Music Censorship Essay

1029 words - 4 pages

Music Censorship

     Today, in the 1990's, citizens in our society are being bombarded with obscene material from every direction. From the hate lyrics of Gun's 'N Roses to the satanic lyrics of Montley Crue and Marilyn Manson to the sexually explicit graphical content of today's movies, the issue is how much society is going to permit and where we, as a society, should we draw the line. The freedom of speech has always been considered a right, but that doesn't mean that you can shout, "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater. The real question is whether such material is harmful or dangerous to our society.

     Many people are asking whether or not we should censor offensive material. They believe that some material is too obscene for society to hear or see. The advocates of censorship get riled up because the movie rating council doesn't give a move an R-rating for having the occasional f-word. One rap group, 2 Live Crew, has already had one of their albums banned because in one song they used explicit references to male genitals and 87 references to oral sex. They used the word "bitch" more than 100 times and the f-word more than 200 times.

     Although most people agree that we are being overwhelmed with offensive material, there is no consensus on how to deal with the problem. There are three possible solutions. The first is the possibility of government censorship, which would include laws and penalties for breaking these laws. The second solution is self-imposed censorship by individuals and corporations. The third solution is total free speech with no censorship.

     The first possible solution is government censorship. In the past government legal actions have been taken to control offensive messages. For example, in 1988, the Ku Klux Klan wanted to appear on a Kansas City, Missouri public access cable channel. The city council decided that it would be better to shut the public access cable channel down instead of letting the KKK air their show. Later, under the pressure of being sued, the city council reversed their decision.

     Critics of this sort of action agree that these offensive messages do exist, but legal action is not the way to deal with them. They believe that no individual acts the way the messages portray just because the messages exist. Another belief is that legal actions will intimidate creative people because it makes them afraid of having to pay a fine to the government for violating obscenity laws.

     The second possible solution is private-sector censorship. While some people feel that government officials are the best way to restrict offensive messages, others feel that self- censorship is a more effective method. A recent series of incidents suggests that executives in many private firms have begun doing just that. Book publishers, TV stations, and others have drawn the line when faced with words or images that are tasteless or offensive. For example, in 1990, Andy Rooney, a CBS news...

Find Another Essay On Music Censorship

Music Censorship Essay

850 words - 3 pages fairly easy to tell what kind of music a person listens to by the way they dress and present themselves. For many, taking away their right to choose would also take away their identity.      Most people who are pro-censorship want to censor what their children listen to or are exposed to, so they look to the government for the answer when they should be the ones who decide what their children listen to. Why should the

music censorship Essay

2579 words - 10 pages MUSIC CENSORSHIP, 1950 till now 1952 The Weavers are blacklisted due to the leftist political beliefs and associations of several members. In 1953 six counties in South Carolina pass legislation outlawing jukebox operation anytime when within hearing distance of a church. During 1954 Stephen Foster songs are edited for radio to remove words such as "massa" and "darky." For radio airplay the perceived drug reference "I

Music And Censorship

2029 words - 8 pages co-founder of the Parents' Music Resource Center, a pro-labeling lobby, says the RIAA's action "speaks to our solution perfectly. We are firmly opposed to censoship. We don't want legislation. All we have ever wanted was for companies to voluntarily provide consumer information so that wer can make an informed choice in the stores." Music censorship with in the last decade has risen about 40%. Bands such as Megadeath, Beastie Boys, and many more

Censorship in Music

3207 words - 13 pages frowns upon censorship” (RIAA para. 3). The Parental Advisory Label is no longer useful because it encourages children to acquire music inappropriate for their age and is detrimental for new artists to “make it” in the recording industry. The problem with the parental advisory label is that artists aren’t getting as much money as they could be, and in return aren’t able to express their “art” to the whole public. Many stores have stopped selling

Censorship in the Music Industry

677 words - 3 pages Censorship in the Music Industry Censorship in the music industry can be divided into two categories involving new music technology and music products. In the United States, the issue of censorship doesn’t necessarily concern music products but rather new music technology. The music industry has become increasingly concerned with the online peer-to-peer services like Kazaa and Morpheus using the MP3 format or motion pictures expert

The Practice of Music Censorship

725 words - 3 pages Music censorship has taken many forms in the past, but many forms are overbearing and generally ridiculous. Censorship comes in many forms. The practice of censorship is defined as “...the act of changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good.”(Merriam-Webster). Old forms of censorship included not allowing airplay, refusal of sale, and refusal of publishment. The major issue found with those that

Censorship in Literature and Music

1870 words - 7 pages Censorship in Literature and Music What is censorship? An encyclopedia defines censorship as "the control of what people may say or hear, write or read, or see or do1." There are many reasons why people censor entertainment such as literature and music. Many governments or groups try to preserve their standards of morality by preventing people from learning about or following other standards2, commonly found in the two previously mentioned

First Amendment and Music Censorship

1301 words - 5 pages music. Music's verbal expression bonds our society through our emotions and experiences. This fundamental right of freedom of expression is being threatened by public and governmental groups who believe they have authority to monitor and decide what others should experience. The censorship of music lyrics is a violation of our First Amendment right, and public groups should not be allowed to bypass this right to censor obscene lyrics produced in the

Censorship and Heavy Metal Music

874 words - 3 pages By definition censorship is the suppression of words, ideas, and images that are deemed "offensive" by the general public. As in any form of media, such restrictions in music limit the artists right of free speech and the true artist value of his or her work. For instance, in the world of heavy metal, there are multiple lawsuits against Ozzy Osbourne and one major legal dispute against a band known as Gwar. Where both artists were both falsely

Censorship of Music: Limiting One’s Rights

1060 words - 4 pages Music has been under scrutiny on behalf of censorship for decades. Censorship is defined as an authorization to examine material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable. Lyrics are essential to nearly everything in music; its poems, ballads, monologues, etc. They may take the form of actual spoken or sung sounds or of written words, as literature does. Without the musical component

Censorship & Freedom of Speech on Music

2001 words - 8 pages purchase it for them, but also to inform them not to take anything on the album seriously.Many pro-censorship advocates claim that allowing music to be freely expressed without first being looked over, censored, and labeled will lead to the decay of family values and an increase in the violence of youths. Organizations like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) feel it is their duty to clean up the dirt from modern popular music so to protect

Similar Essays

Music Censorship Essay

978 words - 4 pages Music censorship has been debated since the beginning of recording history. The censoring of music is the practice of restricting free access to musical works. Songs with strong language, racist views, or harmful references will have warning labels on them. There are currently no laws regarding the censorship of music. Censorship originated from a wide variety of motivations, including moral, political, military or

Music Censorship Essay

640 words - 3 pages Censor This      Why is it that when a person that listens to music that may promote violence and contains “objectionable” lyrics does a bad thing, families are quick to point out that it was external materials such as the music that influenced the person to do it?      This is the controversy over music censorship. Music censorship is the attempt or action taken by any agency to limit or

Music Censorship Essay

3748 words - 15 pages of a child. . . 'Betcha won't do it!' These rock performers cannot turn down a dare or back away from even the slightest bit of public notoriety. By listening to one of their 'questionable' albums, it is easily noticeable how they thrive off of it. All of these performers do have one thing in common, at one time or another, censorship made them victims because of their social unacceptable actions or the content of their music and lyrics

Music Censorship Essay

1518 words - 6 pages After killing you loudly with rhymes, beats, and rhythms, the music industry as a whole has gone through many trials and tribulations. Society has shifted in such a manner that allows and encourages freethinking and abstract arts and with those great things we face the problem of censorship. From an artist’s perspective it’s their “work,” but from another’s point of view that same piece of “work” can be garbage to another. Now in the 21st