2 LIVE CREW, JUDAS PRIEST & MAPPLETHORPE - THREE WINS DON'T MEAN WE WON!
By: John Woods
During the past few weeks, 3 important events took place. First was the exoneration of JUDAS PRIEST of charges that "subliminal messages" in their music led to the deaths of 2 Nevada teens. In Cincinnati, the director of an art museum charged with "obscenity" after exhibiting photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe was found not guilty. And in Florida, a jury proclaimed that the 2 Live Crew performance on June 10th at the Club Futura was not obscene.
One might look at this and say that the anti-censorship forces have a lot to celebrate. "A round of champagne for everyone!" Not yet ROC'ers. We were all pleased with these decisions, but we see nothing to celebrate. We are not saying they were not important victories, but they must be viewed as winning the opening skirmishes of a war that is far from over.
Yes, they have set our enemies back a bit, but they have not beat them. What they have done is won us some additional time that must be spent regrouping, organizing, digging-in and preparing for the next wave of attacks. And believe you me, they will come. Our enemies will lick their wounds, plot and plan and hit us again, only this time they will intensify their attacks by a hundred fold. Don't let anyone try to tell you that the PMRC and their loony tune friends are going to toss in the towel over these court cases. Expect to see more of your personal freedoms come under the gun. After all, Bush has made it clear that he is prepared to spill young American blood in exchange for oil. Suppressing freedom helps create the mindless unquestioning citizenry needed for cannon fodder in another Vietnam type action.
On the home front, the Censorship War rages on. Florida fruitcake Jack Thompson has now set his sights on Houston rap group, The Geto Boys. Between running around the country raking in huge fees from speaking engagements, Jack is holed up in his Coral Gables home surrounded by his Batman toys, transcribing Geto Boys lyrics which he promises to send to the "proper authorities." So now another black rap group can expect to become victim of Thompson's racism. They, like 2 Live Crew will discover what happens when Jack gets jerked off.
In Michigan, anti-rock fanatics led by Marjorie Ondo were instrumental in getting shows canceled. When 2 Live Crew was scheduled to appear at the Capital Theatre in Flint, this group helped ram through city legislation requiring the Theatre to take out $5000 extra insurance and require them to have hundreds of extra security guards at the show. The show was canceled. Ondo and her gang of moral commandos promise more of the same for a King Diamond show scheduled for November 9th.
All across the country, more and more music outlets are joining the ranks of those who will not stock material bearing the PMRC KISS OF DEATH, the infamous universal warning sticker. Report after report is being heard about recording executives insisting that bands drop certain material from their albums. And once again in Florida, we see a record store owner convicted of selling an album which was clearly marked, "FOR ADULTS ONLY" to an adult undercover cop. And the list goes on and on.
No ROC'ers, this is not a time for jubilant celebration. This is a time for you to get off your ass, out from in front of your VH-1 and MTV, into the streets and do some organizing. Regardless of what you decide to do, at least do something. Circulate anti-censorship petitions and flyers. Organize rallies, demonstrations and concerts against censorship. Join any of the number of anti-censorship groups around the country. If there is not one in your area, get your friends together with local musicians and artists and start one. If you don't know how, write us and we'll give you a few tips. Join and build coalitions and networks with other groups fighting in the Censorship War. Print and distribute a local anti-censorship newsletter. If you can't do this, contact R.O.C. and we will send you extra copies of ours. The important thing is, DO SOMETHING! We have the power, we are the power! Join the ROC army. FIGHT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION, SMASH CENSORSHIP!
I'm John Woods for R.O.C. and that's where I stand. ROC'ers of America, what about you?