Obscenity





After killing you loudly with rhymes, beats, and rhythms, the music industry as a whole has gone through many trials and tribulations. It’s not just the average shock value of the shake rattle and roll of the 50’s and 60’s…the funk era of the 70’s…or even the new wave of the 80’s…it’s a new breed of musical turmoil. Society has shifted in such a manner that allows and encourages freethinking and abstract arts, and with those great things, we face the problem of censorship. From an artist’s perspective it’s their “work”; but from another’s point of view that same piece of “work” can be absolute garbage, to say the least. Now in the 21st century we face artistic crossroads…the question is, when is exactly too far; moreover, how do we measure too far. In addition, when we do go too far, do we censor? Censors are now disguised as retailers and distributors, special-interest groups, and (less influential but still passionate) religious and government authorities. Ultimately, when all is said, there remains one question…Does censorship conflict with the first amendment? This paper will examine artistic censorship all of its counterparts…??????
The First Amendment
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.” (Beahm, 1993, p. 79) The court, in FCC v. Pacifica, said that although the First Amendment protects indecent speech, the commission could regulate the airwaves with only a few exceptions. In Pacifica, the court ruled in the FCC\'s favor, allowing it to curb utterances of the famous "seven words" that cannot be said on the air. The Pacifica case has remained substantially unchanged, despite a few lower court challenges and the Supreme Court\'s decision in Reno v. ACLU striking down an indecency standard for the Internet but not for on-air broadcasts. The current ban on indecent broadcasts applies strictly to those between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when children are most likely to be listening to the radio or watching television.
Many would say that buying a CD or an adult film is much different than having a medium that is easily accessible such as radio, and ultimately it has been proven soUnder authority of a warrant to search a man’s home for evidence of his alleged bookmaking activities, officers found some films in his bedroom. The films were projected and deemed to be obscene. The man was arrested for their possession. He was thereafter indicted, tried, and convicted for "knowingly having possession of . . . obscene matter" in violation of a Georgia law. (DOC) The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed, holding it not essential to an indictment charging one with possession of obscene matter that it be alleged that such possession was "with intent to sell, expose or circulate the same." It was decided that the Georgia obscenity statute is unconstitutional insofar as it punishes mere private possession of obscene matter.
Although that case was looked upon as possessing personal material, many forms of entertainment have not been treated in the same manner. The owner of a Florida record store was convicted of obscenity charges for selling a recording by the rap group 2 Live Crew that had been declared obscene by a Federal judge. (DOC) As Nasty as They Wanna Be had 87 references to oral sex alone and was unquestionably offensive; however, that isn’t what proves to be important. According to the Constitution, all citizens are granted freedom of speech and freedom to express their own opinions. Why would the members of The 2 Live Crew be excluded from these rights? Who is to decide what is to be banned and what is not to be banned? If The 2 Live Crew\'s music is indecent, shouldn\'t Andrew Dice Clay\'s comical tape be banned also? When Tipper Gore & Hillary Clinton\'s Parent Music Resource Center got the major record labels like Warner Bros., Elektra, Atlantic, MCA, and Polydor to start record labeling with the ever noticable "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" stickers, they successfully censored many heavy metal and rap albums from large chain record stores. Still today, we see these “Tipper Stickers”