Look at me……I have an opinion.

Now we have this debate after Michael Richards emerged as an obvious asshole and Imus did the jackass reveal for the hundreth time. What took them so long? Guys like Sharpton and Geoffrey Canada (prez & Ceo of Harlem Children’s Zone) are piling on like nobody’s business.

Ten years ago Sharpton was all about no censorship, particularly in hip hop. Now I like The Reverend Al, I’m not always sure why, but I do. Always thought he was a bit of loon, sometimes a goddamn cartoon, but sincere.

By the way, where’s Jesse?

And I think it’s entirely possible that the hip hop/rap musical genre and the culture surrounding it has visited more ignorance than enlightenment on the black community. In fact, I think it’s probable.

Having said that, I remember when Tipper Gore went after everyone from Dee Snider to Frank Zappa. Ozzy Ozbourne and Judas Priest were being sued in civil court over lyrical content and potential culpability in teenage suicide.

And I fucking knew how ridiculous that was.

I am the epitome of the bleeding heart liberal and Mr. First Amendment. Censorship is my personal satan. I understand that this inherent right affords us the ability to say what we wish while simultaneously exposing us to ideas and thoughts, speech, that will offend our sensibilities to the core. There is no free lunch.

If you’ve followed me down the road this far, maybe you see the same bridge I do. It spans the fire in a crowded theatre/inciting violence chasm. It’s always been in disrepair. No more so than now and for a myriad of reasons beyond this issue.

Should all urban music be subject to censorship?

The answer is not whether or not, but if so, by whom?

The government? That’s an emphatic no for me. Morality cannot be legislated, not merely because it slides so dramatically back and forth. It’s like trying to define normal, it changes every few weeks. It’s just not a task appropriate for any body politic.

I suspect change may be needed here, but it’s up to the community that is both responsible for the damage wrought and suffers the most as a result.

The only viable and legitimate solution must come from inside the people most affected. Those with the most to gain and to lose.

Drinks for my friends.

3 Responses to “Look at me……I have an opinion.”

  • It is and it isn’t a big deal. Racism still exists and we need to break down those brariers but it all has blown out of proportion. They found an opportunity to take someone down in the media, and take them down they did. He made stupid remarks. He apologized It should have ended with that. The fact that the networks AND sponsors dropped support for him so quickly scares me. Free speech, even UNPOPULAR speech is still protected under the Constitution Ugh this kind of stuff just irritates the crap out of me.

  • Peggy Frigard:

    Michael, excellent! Best blog you’ve written thus far. The hypocrisy of christiandom is overwhelming. My 24 yr. old son and I were up late last night until the wee hours, talking about this very subject. I “considered myself a christian until two years ago, although I was very confused because non-christians are treated like lepors. When I finally accepted that there is no scientific evidence, did I finally feel peace. I don’t feel torn about what society says I should believe in, though athieism is increasing. Now that I know the truth, I have very little patience with people who argue about their “beliefs”. You hit all the major points that I can’t stand about Christianity. I was reminded why I like thinking for myself, and not blindly believe a selfish, narccistic, racist, angry boogeyman. We all are going to hell because who wants to miss being with such a “kind” god, who loves us so much, right? Good read.

  • ben:

    Actually, Tipper Gore didn’t go after Zappa, Zappa went after Gore and the other ladies of the club. His testimony was on his request

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