. Seriously, don't watch that scene while eating or drinking anything, because you'll start laughing so hard you'll choke.
  • The New Rock & Roll: The entire film is basically the tract "The music Kids These Days are listening to is evil!" in movie form. Well the music their parents listened to at that age anyway, thanks to Two Decades Behind.
  • Parental Hypocrisy:
    • Pastor Owen tells Jeff's mother that while she may not approve of his listening to rock music, scripture can be interpreted just as easily against her hobby of watching soap operas. She ignores this. Later, when Jeff angrily calls her on condemning his behavior while watching "sex with commercials", she gets defensive and slaps him. Near the end, a line implies she is re-evaluating her lifestyle in the same way he did, and like him will begin preaching against something she once enjoyed harmlessly.
    • Marty sees his father this way for pressuring him into attending church on Sundays, but being a Jerkass and using profanity the rest of the week.
  • Poe's Law: The aesop is so warped by poor delivery that it's indistinguishable from a parody of itself. As noted elsewhere on this page, it comes off as more of a warning of the dangers of Fundamentalism than of rock music, and Jeff comes off as a strawman.
  • Proof by Examples: Jeff lists quite a few examples of the "evils" contained within the lyrics of rock music. Of course, he's wrong about a good deal of them but even if he was right, the fact that he can name several examples does not at all prove the entire genre(s) of "rock music" is evil and degenerate.
  • Rotten Rock & Roll: According to the film, all "rock music" endorses evil.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Rock music's association with this trope doesn't do it any favors with Jeff and his church.
  • Sex Is Evil: By the end of the film, Jeff has adopted this mentality. He tells his mother that soap operas are nothing but "sex with commercials" and attacks songs for having sexually suggestive titles and lyrics.
  • Two Decades Behind: This came out in 1982, long after the Christian backlash against rock music had become a joke in all but the most fundamentalist circles (which Jeff's church clearly isn't). Almost all of the songs Jeff cites are from the '70s as well, though album rock remained popular well into the 1980s.


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