Bad Ideas about urban myths

I would normally call Ideas one of the few good radio shows we have left. But on Wednesday night I was subjected to the third playing in a year of Lynn Glazier’s documentary “It’s a Teen’s World: Wired for Sex, Lies and Power Trips”. Frankly my first reaction was: Huh? Didn’t I hear this just a month ago? (Okay, it was three months.)

Now, never mind that this doc veers toward moral panic or uses fun words like “slut” and “blowjob” over and over, I leave those complaints to the sorts of people whose hobbies include letters to the editor and calling CBC audience relations.

The biggest problem with this doc isn’t that it’s foul-mouthed or sensationalistic, it’s that some of the stuff it’s reporting simply isn’t true.

Wednesday night’s episode made reference to “Rainbow parties”, a now-classic suburban myth (or, at best, a dubious rumour) passed around by worried parents and bored Globe & Mail reporters, which grew largely out of a smutty young adult novel.

Another episode tackles how hip-hop influences teenagers’ ideas about sex. Now this is a genuine issue, but can we at least use examples that are actually correct and make sense, instead of more unexamined hysteria? Part of the show involves a discussion of the Soulja Boy song “Crank Dat”, which contains the line “superman dat hoe”; we’re told, without going into details, that this is coded language for some truly disgusting sex act. The supposed meaning isn’t mentioned on air, but anyone with an internet connection can look up:

“when you ejaculate on a girls back then put a blanket on her so when she stands up the blanket sticks therefore making her look like she has a cape.”

… now, anyone with a whit of critical thinking skills can see that this is easily far too obscure and convoluted to be correct. But again, Lynn Glazier leaves the comments unexamined. Too bad the whole thing was thoroughly dunbunked three years ago.

Ideas is supposed to be about journalism, great docs, and, well, ideas. How did this get through? There’s nothing wrong with pushing the envelope, people, just don’t throw your critical thinking cap away.

1 comment

  1. Allanjoined April 10, 2009
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The laws of … I don’t know … whatever … will not allow that blanket, any blanket, let alone an HBC blanket, to stick based on sperm alone.
    Seriously, who doesn’t know this?
    I don’t think that even a horse ejaculating could make that blanket stick when the woman stands up.
    A sheet, maybe, but only for a moment.

    The confusion with the blanket may be due to originally having misheard the words “Superman dat” as being “Saddle Up dat”, where the girl doesn’t stand up but stays on all fours and the guy mounts her and pretends he’s riding to the corner store to get more Dorritos.

    (Kim, are you purging?)


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