goo goo Essay

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” Censorship is the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. Therefor, someone decides what is offensive and what is not. Nevertheless, what is offensive? Offensive to whom? When are lines drawn on what is deemed “dirty”? The history of musical censorship dates back to Plato’s vision of an ideal society in the Republic.
In Book 10 of The Republic, Plato presents a logical argument of the arts, specifically pertaining to painting and poetry, and concludes that art should be censored. Plato's reasoning for censoring the arts starts with him explaining that art is imitation and thus twice removed from the truth. Because art is twice removed from the truth, it appeals to the irrational part of our brain. Therefore, art can corrupt a character by influencing undesirable emotions and should indeed be censored. For example, Plato said “Courageous men are willing to die in battle — but the poets tell scary stories about the afterlife and make us fear death” (Republic 386b-d). Plato also discusses other ways a state should censor its people. He wrote, “A moral citizen’s soul will be composed and dignified — but many musical modes stir us up inside and make us jangled and unsettled” (398e-400d.). He explains how some musical notes; melodies, rhythms and lyrics are unsettling and dark. He believes the only music that should be aloud is happy and uplifting music. Lyrics must be changed in order to conform to this ideal. For example, he believes we should quell such speech as "abhorred Styx" and "the people of the infernal pit," replacing them with their opposites.
We see these ideas used widely in today’s society throughout the world. I n order to allow songs to be played wherever possible, it is common to censor particular words, particularly profanities. Some music labels or artists produce censored versions themselves, sometimes with alternative lyrics, to comply with the rules set by various radio and television programs. Some stations decide to censor them themselves using one of several methods including blanking, bleeping, resampling, resigning, backmasking, repeating, skipping, disc scratching, RoboVoicing, and lastly distorting the expletive. A profanity, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary, is any blasphemous or obscene language. Profanity can take the form of words, expressions, gestures or other social behaviors that are construed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, obnoxious, foul, desecrating, or other forms. In 1955, about 15,000 letters were sent to a Chicago rock radio station in complaint of the “dirty” records being played. The radio station WABB ran an editorial called “About the music you wont hear of WABB.” In the editorials the stations promises it will censor itself of controversial music...

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