Robert Hilburn’s article (“The Devil, You Say? No Way,” Sept. 8), is a sorry apologia for part of what is wrong with rock today.

Hilburn seems to be saying that any song about sociopathic behavior is all right because it is designed solely to (a) make a buck and (b) aggravate parents by appealing to youthful rebellion.

Hilburn’s solution, or antidote, to sensational lyrics--that parents cultivate a good foundation for their children--does not address the broader issue of what exposure to songs dealing with violence, terrorism, burglary, etc., do to us all as a society.

If the real point, as Hilburn asserts, is rebellion, then it must be stated without equivocation that Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker suspect, if convicted, got the message. Murder is the ultimate rebellion against civilized and ordered society.


At his age, Hilburn should realize that sickness begets sickness, and moral climates in which satanism, violence, stupidity and antisocial behavior are idolized make it only more likely that those people who are on the fringe will fall over the precipice. It also makes it less likely that society as a whole will be shocked by manifestations of antisocial behavior, a poor augur for the future.


North Hollywood