Cencorship Sucks

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Censorship Sucks According to the Canadian Constitution, we all have the right to freedom of speech, so what right do record companies or radio stations have to censor the lyrics of songs? Although some might be about violence or destruction, there is no proof that it promotes or causes it.

Some people believe that the music we hear everyday has a great impact on things we think about or do. For example, a song glorifying abusing women would cause people to do it, or one that talks about suicide would make someone think about it more.

The PMRC (Parents' Music Resource Group) has tried to label recordings whose themes relate to sex, violence, drugs, alcohol or suicide and it has been made a law already in some parts of the U.S. Some major music chains and local music stores refuse to sell any labeled items to anyone under 18, or don't carry them at all.

All the stories in the world abut high school students who listen to violent rock or rap music before going out and vandalizing, or taking out a gun during school and shooting all their classmates, can never change the fact that millions of people listen to those same songs and take them for what they really are, whether serious or just plain shocking and tasteless. Actually, the most stated source of inspiration for criminals is the bible. No link between dangerous behavior and listening to explicit lyrics has ever been scientifically established. Calling artistic expression a cause of social illness is just using it as a scapegoat. Do we really think that all the world's problems would be solved if we got rid of these songs? If suppressing our creative expression were really the way to control this behavior, where would they stop? Television, books, school discussions? It would just keep going until we would be scared to talk about even the least controversial issues.

As for labeling, who has the right to say what is explicit? What one person might find offensive, another person might take as a simple statement of opinion. One law in contemplation would require a parent advisory label on recordings that discuss suicide, incest, rape, murder, the use of drugs and alcohol or ethnic, racial or religious intimidation. This list covers everything from Opera, to The Beatles, to Limp Bizkit. Although labeling is directed almost completely towards rock and rap, songs from country, pop and soft rock discuss the same topics. This can make artists feel that they need to censor themselves to be acceptable and to avoid risking prosecution. Really, a label on an album isn't proof that it contains music that is in any way harmful. All a label means is that in somebody's opinion, some parents might consider the material unfit for their children to be listening to. In MY opinion, if they're that worried about what their children are listening to, maybe they should check out the music themselves.

No one has the right to blame music for the falling of society. Censorship, has nothing to do with that. It's about control, if they can control our music, they'll move on to television and so on. What will we have left to discuss if it's not allowed? Teletubbies? Oh sorry, there's that whole homosexual issue with the purple one. Well I guess you see my point. Even children's shows have things that some may find offensive, but people have the right to express what they feel.