In a way, this video that we watched here today I think is probably a fantasy that every kid has about his father at some point in time. It may not be exactly those particular graphics. It may be out on the farm and being able to take your dad out and put a board to his fanny. But this goes on. This is a part of growing up.
And our society has gotten increasingly complex. There are many more images to reach from. They all have an impact on the child's mind.
And I am saying that the small percentage of records that we are discussing here today compared to the 125,000 songs that are released every year is miniscule and it is not going to affect our children to a degree that we need to be fearful of.
We need to be conscious of it. We need to concern ourselves and we need to communicate with our children and have them feel comfortable with communicating with us.
Senator GORE. Let me come back to the question about suicide. Let us say you have a popular rock star who has a lot of fans, who sings a song that says suicide is the solution, and appears in fan magazines with a gun barrel pointed in his mouth and promotes material that seems to glorify suicide.
The United States has one of the highest rates of teen suicide of any country in the world. The rate has gone up 300 percent in the last decade among young people, while it has remained constant among adults.
Do you think it is a responsible act for a record company to put out a song glorifying suicide and for the artist to promote the album by putting a gun in his mouth in a simulation of suicide?
Mr. DENVER. I would not like to be the one to tell a record company or an artist what to do. I certainly think the picture you have described is deplorable, and if I found that in my home I would talk to my kids about it and get rid of it.
The CHAIRMAN. Could I interrupt? It is my understanding that you have to leave. Is that correct?
Mr. DENVER. Senator, I appreciate that. Yes, I have an appointment with NASA at noon and if it is possible I would like to go to that. But I also really appreciate being able to discuss this with you all and I am happy to stay.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask, are there any more questions?
Senator GORE. Mr. Chairman, I will stop my questions at this time and wish Mr. Denver good luck in getting on the Space Shuttle.
Mr. DENVER. Thanks very much. I appreciate that.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Exon has a question and I think Senator Pressler has.
Senator EXON. Mr. Denver, thank you very much for being here. I appreciated your testimony. I do not know you, but, although it may lead to the beginning of the end of your career, I like your music.