In 1985, Tipper Gore, wife of then Senator and later Vice-President Al Gore, and three other women formed a committee called the Parents Music Resource Center with the goal of forcing record companies to place “advisory” labels on certain records/CDs containing objectionable content.
Legend has it that after watching several music videos, including one by Prince called Darling Nikki, Mrs. Gore said – “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 was successful in its mission; before long CDs (especially those in the heavy-metal and rap genres) were rolling out of factories with a black and white label warning all who would read it that the enclosed content contained “explicit lyrics.”
(I assume that this process was helped along by the fact that all three women were married to very influential members of the Washington set.)
From day one of this fiasco I was pissed.
Who in the world, thought I, has the right to do something so friggin’ fascist?
I suppose it was an attempt to sanitize our young people in hopes that they would grow up to be squeaky clean adults, with nary a disparaging thing to say.
It’s an old concept…
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
Does anybody know who spoke those magical words? Anybody…anybody…Bueller?
It was none other than Adolph Hitler.
Hell, yeah – what better man to emulate in the efforts to “cleanse” our society of its woes?
Amazingly enough – Tipper wasn’t the first one to object to music’s un-Godly influence on young people. It’s been happening since Elvis first threatened to corrupt America’s youth by swiveling his hips on national TV. (point of interest; weren’t the teens who clamored over Elvis despite their parents’ fears the same people who became parents in the seventies and eighties?)
Then came the sixties…forget it.
With all those songs about peace and love…what good could possibly come from that? Parents were pulling their hair out, screaming at their kids to turn it down. Even the government got involved. The FBI actually conducted an investigation into the supposedly obscene lyrics of Louie Louie after concerned parents contacted them to see what could be done to restrict distribution of the song. Fortunately the FBI’s investigation came up empty; in fact, the report stated that the lyrics were “unintelligible at any speed.” (I wonder if they stole that from Ralph Nader or vice-versa?)
So the question is this – If the lyrics are unintelligible – how did the parents know they were obscene. The answer is sad – They didn’t.
They were acting out of fear that their children were being corrupted.
When the seventies saw the birth of disco things hardly improved – all that disgusting dancing was surely a sign of the deterioration of our society.
Next came Heavy Metal…this stuff was the voice of Satan himself.
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne of heavy metal band Black Sabbath has reportedly been sued 25 times by parents who allege that their children committed suicide after listening to his song “Suicide Solution.”
I’ve heard the song and read the lyrics and I’m sorry – but if you listen to it and give it some thought it becomes obvious that the song takes an anti-suicide position.
Sadly – these parents were despondent over the loss of a child (and rightfully so) and needed someone to blame – because it certainly couldn’t be their fault.
So that brings us back to Mrs. Gore, et al and her plan to restore moral integrity to this country one song at a time.
The goal of the PMRC labels is to warn parents, not children, of the content of the music, thus enabling said parents to make sure their children aren’t being corrupted by the music in question. I’m no expert – but when you tell a kid that something is bad for them, what usually happens? You got it – they race out and try it.
So my question is this…Who determines what is objectionable, explicit or detrimental to the kids?
A Senate sub-committee? (it worked to halt the spread of communism)
Perhaps the clergy? (we all know they have the best interest of youth at heart.)
No! No! and No!
Each child has two people responsible for his mental health, safe upbringing and moral development…they’re called parents.
It is the duty of every parent to teach their children right from wrong and all the other important stuff so that when they do hear a singer telling them to do something questionable they will be armed with a moral compass strong enough to guide them through it.
The kicker is this – even if this is done successfully, it is still no guarantee that kids aren’t going to do stupid shit. It’s what kids do. You did it, I did it, we all did it…
The thing that really mystifies me is this; when kids grow up and become parents why do they expect their kids to be any different than they were?
Once again the PC Police are trying to enforce the values of a minority onto the majority. This is unacceptable and should piss everybody (parent or not) off.
History has shown us time and again that it can’t and won’t work…so what the hell makes us think we are any different?