, Research Paper
Disputing Affairs In The Public Eye
An entertainer is one who is out to present themselves in order to be known and to fulfill their intended purpose. The life chosen consists of endless surroundings of viewers and the constant admirations received by fans. All entertainers set out the goal of attracting particular age groups and mainly accomplishing the glorious life, presented as ?the rich and famous?; as well as achieving the goal of reaching the top seller lists. The career chosen is not easy to achieve, with the knowledge that many are competing for the rare position given to the ?lucky? ones. These people are considered artists (singers) who either contribute a positive or negative feedback in their presentations. The life given to a celebrity is admired by many, but occasionally these rare winners take their fame into their own hands and in result cause disappointment to viewers. Much of what is presented to us stirs up controversies and causes many to reconsider.
We are currently living in the new millennium known as the year 2001. We have not yet discontinued the purpose of music, but instead participate in financially benefiting their work. For as long as music has existed so have their committed fans who support and enjoy what is viewed. The decided view that I have chosen to take upon myself in this essay is the controversial influence entertainers possess on viewers. Many records sold by pop-artists as well as rap- artists are benefiting, but much of our society feels what is previewed should be banned. The society we live holds a great purpose by prohibiting and enforcing laws; therefore those artists being pointed fingers at should consider what is appropriate for the intended audience. I feel that censoring would definitely contribute to bettering not only the fans but the stars themselves. The influential outlook is causing controversies that are not healthy for neither the performer nor the spectator.
I would like to first present an opposing view of the chosen topic. Many are out to put down what our younger generation considers entertaining and this outlook is not legitimate. In all senses a performers purpose is to excite and entertain the audience. To allow one to take in pleasure there is a need to realize that not all people are alike and being open minded is helpful. Celebrities such as: Madonna, Britney Spears, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, 2 Live Crew, and Judas Priest are just a few artists who have been faced with the center stage of controversies. These artists all express themselves in a variety of ways that distinguishes their unique character. To find out what views some obtain about these artists I decided to interview a friend of mine; she is currently an eighteen years old student and her name is Tiffany Franklin. I presented the above names to her and without explaining my purpose I asked her what she thought about these artists and the work that they present? ?They are all wonderful performers who obviously present different styles of music and I encourage them to continue putting in the hard effort it takes to get by as a celebrity?, she answered. She also responded that the provocative actions Madonna used in her performances years ago were simply set up shows that were prepared to amuse the audience. Tiffany feels that Madonna is a legend and her techniques and styles used at concerts were appropriate and different. She also added that there is a lot of talk about Britney and the way she dresses is ?inappropriate?. ?How can one say what is right or what is wrong? If she has the body to flaunt and her job as singer is to entertain her viewers then there is absolutely nothing one could say or do to change that. And if parents are so worried about their children being influenced then that is where their responsibilities should kick in?. I also cited interviews taken by others that believed what Madonna has done is acceptable ? She is the self-sufficient postmodern phenomenon?A masterpiece of controlled illusion? ( McGregor, page 4). To protect herself, Madonna explained ? I do not endorse a way of life, but describe one? ( McGregor, page 5). This shows that what is being presented is simply a work of art and freedom of speech. Eminem a rap-artist is clearly famous for his lyrics who is doing nothing wrong ,but expressing himself. He is supported by many fans and his ? The Marshal Mathers LP? won the best album honors from Rolling Stone?s critics, while its readers voted him the best male performer of the year ( Cantin , page 2). The audience is definitely being pleased and so are the artists. Eminem brings excitement to his fans causing his concerts to be sold out. ? We put this tour together (Limp Bizkit) with Eminem to make everybody freak out and make a big deal about it, so everybody would want to come. So it?s working real good (Grant, page 2).
Teenagers as well as adults all over the world are pleased with these young pop-artists and rap starts. They find this entertainment pleasurable and enjoyable. To band an artist because of their style is unjust ?Eminem?s controversial, and so are cigarettes. Trying to ban something is just going to build an army of people who are going to do what you don?t want them to do? ( Grant, page 2). In addition, Judas Priest was sued in 1986 for containing subliminal messages in their music. Regardless, an attorney claims ?I don?t think music causes you to commit suicide. If the circumstances of life make your outlook so hopeless, it has nothing to do with what you hear, see or read? (Attorney Fulstone, Cooper page 1).
Having looked at the opposing view I would like to say that I agree with the examples mentioned. It is unjust to take away ones rights and everyone does have the ultimate freedom of speech, but I perceive a different outlook. These entertainers hold a negative influence on their viewers and it is proven that disapproving reactions have risen due to the type of art presented. Children all over the world are being influenced by their superstars. The lyrics used and presentations are presented in an unruly manner. Since America is the leading country and people all over the world look up to us, trails start to assemble adjusting themselves to what is ?cool?. Media having a great affect does not respond by using it?s ?gatekeeper? tactics.
Entertainment exists in a variety of ways and is adored by those who find similar interests. Many of today?s artists are influencing their viewers with their explicit performances. Rap-artist Eminem is very controversial and seems to hate everyone other than his producer Dr. Dre. His lyrics are tremendously offending, but he doesn?t care what others have to say. Eminem should not be allowed to set foot in Canada because his lyrics advocate violence against women (Nathanson, page 4). Eminem is so graphic and many are shocked that he is still allowed the rights to rap. He has taken issues way out of line and parents feel strongly about enforcing censorship on his music. ?I?m not strong on censorship, but when it comes to somebody who, at least from what I hear, promotes violence I would have to support it? (Nathanson, page 6). I would have to say that I consider him a very disrespectful person, one with no morals. He has the audacity to rap songs in which he bad mouths his mother and explains in his lyrics ways he would abuse his ex-wife Kim. Due to his ignorance, Eminem has been sued repeatedly in which he deserves it.
Limp-Bizkit is also one of the many which does not hold a great reputation at the moment. They have decided to go on tour with Eminem who is helping stir up controversy for the lead singer Fred Durst. Eminem referred to Durst in one of his songs ?The Real Slim Shady?, implying oral sex that Christina Aguilera performed on him. This resulted in a lot of bad mouthing which Durst was set up as the ?middle man?. Parents obviously do not want their children to participate in purchasing ones album who attributes to such sexual activities; especially if he is spreading the word. All eyes on Durst also because he is currently dating a Playboy Playmate Summer Altice (Grant, page 14). He has also been criticized because of provoking bad behavior from crowds such as at last summer?s Woodstock festival. Due to his actions fans went on a destructive tear during the band?s set (Grant, page 17). So therefore much of what is being allowed in performances is totally outrageous and inappropriate for our society. It is not necessary to expose and carry out such negative and violent measures.
Pop-artist Britney Spears has been the talk of the city and people are judging her left and right. She started off her career on the Disney Channel acting out roles in the Mickey Mouse Club. This young girl launched her career and displayed herself as the perfect and innocent daughter every parent would love to have. Soon that would change. Britney shocked her audience when she enlarged her breasts and began dressing very
inappropriate for her intended audience. Little girls and young teens looked up to Britney all over the world, purchasing ?Britney Spears Barbie Dolls? only to find out that parents had begun to reject this young star. News also has it that Britney is currently working with a previous porn film director, who helps in choreographing her videos (Cantin, page 4). Who knows whether he had participated in picking out her sheer outfit that was made use at the MTV music awards. This was a killer for many parents who simply allowed their children to watch an award show only to find out that their daughters ? role model? would appear almost naked. Britney seems to be influenced by her role model Madonna. Ell Magazine recently reported that Madonna is irritated by the criticism leveled at the young singer ( Cantin page 5). Madonna is obviously mad because she was just like her if not worse. When Madonna put on concerts for her audience she was shameless. ? She will do anything, say anything, wear anything, mock anything, degrade anything to draw attention to herself and make a buck? (McGregor, page 2). Madonna held a very strong image and her erotic songs were incorporated with explicit performances. In addition the media was always quick enough to preview her shows on television, forgetting the importance of censoring for minors. Media is unable to maintain or even define their own ethical standards. Information is moving so fast, news outlets are caught between trying to gather new information and playing catch-up with what others have delivered ahead of them ( Kovach, page 51). The only ones profiting from exposing the influential entertainers are the television networks as well as the doers.
The remainder of artists such as Judas Priest have not only taken on controversies but were actually faced with a law suit. In 1986 a young boy from Nevada shot himself in the face with a shotgun and rode his bicycle around town shocking people with his grotesque disfigurement (Cooper, page 1). Later this boy admitted that the influence inflicted in him was due to the heavy metal music Judas Priest was famous for. ?Judas Priest mesmerized us into believing that the answer to life was death? (Cooper, page 1). Also research proved that Judas Priest was projecting subliminal messages in their songs. The projection of light or sound so quickly, or faintly added that they are perceived below the level of conscious awareness (Cooper page 1). From what was being released which ultimately obtained hypnotic qualities resulted in a fatal death. Once again the outcome was negative; this country posses the first amendment which should not apply to unfortunate situations as this one. On top of what has been said another famous group known as 2 Live Crew experienced a sense of dispute. They were known for their continuous behavior of degrading women; at concerts they used to convey sexual activities on stage for their viewers. Eventually these messages were picked up by audiences all over and began to feel belittled by such offensive conducts. The true meaning of who one is, is presented best as what they claim to adore the most.
To be able to finalize the meaning of what is influenced by entertainers, it is clearly comprehensible to realize that not everything is suitable for the anticipated audience. I have brought to the readers attention only a few minor controversial issues that these artists obtain. These people play a great role in our society who take on the responsibility of entertaining. Therefore I think that more precautions should be taken in order to avoid exposure of such rotten deeds. Furthermore the media should cut back in demonstrating publicity of repulsive actions used by the so called ?role models? and influence censorship in order to maintain a safe environment for all.
Jock McGregor. ? ICON OF POSTMODERNITY?
(Kovach, Bill). Wrap Speed. New York: The Century Foundation Press. 1999
Ian Nathanson. ?Keep The Wrap Of The Rapper?
Candy Cooper San Francisco Examiner. ?Reverse Speech In Judas Priest?
Denis Armstrong. ?She?s Got The Look!?
Kieran Grant. ?Limp Bizkit Are Tough Cookies?