Music and Leverage
One time when Carrick misbehaved as an young adolescent, even before she was into drugs, I took away the boom box on which she incessantly listened to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Marilyn Manson. She threw a fit.
“Music is my life,” she cried. “You can't do this to me. Music is my life. I have nothing else.'
I realized how important music was to her. That's why I'd taken it away. Nothing else did much matter to her at that time, and we seemed to have lost all other leverage over her behavior. I eventually broke down and gave the boom box back, however, fearful that she might harm herself if I didn't.
A few years later, I realized how far she had fallen into drug abuse when I noticed that a more expensive stereo system we had given her was missing. When I asked her about it, she told to me that the guy who had been supplying her heroin, who had been living in our attic, had hocked it to buy dope for the two of them.
Carrick doesn't listen to music much anymore. She seems to prefer Howard Stern. I think I'll give her an iPod for her 21st birthday.
In an episode in the second season of The Sopranos, godfather Tony is in bed with his wife Carmella. Their daughter Meadow has thrown a party at his mother Livia's vacant house, trashing it. On top of it all, she was drinking. Tony and Carmella are discussing how Meadow needs to be “held accountable.”
"Let's not overplay our hand," Tony says. "If she figures out we're powerless, we're fucked." Meadow suggests that they punish her by taking away her Discover card for two weeks. Playing tough, they say three weeks.