Murder Behind the Music: The Psychology of Backmasking by L@mbo Lim

Backmasking in music is a technique made popular in the Beatles, 1966 album Revolver. After the conspiracy was presented that Paul McCartney died in a car crash and was replaced by a impersonator; it was believed backmasking was used to tell the tale. Backward messages such as, “turn me on dead man,” hinted to the fact that the real Paul McCartney was dead. Later this technique was used as a form of censorship. To some religious organizations it’s seen as Satanic. Although many arguments can be made about backmasking; today I want to discuss the psychological effects of backmasking.
Backmasking is the technique of purposely putting messages into music that can only be heard when played backwards. This technique is thought to have effects on the subconscious mind, and make people make unconscious decisions. For example, there have been many instances in which people committed murder and used music as the blame. Marilyn Manson’s music was blamed for the Columbine Massacre. Angry parents believed their children’s love of Manson’s music forced them to carry out violent fantasies. Many media outlets blamed Manson’s music for encouraging violence. Lyrics back masked in songs such as, Dope Hat, were revealed to say, “I’m gonna kill you, I’m gonna kill you, kill yourself, kill yourself.” We’re thought to have given the Columbine killers incentives to kill because subliminal messages caused unconscious decisions. 

Many psychologist, such as Mark D. Allen, a professor at Brigham Young University, believes this theory is impossible. I believe rhythms can effect mood, but blaming music on murder is a scapegoat. Music is not hypnosis, it does not put you in a trance. Although, different rhythms can trigger emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, etc.. When it becomes overwhelming you conscious mind will say turn it off. The subconscious is only effective in dreams. For example, listening to a song such as, Manson’s Dope Hat, may cause you to have a bad dream. However, the subconscious cannot make a conscious decision such as, murder. On the other hand, people should be conscious of the effect music has on mood. If music is altering your feelings it may not be a good idea to it because negative emotions promote stress.

Music is a release, especially when we believe we can identify with the song. Music should be used as entertainment, not consumption. Anything a person lets consume them is unhealthy. In ending remember the subconscious cannot make conscious decisions. Also remember music alters the mood; therefore, listen wisely.


Locked Out of the American Dream by Aliya Garfield

The Philadelphia School District is failing the city’s children. It is so sad to see that politics are proving to be more important than educating the kids who should be of the highestimportance because they are in fact the future of the city. Continuing on this path will only lead to the annihilation of the black community. This can be easily done by destroying our greatest resource, our youth. Although they are deemed ‘minors’ this title does not accurately describe the youth’s position is society. In all reality the young people are the most important socially and majorly influence all innovation and progress. It sickens me to observe how youth especially poor or black and extra especially poor and black youth are stereotyped, brutalized, and miseducated.  Miseducation is one majorly successful tool that is used to keep the extermination agenda cranking on like a well-oiled machine. I am disgusted with the injustice that is being done to our precious children. Our rubies and our diamonds, are being thrown in the gutter and shown every day just how little they seem to matter in the great scheme of things. 

Mother is the first teacher for most children but pretty early in life we send them off to the care of others for the sake of education. The promise of the “American Dream” tells us to go to school and get a good education, go to college, get a good job, work hard and you will be successful. That no matter where you started in life you have the ability to move up from there and education is the key. But why does is seem to me this formula for success isn’t exactly set in stone? For some the American Dream is one come true but it’s just a pipe dream for many others. A good education is not the same thing for every student. In fact going to school and getting a good education is not the key to success for all studentbecause some students go to school and are unknowingly given a different key, miseducation. 

Consider the state of Philadelphia public schools. I think it was my 2nd semester at CCP that I learned about something called the school to prison pipe line. While some would lead you to believe that this is simply a trend that is the result of strict school policies and zero tolerance rules weeding out so called undesirables it is actually a system that is designed to put our kids on this path to prison for profit. We need to be aware of this system that targets and criminalizes poor and black youth at as young in age as possible and sets them up early forlife in the judicial circuit. Philly schools provide fertile breeding grounds for the fodder to sustain this pipe-line. 80% of the students in the Philadelphia School District are eligible for free/reduced school lunch. This eligibility is an indicator of the extensive levels of poverty in Philadelphia compared to the state average eligibility rate of 43%. Philly is 46% black and more than a quarter of the city’s population is below poverty. Compare this to our close neighbors of Bucks and 

Montgomery counties where the black populations are both less than 10% of the total populations and the below poverty percentage rates are even lower than that. As you ponder these numbers does is make any sense as to why our county jails are a massive complex where individuals can receive their sex change hormones, methadone and HIV meds while watching cable no problem no cost. At the same time schools are finding it hard to afford basics like janitors or a nurse and kids are dying from things like asthma attacks. 

It seems backwards to me that Philadelphia schools spend less per student than a lot of other school districts in PA but the city still claims such a major budget deficit. The federal government provides money for education generally at or belowa rate of about 20% of the total budget with the state and local governments each being responsible for about 40% of the budget for a particular school district.  Meaning it is up to Philadelphia to provide for its children but instead Philadelphia spends millions on a new skate park and plans for a new LOVE park. And there are those that would say one has nothing to do with the other and that I don’t understand the way money is budgeted and distributed. Let me say I would agree that I don’t understand because how could anything be more important than correctly educating the leaders of our future? Don’t tell me there is no money for schools when there is still money being spent elsewhere. Today classrooms have become a place where students are conditioned to pass tests to get a little federal money while the state and local governments,who are supposed to provide the bulk of the cheese, come up way short when it comes to Philly kids.

Instead of taking care of the kids and giving them their best chances a heavy burden is placed on their backs. The federal government sets national standards that states must meet in order to receive federal funding for their school districts. The imposed national standards are so far reaching that they have a major impact in each individual classroom. Much more of an impact than the actual money that schools get from meeting these standards. I don’t see this as fair. The city wants the students to operate on a portion of what should be the budget well enough to make AYPTrying to meet federal standards while being cash strapped is like running in a track meet with a leg cast on and starting in the parking lot instead of at the starting block with everyone else. What makes it worse is that the standards apply a one size fits all approach to education without taking into consideration all the different factors that contribute to a child’s success on a standardized testThe standard on which these test are based are not our own. The design calls for certain groups to fail. 

All of these elements contribute to the miseducation off minority youth. In Philly many groups, black, Hispanic, Asian, poor, urban, special needs, disabled and English language learners, can be considered minority. Something we all need to keep in mind is that together these groups are the majority compared to those who actually benefit from the miseducation system of white supremacy. If we want to change the realities of miseducation it is necessary to create a system of alternative education. It is important for the black community to fund,build, staff and operate our own schools for our own children.Relying on America’s public schools to educate us has left the black community in peril. Without immediate intervention the future doesn’t look to bright at all. 

We as a community have to stop trusting others to give our kids the right key to open the door of success. Otherwise our children will continue to fall prey to pipe dreamsSchool to prison pipe dreams. It is up to us as mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, babysitters, mentors and friends to guide and educate the younger generations. It is also important that we put plans into action. 50 years from now there is no reason for this topic to still be a discussion or idea. Black community schools have the potential to be a reality tomorrow if we stopped buying Jordan’s, Michael Kors, Chinese food and McDonald’s today. If we are locked out of the American dream by design it is well overdue that we create our own dream to live.

Education: A Positive Externality Turned Negative by BreC


The Economic Price of College Failure, is an article about colleges failing to deliver an efficient education to students, which hinders their transition into the corporate world. A study was performed in 2005 on students enrolled in four year colleges; from this study the book Academically Adrift was produced. It was realized students who independently studied had a higher rate of succeeding in the professional world, than students who went to class on a daily basis. Incoming freshman in the class of 2005 graduated during the time of the recession. This study showed that, these students were more likely to be unemployed or underemployed after graduation; because their colleges failed to give them the proper education. The purpose of this article and book was to show that colleges are failing society by failing their students (Carey, page 1)

Education is a positive externality. The reason being, when a person is educated the assumption is they have the power to be more productive than an uneducated person. Productivity in regards to education is measured by the quality of the job a student can receive. For example, if a person has a college education, they are more likely to seek a corporate job; rather than an underpaying job. This means that person will make a higher salary. In return, this person will have a higher purchasing power because they will have more money to spend on goods and services. Spending stabilizes the economy because it sends money back into it, and limits government interference. However, education becomes a negative externality when, the education received is not efficient, and the students who are thought to be able to handle corporate jobs under perform. 

Government Interference 

College education is heavily based on critical thinking. Being able to pass a test just simply means, that a student has the ability to remember information for a period of time; however, this does not correlate with performance. Normally, students focus on passing test rather than truly retaining the information. Therefore, governments should force colleges to change their curriculum. Instead of grades being based on testing it should be based on performance. The government should make the college experience correlate to the real world. Instead of professors teaching their students materials, and their students being tested, they should be made to apply it to real life. For example, if an accounting class is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A lecture should be given on Monday; this way professors can be sure the students learn the new concept. On Wednesday, students should be made to go to a site (an accounting firm), and apply the information they learned from the lecture in real life. Lastly, on Friday, it should be a reflection. During the reflection, students can discuss their successes and failures, and professors can give them solutions to the failures they had. At the end, students should be required to submit a portfolio. This would ensure students fully understand, and can apply the material they are learning because they would be putting the material into practice. Eliminating testing would give the students the ability to retain and apply information, rather than just temporarily remember it. 

Governments should also make college education free, or more affordable. When students are at a point where they can go to college; they are either discouraged because they cannot afford it, or overwhelmed with how they will pay for it. Many college students pay for their own education. When a student does not attend class, a teacher automatically penalizes the student instead of trying to figure out the problem. The student could be working to pay for college, and be physically burned out. If college education were made free it would lessen the load placed on students, which would give them more energy to devote to their studies. It would also encourage students to apply to college instead of automatically thinking they cannot afford it. If the model of college was changed to learn and apply, and college was made free students would receive the maximum benefit of the college experience. Which is, students would be able to take what they learned, and apply it to real life. 


Education is only a positive externality when the education being delivered is efficient. If students cannot take the material they learned from college, and apply it to a job, colleges have failed their students. Instead of focusing on how well a student does on test, the college model needs to be changed to learn and apply. The reason being, if students are applying the material they learn in class to a field of their choice, by the time four years is completed they will have a greater experience in this field. This means entry level jobs can be eliminated, and college students can automatically receive a higher salary once graduating. Also if college was made free or more affordable, more students would be willing to attend. Ultimately, the more skilled workers an economy has, the more stable the economy. The goal of college should be to maximize the number of attendants and maximize efficiency because this strategy will ultimately stabilize the economy in the future. 








Work Cited

Carey, Kevin. “The Economic Price of Colleges’ Failures.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.