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Ridiculous claims from the PMRC


CINDI LAUPER - Her lyrics run the gambit [sic] from masturbation to
prostitution. Her song, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is filthy. Her
psychedelic hair and wild outfits are indications of her rebellion and
anti-establishment ideals. She gets her spiritual advise [sic] from
wrestling promoter Lou Albano. [COMMENTS: Again, I think they meant
gamut, not gambit. The reference to masturbation comes from "She-Bop",
I believe. I have listened to that song many times, and, unlike most
people, I pride myself on listening to and familiarizing myself with
lyrics. The PMRC has also publically denounced this song. The PMRC
has called for a ban on songs containing EXPLICIT SEXUAL REFERENCES,
such as, perhaps, the word "masturbation" as used in Prince's "Darling
Nikki". In this song, however, the word never appears. While the word
"bop", the reference to beefcake magazines, and the line "They say if
you don't stop it, y ou'll go blind" (I don't have a lyric sheet, that
quote may not be exac t) indicate that the subject matter is
masturbation, I strongly doubt that any of these references would be
picked up by a seven or ten year old. Smut is in the eye and mind of
the beholder.]

LED ZEPPLIN - On the inside of their album, HOUSES OF THE HOLY, there is
a naked man holding up a dead child in sacrifice to a mysterious light
atop some ruins. Their song, "Stairway to Heaven" contains many occult
references and uses backward masking to say, "Oh , he is my prince,
Satan . . . the one who lit up the night, Lord, you make me shout in
glory to Satan." Jimmy Page, a former member of the group, purchased
Alister Crowley's (a famous occulist [sic]) masion and owns one of the
largest occult bookstores in Britain. Robert Plant, the former lead
singer, has a fascination for black magic. Plant also blames Page's
"obsession with the occult" for the troubles the group had. John
(Bonzo) Bonham died at Page's mansion, choking in his own vomit after
ingesting forty measures o f Vodka.

MADONNA - Rolling Stone ma gazine said about her Seattle concert,
"Madonna seduces Seattle". Her song, "Like A Virgin" is the title song
of her first album. She says, "I knew when I recorded 'Like A Virgin',
it would appeal to teenagers with active hormones".

PAUL McCARTNEY - He and his wife Linda were arrested and fined for
possession of marijuana. McCartney has been known for his open use of
drugs since his days with the Beatles. [COMMENT: Still another
denouncement containing not one reference to the artist's music.]

MALCOM McCLARN [sic] - "Rock N' Roll is pagan and primitive and very
jungle and that's how it should be. The moment it stops being those
things it's dead. That's what Rock N' Roll is meant to be aobout isn't
it? The true meaning of rock . . . is sex, subversion and style. "
(ROCK magazine, Aug. 1983)

MEAT LOAF - Their [sic] album BAT OUT OF HELL features a picture of a
demon biker on the cover, and speaks of a mutant biker riding out of the
pits of Hell. Compser, Jim Steinman says, "I've always been fascina ted
by the supernatural and always felt rock was the perfect idiom for it."
He also said, "When I go on stage, I get possessed . . "

MELLE MEL - "I wanted to create my own image. It's a way of being
Anti-Christian. (NEW SOUNDS magazine, April 1984)

MOODY BLUES - "In Search of the Lost Chord" speaks of music whose
vibrations have supernatural properties. The inside of the album
contains a 'yantra', which is the visual equivalent of a 'mantra' in
T.M. While the album is being played, the listener is to ld to stare at
the geometric designs and thereby enter an altered state of
consciousness.

MOTLEY CRUE - According to Mikki Sixx, the lead singer, their aim is to
be the "loudest, sickest band on the planet earth". He also says, "I
know people who pray for us everyday . . . they can't save us, we're
gone". "People love sleaze, and we're the sleaziest. The only type of
women we get have one thing on their mind, sex, that's fine cause that's
all we have in mind." Their second album is entitled SHOUT AT TH E
DEVI. ROCK SCRAPBOOK says it is, "dripping with impure and perverted
lust, it is a call to arms for American youth. Whether it's life on the
street or sex with the high school slut , Motley Crue shouts out their
message with a vengance [sic]. Songs from that album include: "Shout
At The Devil", "God Bless the Children of The Beast", "Bas---d", which
says, "Out go the lights/In goes my knife/Pull out his life/Consider
that bas---d dead/Get on your knees/Please beg me, please/You're the
king of the sleaze./Don't try to rape me." CHORUS: "(Bas---d)/Consider
that bas---d dead/(Bas---d)/Won't get screwed again" SOLO - "Whoa!
Whoa!/Bas---d/Make it quick, blow off his head./Got your neck in the
noose/I got nothing to loose[sic] /We're really gonna screw
you./Consider that bas---d dead./Quick as a shark/Beast has its mark/You
can't bear the dark/Don't you try to rape me." CHORUS: SOLO: CHORUS.
The song, "Knock 'em Dead Kid", says, "I'm prime for hate. CHORUS:
Knock 'em dead, kid (Knock 'em dead)/ Knock 'em dead, kid (Knock 'em
dead)/The blade is red, kid (Knock 'em dead)/Knock 'em dead, kid/Knock
'em dead. And finally, "Ten S econds To Love" says, "Reach down
low/Slide it in real slow/I wanna hear your engine roar/Before I'm in
the door/You feel so good/Do you want some more/I got one more shot/My
gun's still warm/Was it hot for you/Did you fire this round/The second
I'm through/I'll be leaving this town.

NAZARETH - "Hair of the Dog" is an album that pictures demonic
manifestations on the cover.

NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE - They promote drugs by singing songs
like, "Acapulco Gold" and "Panama Red", which are two cuts of marijuana.

STEVIE NICKS - According to ROLLING STONE magazine, s he is openly
involved with the occult. She would like to build her own pyramid and
live in a little "witch house" on a cliff overlooking the ocean. "I
love the symbolism of the three roses" Nicks said, "which is very
pyramid, very maya", occult terms she uses frequently. [COMMENT: This
is so nonsensical as to be almost beyond comment.]

TED NUGENT - He refers to himself as the guitar gunslinger and calls his
music combat rock. He is quoted as saying, "Rock is the perfect primal
method of releasing our violent instinct. I like to rape the audience."
Twleve people died in a riot following one of his concerts in South
Carolina.

OHIO PLAYERS - They deliberately use nudity to sell records. An album
entitled ANGEL unfolds to show a full length nude. Other albums portray
such scenes as a nude covered in honey and another nude suggestively
nuzzling a horse. [COMMENT: Nudity per se is not sex. Many children
are taken to art museums on class field trips, where they may view
paintings and statues that inclu de nudes or scantily clothed figures.
Again, smut is in the eye of the beholder.]

OZZY OSBOURNE - "I'm thinking about starting a school for Rock N' Roll.
I can teach all my demented ideas to a whole generation . . . that would
be the ultimate revenge." Osbourne once bit the head off a bat in
concert and had to be given rabie [sic] shots. He has been know to
throw pig instestines into the audience during his concerts. He has 14
tatoos, including one of the grim reaper on his chest, with the number
666 on it. He claims he was compelled to see THE EXORCIST 26 times.
His albums include THE ULTIMATE SIN and SPEAK OF THE DEVIL, which
includes the songs, "Black Sabbath", "Fairies Wear Boots", "War Pigs",
"The Wizzard", "Never Say Die", "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Children
of The Grave". He has been quoted as saying, "I don't know if I'm a
medium for some outside force or not, frankly, whatever it is I hope
it's not what I think it is, Satan." I'm afraid we got some bad news
for you, Ozzy!

PINK FLOYD - " The Wall" was voted the number one album for 1980 by
ROLLING STONE magazine. It includes songs like "Young Lust", plus songs
of violence, drugs and rebellion. The most popular song on the album,
"Another Brick In The Wall" says, "We don't need no education . . . hey
teacher, leave us kids alone." [COMMENT: They left out a line:
"Another Brick in the Wall" also says, "We don't need no thought
control." In passing, you may find it interesting that during Peron's
second administration in A rgentina, THE W ALL (album and movie) was
banned as one of many restrictions placed on expression. The word
"vector" was banned, too (nobody seems to know just why). Arbitrary
censorship is a mark of many an authoritarian or dictatorial government,
but cannot be tolerated in a democracy.]

POLICE - Their song, "Murder By Numbers" contains the following, "Now if
you have a taste for this experience/And you're flushed with your very
first success/Then you must try a twosome or a threesome/And You'll find
your conscience bo thers you much less./Because murder is like anything
you take to/It's a habit-forming need for more and more/You can bump off
every member of your family/And anybody else you find a bore.

PRINCE - His award wingging album, PURPLE RAIN is also nothing but pure
garbage. On the album cover, he says, "The only things I can make
besides eggs is babies." Lyrics describe how he seduces a woman to have
sex with her and then says, "shall I wash you first or you wash me?"
His song, "Darling Nikki" says, "Met a gi rl named Nikki,/Guess you
could say she was a sex fiend./I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating
with a magazine." His song, "Let's Pretend We're Married" says, "Escuse
me, but I need a mouth like yours to help me forget the girl that just
walked out my door." ROLLING STONE said of his DIRTY MIND album, "at
it's [sic] best, DIRTY MIND is positively filthy". Songs include, "Do
It All Night". [COMMENT: Regarding the first sentence, I do not
consider it the place of such organizations to make value judgme nts
unless they acknowledge that that is their intention, rather than
delivering value judgments in the guise of education and consumer
information. As to the last sentence, the fact that ROLLING STONE says
something doesn't automatically prove its validity.]

QUEEN - Their name is a drag term meaning homosexuality. Freddie
Mercury, the bands [sic] lead singer states, "We want to shock and be
outrageous". Their songs include, "We Are The Champions", which has
become the official anthem of the Gay Liberat ion movement, and "Another
One Bites The Dust", which incorporates backward masking to say, "Start
smoking marijuana". Freddie Mercury wears his own special brand of
purple fingernail polish, and onstage, he often strips to hot pants.
Their song, "Get Down Make Love" is about homosexuality. Lyrics
include, "You take my body, I give you heat,/You say you're hungry, I
give you meat;/I suck your mind, You blow my head,/Make love inside your
bed,/Everybody Get Do wn Make Love." [COMMENTS: The adoption of a song
as an organization's anthem does not imply an absolute interpretation,
but merely allows a group of people to share a common interpretation.
Whether or not "Another One Bites The Dust" contains backward masking
encouraging listeners to smoke marijuana, I have listened to the song
many times, yet have never smoked anything in my life, leading me to one
of two conclusions: either the backmasking is nonexistent, or backward
masking has no effect on listeners (of course, both could be true).
Finally, as far as I can remember, while "Get Down Make Love" may be
considered sexually explicit, I cannot recall any mention of
homosexuality in it.]

RATT - They began in a one bedroom apartment. "You should have seen how
hard it was to have sex there", exclaimed Robbin, the king Ratt. When
asked what life on the road was like, he answered, "Sodom and Gomorrah".

THE ROLLING STONES - They have been together for 20 years and into
everything. STICKY FINGERS is an album whose cover has a real zipper
that can be unz ipped to reveal the underwear of a male with an erection
clearly visible. "Beast of Burden" is a song of sado-masochism and many
of their songs deal with occult themes. "Sway" is a song about demon
power. An earlier album was THEIR SATANIC MAJESTY'S REQUEST. GOAT'S
HEAD SOUP was another album which dealt with the occult. Their song,
"Dance With Mr. D." is about a midnight dance with the devil in the
graveyard. Another song, "Sympathy for the Devil" has become an
unofficial anthem for ma ny churches of S atan. Keith Richards, their
lead guitarist, was arrested for possession of heroin. [COMMENT: I
can't think of anything sado-masochistic about "Beast of Burden".]

LINDA RONSTADT - In one song, she sings, "I'm on the other side of town,
all strung out on heroin". In an interview, Linda said, "I can perform
better after shooting smack (heroin) in both arms than after eating too
much". On the back of her GREATEST HITS album she is wearing occult
jewelry.

RUSH - The album, CARESS OF STEEL pictures a robed man levitating a
pyramid, and most of their albums have a pentagram (Satanic symbol) on
the cover. They perform in front of a pentrgram on stage. In one of
their songs, "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", there is a low rumbling sound
that says, "I want your mind and your body . . . I want you . . . I'm
By-Tor".

SANTANA - Carlos Santana said, "I am the string and the supreme is the
musician . . . when I'm really in tune with the supreme, my guru, and my
instrument, forget it man, cause it's totally beyong anythi ng - that's
where I want to be". The song "Abraxas" is about the foremost demon
spirit. Other songs include, "Black Magic Woman" and "Evil Ways".
[COMMENTS: The quote from Santana seems very spiritual to me. Whether
or not he's talking about the same God in which I believe (and I have no
indication that he's referring to another), I find inspiration in those
who wish to be tools of their Maker. As for "Evil Ways", the fact that
it is called " Evil Ways" does not make it a harmful song; on the
contrary, it encourages the person to whom it's directed to change those
evil ways.]

SAVOY BROWN - The album HELL BOUND TRAIL pictures a train filled with
and surrounded by demons.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - His latest single is entitled "I'm On Fire". Some
of the lyrics are, "Hey little girl is your daddy home./Did he go away
and leave you all alone./I got a bad desire, I'm on fire./Tell me now
baby is he good to you,/Can he do to you the things that I do./At night
I wake up with the sheets soaking wet./Only you can co ol my desire, I'm
on fire." [COMMENT: I find it disturbing that the song is quoted so
poorly, without ellipsis marks (. . .) to show where lines have been
omitted. Also, for all the concern these people seem to have for the
video representation of a song, I find it significant that in the video
for "I'm On Fire", Springsteen is shown to be tempted by a beautiful
married woman, and RESISTING THE TEMPTATION. Perhaps including such
information in the d escription would have weakened the case that this
artis t's work is "murder music".

ROD STEWART - He said that he dresses and acts the way he does because
he has to appeal to men in his audience as well as women. In his song,
"Tonight's The Night", he asks his angel to "spread her wings so I can
come inside". One of his songs is entitled, "I'm Gonna Kill My Wife".

STYX - Their name comes from the mythological river that is supposed to
flow through hell, the river Styx. One of their albums is entitled THE
SERPENT IS RISING. [COMMENT: As a longtime Styx fan , I am especially
upset at this denouncement. First, here is another denouncement that
contains not a single reference to the band's music. Second, if these
people are really concerned with accurately discovering (what they
consider to be) potentially harmful music, they have failed miserably
here; I can think of several Styx songs that are fairly explicit with
respect to drug use, sex, and what some people might consider to occult
subjects. The fact that the band was singled out and attacked because
the y happen to have a name taken from Greek mythology is not only
ludicrous but criminally misleading. Finally, I have listened to all of
Styx's music over and over. I have heard every song many times,
including "Light Up", "Snowblind", "You Better Ask", "Grove of
Eglantine", "Lords of the Ring", and "The Serpent is Rising". Despite
my repeated exposure to sex, drugs, and the occult, I have never smoked
ANYTHING, have never worshipped the devil or the forces of evil (nor
have I ever felt any desire to), and I am currently involved in a
monogamous relationship. By virtue of my prolonged exposure to this
group's music, much of which probably falls under the censors' criticism
for explicit sex, drugs, and occult references, and the total lack of
any negative consequences, I must conclude that the fears of the PMRC
and of Freedom Village are completely unfounded. They simply have no
case.]

DONNA SUMMERS - She is in regular tough with her astrologer and arranges
her traveling around the configurations of the h eavens. Sometimes
known as "The First Lady of Lust", her music is filled with sexual
references. Her first big hit was a 17 minute song entitled "Love To
Love You, Baby", in which she repeated the title over and over and
simulated the sounds of 22 orgasms. [COMMENTS: I thought Donna Summer
was a born-again Christian? Also, just out of curiosity, does anyone
know what 22 orgasms sound like?)

TWISTED SISTER - Their album UNDER THE BLADE has a song called "Burn In
Hell". Some of the lyrics are, "Welcome to the abandoned land,/Come on
in child;/Take my hand./Here there's no work or play./Only one bill to
pay./There's just five words to say as you go down, down, down.
CHORUS: You're gonna burn in Hell/Oh, burn in hell." Another song on
that album is "Beast". They are the self-proclaimed "dirtbags of
Rock". "He dresses like a supervillain, screams out his lyrics, and
introduces songs wiht a stream of profanities. Heavy Metal is raucous,
loud, obnoxious, irritat ing . . . it is rebellious . . . there is no
inbetween." Their lead singer said, "When I am on stage I scream,
stomp, jump up and down and curse my brains out". FACES OF ROCK
[COMMENT: It is generally considered bad practice to use a pronoun,
such as "he", above, without mentioning the person to whom it refers.
I assume the reference is to Dee Snider, Twisted Sister's lead singer.]

JETHRO TULL - Ian Anderson, the lead singer, not only plays the flute,
he also uses it for obscene jestures. In several of his songs, like
Aqualung, he attacks Go d and Christianity. He told ROLLING STONE, "If
Jesus Christ came back today, He and I would get into our brown
corduroys and go to the nearest jean store and overturn the racks of
blue denim. Then we'd get crucified in the morning. One of the group's
songs explaims [sic], "We are our own saviors and if Jesus saves he'd
better save himself". They also say, "In the beginning man created God
. . . " [COMMENT: I don't believe, if memory serves me correctly, that
"Our Father" says "We are our own saviors" . The song does say, "If
Jesus saves, he'd better save himself from the glory glory seekers who
use His name in death" - indicating, in conjunction with the rest of the
song, that religion has been corrupted and perverted by greed and
power-hunger. If organizations are concerned about bad influences on
this country's children, they would do well to investigate public
schools and church youth groups, since these harbor many bad influences
on young people, mostly i n the form of peers and classmates.]

TINA TURNER - ROLLING STONE states, "Tina Turner is loose". Her album
PRIVATE DANCER includes a song called "What's Love Got To Do With It?"
Her dress is vulgar and her songs promote "free sex" and lust.

THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH - This group has an album out whose cover shows a
demon hanging on the cross of Jesus Christ.

URIAH Heep - Their album THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY has many occult
references. DEMONS AND WIZARDS is another of their albums which
features several satanic songs, such as "Travelers In Time", abo ut
astral projection or out of the body experiences.

VAN HAVEN [sic] - This is another very vulgar group. Even their album
covers show scenes of lewdness (like obscene jestures [sic] with a
microphone). An interviewer for ROLLIN STONE [sic] magazine traveled
with the group for several days and later commented, "I've seen enough
nude women and heard enough abasive language and morning-after
anecdotes to fuel an article about Porn-Rock". David Lee Roth, the
lead singer, said, "Whatever your sexual ideals, whatever somebody else
can't do in his 9 to 5 job, I can do in Rock and Roll. I'm giving our
daily lives melodies, beats and titles". It is reported that Roth has
taken out paternity insurance to protect against women suing him for
child support. One album includes the songs, "On Fire" and "Running
With The Devil". [COMMENT: In reference to the song "On Fire", which
I don't believe I've ever heard: The use of the word "fire" in a song
title does not n ecessarily indicate that the song has occult refer
ences or is, even by these people's standards, potentially harmful.]

VENOM - A group that brags about its Satanic existence. Blasphemy,
demon possession, and Satan worship are all rolled into one song that
contains the following words, "Without any fear of God/We're possessed
by all that is evil./The death of You, God, we demand./We spit at the
virgin you worship/And sit at lord Satan's left hand."

THE VILLAGE PEOPLE - Jaques Morali, the manager of this group of 5 gays
and one straight, said that he form ed the group as a protest against
Anita Bryant and declared, "I am sincerely trying to produce songs to
make the gay people more acceptable". Songs inclue "Y.M.C.A.", which
talks about "hanging out with all the boys" and finding many good ways
to have fun. "Cruising" is taken from the practice of homosexuals
driving around attempting to pick up other homosexuals. [COMMENT:
While not familiar with most of this group's music, I am amused (and
disturbed) that none of the quotes given here include any refer ence to
anything harmful to young people. Accepting homosexuals into society is
not tantamount to becoming homosexual, nor even to approving of their
sexual preferences (I have many friends who, with varying degrees of
frequency, do things I don't like). Also, according to a good friend of
mine who happens to be gay, "cruising" doesn't usually involve driving
around, but rather refers to eying other patrons of a bar.]

W.A.S.P. - "We Are Sexual Perverts" is what W.A.S.P. stands for. Chris
Holmes, their l ead vocalist, posed nude for HUSTLER magazine. Their
first single, Animal ("F*** Like A Beast") was banned on 80 percent of
the British radio stations. Many stations around the country have
banned their records and many countries around the world have banned
their concerts. Onstage antics include the staged torture of a woman on
a rack, the drinking of blood from a skull and throwing raw meat into
the audience. When newspapers in Britain wrote about them, group member
Blackie Lawless com mented, "I dont' knwo if you saw any of the news
clippings that came out of there, (Britain), but if you had you would've
thought the devil himself had come to Britain".

WAYNE COUNTY - An admitted homosexual, he declares, "I always wanted to
be Homecoming Queen. I was such an unlucky girl". His songs include,
"It Takes a Man Like Me to Like a Woman Like Me".

WHITE WITCH - The cover of their album is in the shape of an ankh, and
the concept of "White Magic" is false, for it is all founded in the
occult. Even Anton LaVe y, the priest of the First Church of Satan in
California said, "Call it black, call it white, call it what you will,
it's all evil, and it all gets its power from the source of hell".

THE WHO - They are followers of eastern mysticism and the teachings of
Meher Baba, a guru. Townsend put out a solo album dedicated to Baba and
included a Hindu prayer. Peter declared, "Baba is Christ". The group
is famous for the production of "Tommy", which was a filthy blasphemy
against Christianity. Keith Moon, of the group, was known to have
exposed himself publicly and to have had his living room littered with
human excrement. His life ended with an overdose of drugs. [COMMENT:
Regardless of how the opera and the individual songs were intended, I
always took the last movement, "See Me, Feel Me/Listening to You" to be
homage to God, and that was how I interpreted it.]

STEVIE WONDER - He released the album SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE to
correspond with his astrological charts. The cover of INNER VISIONS
depicts the sy mbol of astral projection. In the song "Jesus Children
of America", he puts down Christ and Christianity. He says that
"Transcendental Meditation speaks of peace of mind". [COMMENT: One
man's statement that a discipline or religion speaks of peace of mind
does not mean that it grants such peace, or even that the individual has
found such peace through the discipline, but merely that it speaks of
peace of mind.]

YES - The album TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS is supposed to reveal the
science of God, cert ain sexual rituals and reincarnation. The album
jacket explains that the lyrics are based on Hindu Scripture.

A COLLECTION OF COMMENTS BY KRISTI WACHTER (otherwise known as the
person who typed all this information into computer-readable files)

There are a few points made elsewhere in these files that I'd like to
summarize and emphasize.

1. A great deal of the outcry over rock music has to do with RELIGIOUS
content. By law, church and state are separate; no organization or
government body has the righ t to dictate personal spiritual beliefs to
anyone (to my knowledge, minors have the same rights in this area as
everyone else). As you may have noticed, many of the complaints and
accusations refer to satanic, occult, supernatural, or un-Christian
(i.e. Hindu or Buddhist) content. As regards occult and supernatural
content, I find yet another inconsistency with these organizations,
since they have not complained about Amy Grant or Andre Crouch albums,
even though their music h as to do with supernatural ma tters (the
difference being that they take their inspiration from the
Judeo-Christian God, a religious choice which is currently considered
acceptable by most of Western society). As for the "occult" label, that
would seem to include Christian music as well; my dictionary defines
"occult" as 1. not revealed, secret; 2. abstruse, mysterious; 3. of
or relating to supernatural agencies, their effects, or knowledge of
them [The Merriam-Webster Dictiona ry]. In other words, occult matters
are supernatural ma tters, which are otherworldly matters (whether
heavenly or hellish). The attempts of these organizations or any others
to ban, label, or in any way restrict music because of the religious
nature of its lyrics must not be tolerated.

2. There is no evidence that exposure, even prolonged exposure, to
words or ideas will have any influence, whether favorable or negative,
on the listener. On the other hand, there is considerable evidence that
people can listen to rock music for years without any adverse effe cts.
I, for one, have listened to pop and rock music unwaveringly since I was
five - that's three-quarters of my life - with no adverse effects. I am
not a sex-crazed, drugged-out, devil-worshipping maniac. Quite the
contrary: I am involved in a monogamous relationship, I have NEVER
smoked anything, nor indulged in any illegal drugs (other than some
alcohol before I was of age), and I have never worshipped any god other
than the Judeo-Ch ristian God, nor have I ever felt any desire to. I
have found stre ngth, joy, and pleasure in music; rock music has
enriched me rather than harming me. (One further note: a
much-publicized study recently disproved the public's fears that
birth-control information would cause young people to become more
sexually active. The researchers found that the teenagers who received
birth control information lost their virginity at a later age and had
fewer pregnancies than the group without such information.)

3. These ratings are not like movie ratings in two important ways. Fi
rst, instead of a gradient (i.e. G, PG, PG-13, R, and X), the PMRC
demanded specific labels (i.e. S for sex, V for violence, O for occult,
and D/A for drugs and alcohol). Second, recording artists are closely
associated with their work, whereas actors are considered to be
"pretending" and if, for example, an actor portrays a mass murderer, he
is exposed to much less criticism than a musician who writes about mass
murder (thanks to Fran k Zappa for pointing that out).

Organizations like the PMRC and Freedom Village have no case. There
simply is no evidence that rock music or any other kind of music can
harm a young person.

In all honesty, I must admit that if I had children, I would very
likely be uncomfortable to find them listening to certain extremes of
music. However, I would continue to fight the censorship efforts of
such organizations for two reasons. First, I would want to base my
judgments regarding my children's listening habits (and my own) on my
own values, not on anyone else's. Second, I bel ieve that the best way
to combat whatever potential harm may lie in song lyrics is by educating
kids and discussing with them what they're listening to. Forbidding
them from listening to something will not protect them from other
songs/TV programs/influences of which I was not aware.

Lastly, I would like to mention that many of the influences considered
harmful come from many other sources. During the PMRC hearing, one of
the senators mentioned that studded leather wristbands, weapons, and
leather harnes ses were being produced in children's sizes and offered
to children through advertisements in comic strips. The senator took
this as evidence that five and ten year olds were becoming warped by
listening to sado-masochistic lyrics in rock songs. A few weeks after
the hearing, I was visiting some friends, and their five-year-old boy
was wearing one of the studded leather wristbands. I asked where he got
it and was not very surprised to hear that it was part of his
fascination with Conan the Barbarian (not only a movie, but also a very
successful television cartoon and a complete collection of toys and
accessories). Whether or not these things can really harm children
should be left to the parents' discretion. I am quite confident from
the information I have, however, that organizations like the PMRC and
Freedom Village cannot help parents to make informed decisions, but will
only disseminate misinformation and breed more prejudice and ignorance.


 
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