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Media Hypocrisy Subverts American Culture
NewsMax.com ^ | Feb. 11, 2003 | Barrett Kalellis

Posted on 02/11/2003 9:30:32 PM PST by prman

Rap music should be outlawed even if it takes an Act of Congress to do it.

As a child of the fifties, I’m well aware of the fits that popular music caused my parents’ generation. Rock and roll was blamed for everything from teenagers’ Brylcreem ducktails to lewd dancing to juvenile delinquency.

Fifties rock and roll, though, seems high art compared to what saturates the airwaves today.

Back then, religious and civic leaders fulminated from pulpit and public square alike in condemning “the devil’s music.” In a famous and widely seen newsreel clip, the president of a citizens’ council from a Southern state insisted that “We shouldn’t allow our children to be brought down to this level.”

After listening to an hour’s worth of current rap music as represented by a performer who calls himself “50 Cent,” however, I’m beginning to think that this guy was unfortunately way ahead of his time.

I see nothing whatsoever to recommend this “music” to anyone; in fact, I think it is highly damaging to young people, and certainly subversive to art and civilization in general. It’s a “bad rap” for blacks to have this pernicious influence in their neighborhoods, and for this they have the media, venal businessmen and a gaggle of “black leaders” to blame, who do nothing to condemn it.

Among others, I accuse the major metropolitan newspapers, magazines and TV programs, particularly mediocre producers, editors and writers of the entertainment and features sections, who run story after story about the uneducated decadents who perform in and control this drug-infested industry. By doing so, they glorify this no-talent slime, unwittingly putting them in positions of successful role models for impressionable youth.

Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tupak Shakur, Ludacris, Jam Master Jay, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg and the rest of the sorry lot are essentially a Sopranos-like organization of thugs who act and do business just like Tony, Ralphie and Uncle Junior. They lust after each other’s swag, cut into each other’s territories, and whack each other if someone gets dissed, all the while purveying noxious products.

Instead of Cosa Nostra dealers hanging around schoolyards, peddling coke and crank to school age children, rap moguls Suge Knight, Russell Simmons and lesser luminaries traffic in vulgar, immoral filth – infecting kids’ minds instead of their bodies.

Last Sunday, the Detroit Free Press spent five columns and a photo describing the star power of this “50 Cent,” noting that before he made it big in the music business, he was a crack dealer from Queens. Yet in the same issue, columnist Mitch Albom inveighed against rap vulgarity as entertainment. Didn’t this strike the editor as schizophrenic?

America’s newsrooms and TV studios are populated mainly by middle-aged scribblers, the overwhelming majority of whom, I would wager, have never listened approvingly to any rap music in their lives. If they did, we would question their intelligence and their sanity.

But they continue to give ink and air time to these “artists” because they think it’s somehow a trend that must be reported and they think it will interest their audiences. They mistakenly presume that educated persons who read their newspapers and watch their programs want this trash paraded before them.

In their heart of hearts, if these people don’t think this music has any merit, their attitude can only be compared to that of the drug-dealing don in “Godfather I” who reasons that it’s OK to peddle drugs only in certain neighborhoods: “Let them lose their souls.”

In other words, “If I don’t allow it in my house, who cares if others want to listen to it?” They are thus blind to its destructiveness.>{?

Has our culture become so debased that righteous people will not take a stand for what is patently immoral, degenerate and childishly posturing? Do we want young children to talk like they live on the wharf? Do we want them to regard women in lewd and degrading ways? Do we want to forgo inspiring youth to higher forms of artistic merit and expression by celebrating the untalented dregs?

Is there any other business where employees gain advancement by exhibiting and bragging about their crude, thuggish and criminal behavior?

In the fifties, certain novels were “Banned in Boston” because of their salacious language and sexual content. As misguided as these efforts may have been, they were based on a widely shared belief that there do exist bad influences on the moral fabric of society.

I challenge you, dear reader, to listen to the “music” of “50 Cent” and tell me that a diet of this stuff can’t rot children’s minds or perhaps give them brain cancer, or if nothing else, won’t certainly deaden their souls.

Barrett Kalellis is a columnist and writer whose articles appear regularly in various local and national print and online publications.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: albertgore; albertgorejunior; algore; algorejr; algorelegacy; censorship; culture; firstammendment; freespeech; hiphop; media; music; pmrc; rap; rapisntmusic; rapmusic; tippergore
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1 posted on 02/11/2003 9:30:32 PM PST by prman
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To: prman
The arguments are well-stated. People have a terrible fear of "censorship" as though there is no action or expression foul, hideous, or depraved enough to warrant suppression. One argument is that such things don't affect people. This argument is patently untrue. If what one reads or hears or sees had little or no effect, then education, propaganda or religion would all have no effect.
2 posted on 02/11/2003 9:54:51 PM PST by First Amendment
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To: prman; pram
Rap music should be outlawed even if it takes an Act of Congress to do it.

I gotta a better political program its called anyone who is incapable of minding their own business should be shot.

3 posted on 02/11/2003 10:23:10 PM PST by weikel (Your commie has no regard for human life not even his own)
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To: pram
Ever hear of the 1st amendment?

I'm not willing to give it up are you?
4 posted on 02/11/2003 10:26:07 PM PST by DB ()
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To: DB
According to Robert Bork (Slouching Towards Gomorrah), the first amendment originally referred to ideas. Not necessarily ANY mode of ANY kind of expression, which it has now been interpreted to mean. For instance, strippers, "Gay Pride" parades including unbelievably obscene and offensive displays, etc. IOW, the guys who wrote the first amendment did not mean that any and all offensive or disgusting action or expression of any kind deserved protection. Written or spoken ideas were what deserved protection, and even then up to a point - ideas inciting crime weren't, for instance.
5 posted on 02/11/2003 10:36:56 PM PST by First Amendment
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To: pram
When you outlaw "their" speech, they'll outlaw your speech.

Once you start going down that road it is only a matter of time before all speech is regulated by the all knowing government.
6 posted on 02/11/2003 10:52:47 PM PST by DB ()
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To: pram
Bump.
7 posted on 02/12/2003 4:43:11 AM PST by prman
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To: prman
I hate the "ban because I don't like it" crowd. I hate having to deal with the idiots that seem to drive minivans, but I'm not calling for an end to minivans or the rounding up of their drivers.
8 posted on 02/12/2003 4:48:13 AM PST by zx2dragon
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To: zx2dragon
I think there is more being said here than "ban it because I don't like it". To ban something simply because it clashes with our own tastes is truly detestible. However, is it wrong to ban something that is potentially harmful to society? Philosophers back to the times of Plato have postulated that the music and entertainment found in a society tends to have a direct effect on the quality of that society itself. This is especially true in regards to the "music" listened to by those still in their formative stages. I believe the question should be whether there reaches a point where types of music become intolerable, not because groups of people dislike how they sound, but rather because they have a negative impact on our culture and society as a whole.

(For the record, I am not arguing that rap should be banned, but rather asking questions which are raised in my mind by this article.)
9 posted on 02/12/2003 5:15:38 AM PST by MWS (Errare humanum est, in errore perservare stultum.)
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To: DB
How about replying to what I actually said???? How about not just repeating slogans?
10 posted on 02/12/2003 8:18:59 AM PST by First Amendment
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To: prman
Damn straight vulgar rap music should be banned. As should pornography, and all other kinds of sex-and-violence-dripping crap.
11 posted on 02/12/2003 8:38:45 AM PST by HumanaeVitae (If Eminem's music is not crap, then the term 'crap' has no meaning.)
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To: DB
Your version of the First Amendment has only existed since the 1960s. Our version saw this country from 1791-1965 or so. I'll take mine over yours, dude.
12 posted on 02/12/2003 8:40:35 AM PST by HumanaeVitae (If Eminem's music is not crap, then the term 'crap' has no meaning.)
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To: HumanaeVitae
Damn straight vulgar rap music should be banned. As should pornography, and all other kinds of sex-and-violence-dripping crap.

Nice piroette onto the slippery slope there. Just realize it's a lot harder to get off said slope than it was to get on it.

13 posted on 02/12/2003 8:43:14 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: MWS
However, is it wrong to ban something that is potentially harmful to society?

You've just caused the libertarian pin-ball machine to go **TILT**

14 posted on 02/12/2003 8:44:06 AM PST by A2J (From my cold, dead hands...)
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To: MWS
However, is it wrong to ban something that is potentially harmful to society?

Well, then, let's allow everyone to ban what THEY consider to be harmful to society. So we'll ban drugs, rap music, freon, saccharine, alcohol, tobacco, SUVs, junk food, pesticides, cars in general, houses that are too big, meat, logging, Western civilization, agriculture, and the human race as we know it, because all are considered to be harmful by SOMEONE, and then we can all rest assured that no harm is being done to society, because it won't exist any more.

15 posted on 02/12/2003 8:50:41 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: MWS
And how can I make a laundry list of things to be banned without including guns? After all, guns cause billions of dollars of medical bills each year, they actually KILL people and they're really, really scary as well. That 2nd Amendment is just outdated, they didn't have automatic weapons 200 years ago, so private citizens don't need them today. /end gun-grabber emulation mode.
16 posted on 02/12/2003 8:54:02 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: HumanaeVitae
...all other kinds of sex-and-violence-dripping crap.

In a way, we need to be careful about this. Rap, as it stands now, is less a testament of the streets than a money-making machine. Musically, there is no merit, but early on, the poetry was at least worth a read. It was kind of depressing.

If you're going to start banning absolutely everything presenting gratuitous sex and violence, some of the most stunning music ever written would be included, since those are two of the main themes in opera. The Prima Dona roles of La Boheme, Carmen, La Traviata, Tosca, among others are women with loose morals. The music is unparalleled, but the plots are all about sex and using other people. I won't get into Le Nozze di Figaro. It's my favorite and the plot is all about sex.

Where does the censorship stop?
17 posted on 02/12/2003 8:54:41 AM PST by Desdemona (my namesake is one of the only Prima Dona roles without fault. And one with a tough aria.)
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To: Desdemona
I think we can exclude genital aerobics (pornography) at least from the mix in the beginning, Des...
18 posted on 02/12/2003 8:58:31 AM PST by HumanaeVitae (Libertarianism = Moral Relativism w/a Pocket Protector and Taped-Up Glasses)
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To: dirtboy
Banning rap is a non-starter. Conditions in the community that buys and supports rap music create the market. Banning rap music won't fix those core problems, in fact it would likely create one wicked riot.

Cart before the horse, rap doesn't CAUSE the problem, it's just a symptom of something much deeper.

19 posted on 02/12/2003 8:59:25 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: HumanaeVitae
prima dona=prima donna

My Italian is slipping.
20 posted on 02/12/2003 9:00:01 AM PST by Desdemona (my namesake is one of the only Prima Donna roles without fault. And one with a tough aria.)
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