If you don't like it, turn it off.

Essay by tatizzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2014

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If You Don't Like It, Turn It Off

"She, she licked me like a lollipop."(LyricsMode 2008) These controversial lyrics by rap artist Lil' Wayne have become somewhat second-language to zealous listeners of hip-hop and rap genres, regardless of the fact that the lyrics are incredibly foul and degrading toward women. However, some of the most famous and inspirational pieces of music and cinema are entailed with profane language and depictions of graphic violence. As profane language and graphic violence become more and more evident in everyday media, a controversially biased question also appears. Where does the responsibility lie when deciding what material is appropriate for mainstream media?

Lil' Wayne, a Louisiana native hip-hop icon, earned many BET and MTV awards for his musical work in 2008, including the 2008 BET Viewers' Choice Award (BET 2008). Lil' Wayne has taken present-day urban and teenage culture by storm with his catchy beats and controversial lyrics; many containing slang terms for the receiving of fellatio and his admittance to marijuana dependency.

Saving Private Ryan, a World War II movie released in 1998, became the winner of many Academy Awards, multiple Oscars, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe award by realistically re-enacting dramatic scenes depicting graphic violence and strong profanity during the various battles of 1944 Europe (IMDb 1998). How can these profane, violent pieces of cinema and music be awarded such prestigious honors?

Considering the fact that there is no "universal rule book" dictating what material is morally appropriate for mainstream media, who has the authority to make such a universal decision affecting viewers with differentiated tastes, likes, and dislikes? Moreover, even if one did possess such a great authoritative power, how can one be justified to dictate what an individual chooses to publicize? Such an authoritative power over one's rights...