By: Joe Kolb

I turned the radio station on the other day and these morning show hosts were promoting a book entitled 50 Ways To Fight Censorship by Dave Marsh. (Thunder Mouth Press, 54 Greene St. #4S, NY, NY 10013). He was doing an autograph party that evening. At first I was glad to hear about the publicity that Mr. Marsh was getting. "50 Ways" is a superb book filled with a lot of valuable information, addresses and ideas how to fight censorship. It gives censorship group addresses and what impact they have on our freedom. The importance of being aware of censorship is vital to our freedom of speech and choice. After awhile the bell of hypocrisy started to toll. Here was a radio station who was treating the whole issue of censorship in a very jovial manner, never emphasizing the importance or seriousness of the issue. On one hand, there was this innocuous banter, on the other, the very notion of a commercial radio station promoting anti-censorship. It is ironic since most radio stations do not have freedom of speech or choice, why were they even trying to feign concern? Is it like promoting acoustic sets so it somehow meets "community standards?" Don't these disc jockeys feel a little guilty promoting something they themselves do not practice? Commercial radio, like TV, newspapers, magazines and all other forms of media, bend to the will of its advertisers. An investigative expose on car dealers was pulled from local TV because the car companies threatened to pull their ads off the air. Twilight Zone got censored because General Foods, whose Sanka coffee commercials sponsored the program, did not like one of the characters ordering tea because it was perceived as competition. The author Ray Garton had an entire chapter censored from Crucifax because the woman editor (Sidney Miner) at Pocket Books did not want to involve the company in the controversial subject of abortion. The stories go on. What is next? Now that the Supreme Court has lost the last liberal and Bush replaced him with another conservative, freedom of speech, women's and minority rights will be reduced to nothing. Our government has all but given up on freedom. The right to censorship has been now passed on to "community standards." You can expect less information in the media, less diverse types of music and no choices. The ways to combat these narrow-minded psychopaths are more limited. We need to start networking more. Support independent magazines, publishing houses, record labels and stores. Write to your radio/TV stations demanding more alternative coverage. Fuck this "on the cutting edge" shit. There is no such thing. Those bands & music are promoted in that manner because the major labels do not know what to do with them. Financially they are failures. So what they have done is market it as "cutting edge." As long as the bands have a cute/outrageous name and play safe pop music, they will be signed and promoted as cutting edge. It is just another marketing gimmick. Challenge the cutting edge issue with your radio stations. Network you own material, start your own little magazines, write people via penpals. Trade tapes, magazines and books. Find out about music you do not hear on the radio and support them. Support banned books & records. CREATE A NETWORK. Let us all collectively join hands and contribute in our way to cutting the noose of militarism.

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