How Am I Supposed to Teach My Kid About Aerosmith?

How Am I Supposed to Teach My Kid About Aerosmith?

Everything I thought I knew was a lie!

Do you remember how you felt when, after years of learning “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” and hailing Christopher Columbus as one of the nation’s biggest heroes, you figured out or were told that he was a complete jerk who offered to sell native tribes as slaves and became the father of not just one of the biggest instances of genocide in history, but also the Transatlantic slave trade? Yeah, sucker punched, right?

I am not going to say I was that outraged and shocked when I learned that Aerosmith was a giant sellout (I want to yell like that kid on Family Guy, “You’re a big fat phony!”), but I was still pretty pissed off. This was the band of “Dream On” ethic! This was a band—like so many rock gods of days gone by, hard to find these days—who stood for going against the man, being different, not selling out and living the rock life and ethic. Now their lead singer is a judge on American Idol and the band’s hottie (I’ve always maintained that Joe Perry is the cute one) guitarist is a whiny sauce salesman.


And I don’t know if you have ever heard of Louis CK’s routine where he mocks parents who exclaim, “How am I supposed to tell my son/daughter that two men are married?” Like Louis CK, I think that’s absolutely ridiculous; it’s your s***ty kid, you tell him—and that’s not a good excuse to ruin someone else’s life! But how am I supposed to tell my daughter about the Aerosmith I knew and loved growing up with when I now know about the Aerosmith we have today? How am I supposed to scream, “Dream on! Dream on!” in the car at the top of my lungs with her like I did with my dad—and now, my husband—when I now know that it’s no longer about the struggle and the camaraderie and subverting whatever is “hip” or pop-py, but instead what sells?

There is absolutely no way we’re going to play “Sweet Emotion” during our road trips now; we may have to substitute with—gasp—Bob Seger or something as equally less painful. I can’t even joke about big lips anymore without thinking about how they look on commercials featuring songs that used to be anti-corporate anthems in my life.

I’m all about homeschooling, but our Aerosmith unit may just have to wait for a day when I’m less emotional about Steven Tyler’s popification.