Many people believe that music should be filtered because it provokes violence or sex within society. There may be some truth in this but for the most part it is merely myth. People who have any common sense or are not legally insane can understand fact from fiction and what not to imitate. Anyone who listens to Eminem and decides to go and kill their wife should have been locked up long before the actual crime. When people do things that resemble what an artist says in a song, it is usually by pure coincidence and all are negative incidents. Frank Zappa was quoted to have said “I wrote a song about dental floss but did anyone’s teeth get cleaner?”(Jackson 1).
The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights exists because the Founders of our country understood the importance of free expression. The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . ." (Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution 17). One of the ways the American people use this freedom of speech and expression is through the creation of the art form known as music. Music's verbal expression bonds our society through our emotions and experiences. This fundamental right of freedom of expression is being threatened by public and governmental groups who believe they have authority to monitor and decide what others should experience. The censorship of music
These words by which we live by were actually made official on December 12, 1791. My point is that these governing words have governed our lives for over two centuries, which is a long time. The times aren't the same as they were when the Constitution and its amendments were established, so we need to reconsider some of the ideas that are not valid in today's society. Our greatest freedom that our founding fathers left us, freedom of speech, needs to be reconsidered. Many times the Constitutional right of freedom of speech is taken too lightly in that people believe that they can say whatever they want to say when they want to say it. This is a false belief. One would think it very wrong to scream fire in the middle of a crowded building. The same goes for the lyrics of many songs these days. "Music lyrics have profound public consequences and, in many ways, the music industry is more influential then anything…" (Brownback 454) therefore, there needs to be censorship of harmful lyrics so that listeners will not be influenced by the violence that many songs are about. This does not mean that singers can not sing certain songs, it means that it is not necessary for singers to glorify violent acts or incorporate meaningless four letter words that may be repeated. It is perfectly legal to draw the line with music if it is getting to a harmful state.
Censorship has long been an issue in Rock and Roll music. Although our American society celebrates “classic” rock that emerged in the 60’s and 70’s, today, artists such as: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Doors, The Sex Pistols, and Bob Dylan were harshly judged for their music and image they projected because some members of society feared they were too suggestive, or just completely inappropriate. These rebellious artists fought against their music being censored in the best ways for their bands.
“Obscene: so excessive as to be offensive” (http://www.webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary). This is the way the Webster dictionary defines obscene. How do you? Some say obscene is vulgar; others say the best way to describe obscene is through disgust. No matter how it is thought of, obscene material is everywhere in society. Television is becoming more liberal, magazines are less edited, and music is more abrasive. At some point, the public must put its foot down and demand censorship in order to keep decency in the world.
Today, in the 1990's, citizens in our society are being bombarded with obscene material from every direction. From the hate lyrics of Gun's 'N Roses to the satanic lyrics of Montley Crue and Marilyn Manson to the sexually explicit graphical content of today's movies, the issue is how much society is going to permit and where we, as a society, should we draw the line. The freedom of speech has always been considered a right, but that doesn't mean that you can shout, "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater. The real question is whether such material is harmful or dangerous to our society.
Others believe that music should not be censored because it would infringe on the artist’s right to freedom of speech, but music containing explicit lyrics should be criticized for their negative content. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas delivered a speech to the City Club of Cleveland. In his speech he discusses how music has a major affect on youth, and how crimes among teenagers have increased greatly, since music with explicit lyrics have been out on the market. He also expresses that music should not be censored, because the artist have the right to say what they want in their lyrics, but society also had the right to criticize the explicit lyrics in their music. (1-9) The right to freedom of speech is given to all people under the bill of rights. If people weren’t allowed to speak what they felt this country would not be where it is today.
When listening to the radio, most people come across a song that has been changed from its original version, whether certain words are beeped out, or a string of lyrics are replaced altogether. This is censorship, and it is very common on the radio. It is also very controversial. People don’t agree what should be censored or if anything should be censored at all. However, we believe that censorship is a good thing. Censorship allows offensive music to be altered so that it is not offensive anymore. It also prevents younger children from being exposed to harsh and inappropriate content in a society where access to music is growing. The positives of censorship outweigh the negatives by far.
Currently, censorship in music is possibly the most relevant form of censorship. One of the more disturbing signs of censorship in music is a condition nearly snuck into the USA-PATRIOT Act that would allow the government “to hack private citizens’ computers to delete what they consider to be illegal MP3 song files” (Blecha 179).
So overall, Music has it’s own particular area of censorship which is unique and flawed in it’s own way. Although there have been some more recent changes in music to support the freedom of artists, the past has been condemning and rough for artists to easily “express,” themselves through their
Censorship in music has been a major problem plaguing America since the early nineteen forties. It came to a head during the nineteen sixties with the Vietnam War and the hippie movement. During the nineteen seventies and eighties heavy metal and hard rock were getting the brunt of the censorship heat. Now in the nineteen nineties the major focus of censorship is rap; primarily gangster rap. Some of the main factors of music in general that cause legal ramifications are sexual content, suggestive violence and obscene language. Censorship is an attack against our first amendment right guaranteeing the freedom of speech. However if a song or album is deemed obscene the first amendment does not protect this.
“Censorship, like charity should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there,” is a quote by Clare Boothe Luce (Fitzhenry, 84). Some parents are against the censorship of music. They believe that they should raise their kids, not some politicians who believe one nasty word will change a whole child’s future.
Music is one of the most popular ways of expression and has been for generations. It makes us want to dance, inspires, soothes, relaxes, and sometimes tells us a story. Music is something the whole world shares and has brought together different kinds of people. However, there has been a question on whether some music has affected society negatively and crossed the line with some of its lyrics, content, and the persona of the artists. Certain music has been boycotted and even banned in the U.S. Pro-censorship supporters say that music is something that can deeply affect our society especially children who should not have to be subjected to things like violence, sex, drugs, or hate. However, being that music is a form of expression,
First, censorship may obstruct the Freedom of Creativity of the artist, which will affect the development of the Art industry. The idea of the artworks is independent to the artist, who