Censorship: Helpful Or Hindering? Essay, Research Paper
What exactly is censorship? Some feel censorship is a violation of their rights. Others say censorship is a must in the violent, abusive world we call ?society.? Who has the right to censor? Who doesn?t? What needs to be censored, and what doesn?t? The fact of the matter is that there are many pros and cons in the music and entertainment industry about censorship. Personally, I believe that the consumers and viewers should be charged with the ultimate responsibility of censorship.
One major area in which there is much argument on censorship is that of television. Since its invention earlier this century, television has become the most popular format for entertainment. We can be entertained, informed, and inspired by programs on television. But nowadays, television stations are becoming less restrictive about the content in their programs. More violence, profanity, and nudity than ever before now graces our television screens every night. Clearly, there are things that children should not be seeing on television. Therefor, the new v-chip legislation in process requires all television manufacturers to install an electronic device that allows parents to set the tolerance levels for violence, profanity and nudity. However, are children?s viewing habits the responsibility of the government or the parents?
A good point can be made that there is far too much violence on television today, and that an invention such as a v-chip would help immensely. But what about such violent dramas such as ?Schindler?s List,? and ?Saving Private Ryan? which will be shown to future generations as a means of educating? Will the v-chip automatic censor block out programs such as these out? Some say that another good reason to censor certain television shows is the theme of the show or movie, such as those which teach bad morals and principles. But for families that watch television together and discuss the good, the bad and the ugly, there is no need for anything like a v-chip. The lines of communication are open, and the children are taught what is acceptable and what is not. By relying on a transistor to do their parenting for them, many parents will fall even more out of touch with their children, who will spend more time trying to get around technology to watch shows they are not supposed to watch. Those are just a few minor points about censorship on television, but many of the same points can be made about the censorship in music.
In the past, the musician?s right to control his work was not in question. This has begun to change in recent years, however, as the lyrics to popular music have become more explicit. Is a rap group portraying real life in the ghetto, or a heavy-metal band singing about suicide, protected as a singer?s ?artistic expression?? Or do these songs really influence society, becoming a cause of violence and hate instead of merely an expression of them? Is government censorship of offensive and violent lyrics a way to improve society, or simply a way to control who can listen to them, and who cannot?
Yes, that the artists need to acknowledge that there is some correlation between the violent messages they put out in tapes and the violence that exists out there in the real world. But these artists are not entirely at fault. As I said before, I think that by placing all the blame on the musicians, we are in some way trying to take responsibility away from ourselves as a people. Also, I resent the fact that the people who vote for and pass the laws prohibiting free speech are taking it upon themselves what they think is moral and right for the rest of the country. I don?t know about you, but I feel that I can make up my own mind about what type of music I listen to.
Our world is not perfect. We are a world filled with sex, drugs, racism, and violence. It would seem that those parents are just trying to protect their children from the outside world. But does it really help? These days, the average elementary school student is aware of many things that their parents would rather be oblivious to their knowledge of. A wide range of sources, from television and other forms of media, to their environment at home and school influence them. All of these things combined will help to shape their moral values and personality. In order for the youth of America to grow up to be productive, capable adults, we must start by teaching them to individually make responsible decisions. It is the responsibility of the parents to instilling these values early on, therefore making it that much easier to communicate with them later on in their lives. I understand that parents are trying to protect their children from the harsh realities of life, but are they really helping, or hindering?