Oh, censorship. While it isn’t the hottest topic, politically, it
always pops up every now and again. Old people don’t want their
kids exposed to anything that isn’t found in Blue’s Clues, so they
follow the logical process of banning everything else for everyone.
Young people respond by saying up yours, naturally.
In 1985, the Parent Music Resource Center (PMRC) committee was
formed by Tipper Gore, Al Gore’s wife, in an obvious attempt to
garner support for that hypocrite. The purpose of the committee
was to “remove the surprise” that came with listening to music
and discovering that the lyrics were sexual, offensive, violent,
etc. in nature. Because Tipper Gore leads an incredibly sheltered
life, she concluded, after watching several rock music videos,
"The images frightened my children, they frightened me! I am
frightened! Way frightened! The graphic sex and the violence were
too much for us to handle."
The PMRC called for a music rating system similar to that of film
ratings. While this in itself is already a small degree of stupid,
Tipper Gore decided to push for more censorship. In her world,
record stores would be forced to place albums with artwork she
deemed inappropriate under the counter, just so she can make
everyone feel uncomfortable when they try to buy them. She asked
television broadcasters not to broadcast certain music videos and
for record companies to reassess contracts of musicians who
performed violently or sexually on stage, because absolutely no
one can entertain in that way in America. Worst of all, Tipper
Gore insisted that rock music and magazines should no longer be
sold in stores like Macy’s or Sears.
The PMRC released a list of 15 songs they deemed the most
offensive, two of which were listed for being occult, which,
thanks to separation of church and state, is not a political
issue anyway. The PMRC also accused Iron Maiden, Styx, Rush,
Queen, Van Halen, Kiss and Pink Floyd of Satanism. Yes, even
A senate hearing was held over whether or not the PMRC could
actually do anything. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, John Denver
and Frank Zappa all showed up as the defense. Frank Zappa had
stated, "the PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense
which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes
the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises
to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretation
and enforcement problems inherent in the proposal's design” because
he’s a genius. Al Gore, who I harbor a nearly unrivaled hatred for,
earned a degree of my respect at this hearing for pointing out that
he likes Zappa’s music.
Zappa’s full defense position can be found here:
but unless you’re willing to sit through a long video I wouldn’t
bother with it.
Before the hearing itself began, the RIAA did agree to put
generic “Parental Advisory” labels on certain albums. Because
she holds such a grudge, Tipper Gore decided to put one label on
a Frank Zappa album, Jazz From Hell. This becomes rather
interesting when you realize Jazz From Hell has no lyrics on it.
It makes me wonder what Tipper’s going to do to Al now that he’s
cheated on her.
You might remember this picture of a cake, which I posted
once before. Well here it is again. There's no reason for it
to be here, but it is.