Censoring The Music That Corru Essay, Research Paper
Censoring the Music That Corrupts Today s Youth
One of the liberties that Americans take for granted is the freedom to say what we like. This freedom was given to us in the first amendment, which states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Artists such as Eminem and The Bloodhound Gang take this for granted, interpreting it as the right to be offensive. Such artists agree that censoring their music is taking away from the message that their lyrics deliver. If recording artists expressed less profanity in their lyrics, censorship would not be necessary.
People that create, perform or distribute works of art add to the exchange of ideas and opinions, which is necessary for a democratic society. This is why the government censors less than many people say they should censor. However, if the artists used less profanity in their lyrics than they presently do, harsh censorship would not be necessary and it would take nothing away from the effect that the writer is trying to deliver. For example, in the popular Eminem song
Marshall Mathers, the lyrics read:
New Kids on the Block, sucked a lot of d—
Boy/girl groups make me sick
And I can’t wait ’til I catch all you f—–s in
I’ma love it….
That is a popular line in a song played on such radio stations as WHTZ, Z100 and WLIR Long Island Radio. Both of these stations are geared towards a juvenile audience. That means that the individual radio broadcasting stations must take the necessary precautions to prevent children from listening to this profanity. Even more caution must be taken due to the age of the average listener.
Offensive language is not the only form of profanity that is corrupting the music of modern society. A popular theme in today s music is sexuality. Many times this can be even more offensive than the average profanity. One popular band who consistently writes lyrics based on sexual fantasies is The Bloodhound Gang. A perfect example of the average Bloodhound Gang song is called The Bad Touch. The chorus of this song is as follows:
You and me baby ain t nothing but mammals,
So let s do it like they do on the discovery
The meaning behind these metaphorical lyrics is easily inferred, even by many of the same 8-12 year olds who are tuning in to Z100 and Long Island Radio.
The first amendment of the constitution permits the artists to write, or sing about anything that they want to. The artists that take advantage of this privilege are hurting not only themselves, but the rest of the recording artists in the music industry. By recording music that is jam packed with profanity, the censors pay closer attention to the rest of the music played on stations. In the end, they wind up censoring things that would not normally be censored.
It has been argued that radios are censoring enough, or even more than they have to. They do not need to censor so much that the artist s point is lost in the translation. It has even been said that, Censorship is based on fear. Well, censorship could be completely eliminated if the artists expressed minimal obscenities in their lyrics.
Of course, with lyrics such as the previously stated Bloodhound Gang song The Bad Touch, they are subject to interpretation. A young child might not understand the message delivered through the words do it like they do on the discovery channel. However, it is the censor s job to assume the worst scenario. The young listener might have an older sibling that explains the meaning, or maybe a friend who understands the song. All of the lyrics would have to be fully censored.
As far as the government is concerned, they can only censor these lyrics on a public level, such as public broadcasting stations on the television, or any station on the radio. The government can not censor anything that is broadcasted on cable. They can however make rules regulated what can and cannot be censored. They make sure that the cable is censored though.
Besides the fact that music is being censored right and left, the censors are not even doing a sufficient job. Words that are censored out of songs are usually easily understandable by either the context of the sentence, or the censor did not remove enough of the word. For example, the previously mentioned lyrics by Eminem said, New Kids on the Block sucked a lot of d— . The word that was censored is easily figured out by the context of the sentence and the first sound that the word makes.
The radio and music television does not do enough to censor the content that needs to be censored. This is why the artists should not be allowed to use such offensive material in their music in the first place. If they did not then there would be no need to censor. That would not only get their message delivered, but it would not be found as offensive as it presently is.
Censorship would be unnecessary if today s popular recording artists used less profanity. Using obscenities in some instances is effective to get the message of the music across. The message is often important, especially in a democratic society. Judge Joseph Tauro states that censoring is wrong by saying:
A student can literally explore the unknown, and discover areas of interest and thought not covered by the prescribed curriculum. The student who discovers the magic of the library is on the way to a life-long experience of self-education and enrichment. The student learns that a library is a place to test or expand upon ideas presented to him outside of the classroom.
The same holds true for music, and there is no place in it for unnecessary profanity or obscenity.