who Gives A F**k!!!Censorship…Who gives a F**k!!!Brad MiskaPeriod 8 EnglishMy life has been nothing but censorship since the time I was born. WhenI was very young and lived in Chicago there were all sorts of interesting thingsaround to play with.
My parents physically censored me by putting me in “babyprison.” They felt that certain things needed to be censored from me because oftheir potential danger. So I was kept out of harms way in the playpen or crib.As I grew older and was no longer watched by my parents 24 hours a day, Irealized that I was censored by others. In school, it was constantly no to thisand no to that. All that negativity is not good for children, all day long. Itwas always interesting to me as to why we recited the pledge of allegiance inschool, what if you are not American? I also was not allowed to watch the news.My parents felt it was “real violence”, and not appropriate for me, that wasparental censorship.
When I was old enough to go out with my friends I becameconfused when my parents said I could see an “PG-13” rated movie but thetheater wouldn’t let me in. When I argued that “my parents said I could go seeit!!”, the theater management always said things like I need to be 13 or must beaccompanied by a parent and so on. I then proposed this question, my parentssaid I could see it, now why can’t I see it? The answer to that question is thegovernment doesn’t think I am old enough. My mom said live with it, there isnothing you can do. I think that made me more inquisitive.That was just the beginning, I was too young to go on certain rides andtoo young to go into stores like Sharper Image and I was too young to purchasethe music that I really enjoyed. When I was able to get my hands on a CompactDisc I had wanted, it sometimes had a “Explicit Lyrics” warning sticker on it.
Iwould go home, listen and enjoy only to get lectured by my parents. They saidthings such as; you can’t have anything that contains profanity, or any type ofobjectionable material. “Then again I am only going to encounter it in the realworld!!!”, I would reply. Obviously there are many different views to take onthis issue, and I knew there was a long and difficult battle ahead of me until Iwas 18.I contend that censoring music is a necessary evil but, it should beallowed to a minimal degree.
Instead it is the parents that need to be thecensor for their children. With proper “tools”, such as Advisory stickers, Ibelieve parents can effectively control objectional material in they household.Also there is much controversy on whether or not the government is playing thepart of the parent.
A Censor, from the Latin word censere, to judge, is an official withthe power to examine literature, mail, etc. and remove or prohibit anythingconsidered obscene, objectionable, etc.-to subject to censorship. What a censoredits, might violate the First Amendment. The First Amendment to theConstitution of the United States of America states that “Congress shall make nolaw respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercisethereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right ofthe people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redressof grievances.” In my opinion and the opinion of countless others, censorshipis unconstitutional. The general wording in the First Amendment allows manydifferent interpretations. Because of these various interpretations,ProCensorship and Anticensorship organizations/factions have formed.
One of themost powerful groups you want on your side for anti-censorship is the AmericanCivil Liberties Union (ACLU). From 1925 to the present, the ACLU “has been onthe forefront of the fight to protect constitutional freedoms through the courtsystems.” Legislation has been proposed for the prevention of explicit lyrics witha multitude of bills never passing or if they had, not being enforced.
In thestate of Washington there was a law passed called “The Erotic Music Bill.” This1992 law stated that store owners had to place an “adult only” label on certainrecordings. It was also stated that it was a crime for anyone to sell a CD ortape that had an “adult only” label on it to a person under the age ofeighteen.” The law was passed but was never put into effect because the StateCourt declared it Unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment to TheConstitution of the United States. That is just an example of why restrictingthe sale of controversial music or video will never work! Pro-censorship groupsare lobbying for legislation to attempt to censor music right now. In Montana,lawmakers are trying make some money on so-called obscene music/art by fining upto $50,000 and 10 years in prison for purchasing and selling music that has the”sticker” on it. In Pennsylvania, they want you to be at least 18 years old topurchase a CD with explicit lyrics and being caught could get you up to 25 hoursof community service. In South Carolina, the retailer would get fined for athird offense which is considered a felony which is up to $2000 and five yearsin jail.
The Parent’s Music Resource Center (P.M.R.C.) does not want recordingsthat include topics of sexuality, violence, drug or alcohol abuse, and suicideto be produced.
They also want store owners to be punished if they produce orsell any music that contains these previous topics. Many people think itobjectionable to have unlabeled CDs available to parents and children. TipperGore is the leader of the P.M.
R.C and is working non-stop to get censorship intoeffect in conjunction with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).The issue of censorship was pushed constantly by PMRC so that the RIAA, as acompromise, made up a sticker in 1990, that warned of obscenities in musician’slyrics. The “Parental Advisory-Explicit Lyrics” sticker also known as “TipperStickers”, was introduced but that still wasn’t good enough for Tipper Gore andher P.M.R.C.
It is also the belief that the stickers make children more curiousand then they want them more, but there is no evidence supporting that yet. TheP.M.
R.C. seem to think that parents can’t do the job of parenting, They wantmore than the “Tipper Sticker”, they want all obscenities vanquished from theface of the planet. They think that if they continue to push, they will win.
The government obviously doesn’t think it will work, even if a law does pass, itwould be repealed because it would be unconstitutional. The FCC (FederalCommunications Committee), created in 1934 to regulate communication by radio,wire and cable, has fined many bands and radio stations for profanity used onthe air. They are being hassled by groups such as the P.M.
R.C. who feel a muchlarger fine would decrease the use of profanity.Not everyone believed in the P.
In 1989, ROC (Rock Out Censorship)was founded and they began to set up booths, with the approval of the bandmanagement, at concerts to educate the music fans about what is going on withall of the censorship battles. In 1992, they gathered more than 35,000signatures in a bold attempt to remove the warning labels, and now have wellover 50,000 signatures. They have sent numerous letters to MTV and radiostations in hopes of getting support for their cause. Here is a great quote froma letter to MTV from ROC-“..The Government Subcommittee basically told theindustry that “either you clean up your industry, or we’ll the Governmentclean it up for you”. This is hardly the language of a voluntary system. It isthe language of censorship.
It is not voluntary when you are put under thebarrel of a gun….Today the censors target violence and sex, tomorrow it willbe opposing political thoughts.” ROC contends that the First Amendment statesthere is freedom of speech, so it’s wrong to censor. They will continue tofight the “Tipper Sticker” and censorship.
They will go as far as the P.M.R.C.will go, but in the other direction.
The ROC members are not the only ones who are against censorship and theP.M.R.
C., bands such as Megadeth write songs showing their view. They wrote asong against censorship called “Hook in Mouth” on their CD called So Far So GoodSo What. Here are some lines from the song, “Hook in Mouth”, “A little man witha big eraser, changing history…
Altering facts and figures, events and everyissue…Rewrites every story, every poem that ever was…Replacing rights withwrongs..
.You say you’ve got the answers, well who asked you anyway? Ever thinkit was meant to be this way?” These lines show they are against Censorship. Thenext lines which are the chorus are really interesting, “F, is for fighting, Ris red, ancestor’s blood in battles they’ve shed. E, we elect them, E, we ejectthem, in the land of the free, and the home of the brave. D, is for your dying,O, your overture, M is for money and you know what that cures. This spells outFREEDOM, it means nothing to me, as long as there is a P.
IM not a fish,IM a man, Hook in mouth!!!!!!!” They believe that the P.M.R.C. takes away ourfreedom and we are caught on their “Hook”. I really like this song.
Soundgardenhad things to say as well. Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron interviewed by AngieBeardslee in the Rock Out Censorship Website in 1996 said he feels censorship isun-American. He also was very clear on his opinion that “Every kind of music isart. Music is art!” Kids have been put right in the middle of this mess.Who are their parents? Most children were raised by their parents, whofed them, clothed them and took them to the park. So who bought the kids theirCD’s before they were old enough to buy them themselves? Their parents did. Thatis why kids feel that if something is going to be censored from them, it shouldbe done by their parents.
They say that the Government gave us the freedom, nowthey shouldn’t try and take it back. The kids are always hit with the thoughtthat they buy CD’s for the Lyrics. They say that they don’t purchase the musicfor the lyrics, they buy it for the music, but when they mess with the words itmesses with the full version of the song, it is considered art and should not betampered with. When a authority figure censors something, not only does itaffect the “art” but it affects the enjoyment of the music as well.
Thegovernment is acting as the parent of all of the children out there. Is itnecessary to tell the parents that they aren’t doing a good job raising theirchildren? There are parents on both sides of this issue. Is it true that manyparents can’t control their children and need help by government? Kids say thatit should be the parents job.
It is proven that the way a child will act as anadult is not only because of the way they were brought up, but also by theenvironment in which they were raised. Music, wel