I was very young and lived in Chicago there were all sorts of interesting things
around to play with. My parents physically censored me by putting me in "baby
prison." They felt that certain things needed to be censored from me because of
their potential danger. So I was kept out of harms way in the playpen or crib.
As I grew older and was no longer watched by my parents 24 hours a day, I
realized that I was censored by others. In school, it was constantly no to this
and no to that. All that negativity is not good for children, all day long. It
was always interesting to me as to why we recited the pledge of allegiance in
school, what if you are not American? I also was not allowed to watch the news.
My parents felt it was "real violence", and not appropriate for me, that was
parental censorship. When I was old enough to go out with my friends I became
confused when my parents said I could see an "PG-13" rated movie but the
theater wouldn't let me in. When I argued that "my parents said I could go see
it!!", the theater management always said things like I need to be 13 or must be
accompanied by a parent and so on. I then proposed this question, my parents
said I could see it, now why can't I see it? The answer to that question is the
government doesn't think I am old enough. My mom said live with it, there is
nothing you can do. I think that made me more inquisitive.
That was just the beginning, I was too young to go on certain rides and
too young to go into stores like Sharper Image and I was too young to purchase
the music that I really enjoyed. When I was able to get my hands on a Compact
Disc I had wanted, it sometimes had a "Explicit Lyrics" warning sticker on it. I
would go home, listen and enjoy only to get lectured by my parents. They said
things such as; you can't have anything that contains profanity, or any type of
objectionable material. "Then again I am only going to encounter it in the real
world!!!", I would reply. Obviously there are many different views to take on
this issue, and I knew there was a long and difficult battle ahead of me until I
I contend that censoring music is a necessary evil but, it should be
allowed to a minimal degree. Instead it is the parents that need to be the
censor for their children. With proper "tools", such as Advisory stickers, I
believe parents can effectively control objectional material in they household.
Also there is much controversy on whether or not the government is playing the
part of the parent.
A Censor, from the Latin word censere, to judge, is an official with
the power to examine literature, mail, etc. and remove or prohibit anything
considered obscene, objectionable, etc.-to subject to censorship. What a censor
edits, might violate the First Amendment. The First Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States of America states that "Congress shall make no
law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of
the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress
of grievances." In my opinion and the opinion of countless others, censorship
is unconstitutional. The general wording in the First Amendment allows many
different interpretations. Because of these various interpretations,
ProCensorship and Anticensorship organizations/factions have formed. One of the
most powerful groups you want on your side for anti-censorship is the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). From 1925 to the present, the ACLU "has been on
the forefront of the fight to protect constitutional freedoms through the court
Legislation has been proposed for the prevention of explicit lyrics with
a multitude of bills never passing or if they had, not being enforced. In the
state of Washington there was a law passed called "The Erotic Music Bill." This
1992 law stated that store owners had to place an "adult only" label on certain
recordings. It was also stated that it was a crime for anyone to sell a CD or
tape that had an "adult only" label on it to a person under the age of
eighteen." The law was passed but was never put into effect because the State
Court declared it Unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment to The
Constitution of the United States. That is just an example of why restricting
the sale of controversial music or video will never work! Pro-censorship groups
are lobbying for legislation to attempt to censor music right now. In Montana,
lawmakers are trying make some money on so-called obscene music/art by fining up
to $50,000 and 10 years in prison for purchasing and selling music that has the
"sticker" on it. In Pennsylvania, they want you ...
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