Essay on Mixing Music and Politics

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Many have thought the entertainment world should be separate from the world of politics. Some celebrities go on to be involved in politics, such as Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono, but rarely does an entertainer command a large sphere of influence in the world of entertainment and politics simultaneously. While entertainers can move the masses, their voice is usually discarded among politicians. In addition to this, many have highlighted the negative influence of the entertainment industry, and particularly rock music, on American culture. Often, it is seen as a corrupting force that leads people astray. For many people, rock and roll seems to highlight all that is wrong with American popular culture. These critics fail to take note of …show more content…
Each year, new books declare rock and roll to be an active force in the moral collapse of American culture. To many, rock and roll has come to be seen as a social menace (Pattison 175-77).

Rock Music has traditionally, among political authorities, been viewed as a medium that has the potential to bring about unrest and revolution among listeners. Even in its early stages, rock music has been seen as a threat to the stability of society. In a 1968 Time magazine article, Robert Sam Ansons declared rock music to be "one long symphony of protest…the proclamation of a new set of values…the anthem of revolution" (qtd. in Wicke 103). While the comment acknowledges the influential potential that rock and roll has, it views it negatively. Similarly, politicians have been out-spoken against rock and pop musicians, declaring they have a negative effect on society. In the mid 1990's, during presidential election campaigns, Bob Dole and Bill Clinton both declared that rock and roll plays a part in the corruption of American youth (Christenson 2). Historically, many politicians have seen rock and roll as being in opposition to positive political change.

In the late 1970s, Larry Mullen Jr. posted a message in Mount Temple High School, located in Dublin, Ireland, that would change the course of music history and plant the seed of a
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