We don’t need censorship

Dole’s misguided fury

By Christopher Clair

Not too long ago, Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.) made a big deal over

something that seemed … well, trivial, at the risk of sounding redundant.

Dole attacked the lyrics of many musical artists, and directed most of his

fury at the distributors of these records, primarily Time Warner.

Time Warner is home to rappers 2Pac and Snoop Doggy Dogg, as well as

the industrial act Nine Inch Nails. They were mentioned by Dole during his


I do admit that I wouldn’t play a 2Pac album at my little cousin’s

birthday party. But come on, Bob! We’re talking about the subject of

obscenity now! Don’t you realize that this is just going to lead to

hundreds of CNN specials with people arguing their beliefs as if their

lives were at stake? We don’t need this hostility! Plus, isn’t this Tipper

Gore’s territory?

When I heard about the attack by Dole on the entertainment industry, I

was praying it would be on MTV. Seriously! That would’ve been irrelevant to

the nation as a whole, and I would’ve felt right at home.

Sure, the problems people have with lyrics and the problems I have with

MTV are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. But they still seem like

valid problems to me.

And I don’t mean the videos! That used to be a big concern, that rock

videos were sexist, violent, mind-altering, etc. But now they hardly play

videos anymore. Instead they show nifty little programs. And these programs

seem to make me feel more insecure about our society than ever before.

First of all, they have a show called “Singled Out.” One guy has a

chance for a dream date with one of fifty girls. The process of narrowing

it down is done by eliminating girls according to their bodies, their

sexual behaviors, and so on, until there is only one girl left. This is the

supposed “dream” girl. Then the genders reverse roles, and it’s played out

all over again.

Another great feature of MTV is when they broadcast from their “beach

house.” As it is, you have a collection of hard bodies all oiled up,

running rampant and acting “cool” in between commercials. Oh, and they do

fit an occasional video in there.

These two examples contain more exploitation than any heavy metal video

ever has (with the exception of some Warrant clips). And the last of the

three goes beyond being ironic; it’s idiotic and insulting. With the play

list shifting to a more alternative sound, I get to see some of my favorite

artists. The videos made by this generation of bands rarely feature women,

unless they are members of the band.

But many, if not all, of you faithful readers are probably saying, “So?

Who cares?”

Well, that’s pretty much what I said when I heard about Sen. Dole’s

concern about the music on the market today. We don’t need to install

censorship into our society. It is the artist’s right to express themselves

through music.

If people don’t want to hear this music, they shouldn’t buy it. As

played out as that solution has become, it does make sense. If parents are

worried about their children hearing this music, then they should take up

one of the responsibilities of being a parent, and teach their children

some morality.

Christopher Clair is a junior in journalism and mass

communication from Waukon.

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No redistribution without the express written consent of the Iowa State Daily Editor in Chief.