CENSORSHIP U.S.A. - NEWS FROM THE FRONT

THE NEW SYMBOL OF CENSORSHIP?

The prospect of a National Health Care Program as being proposed by our presidents, Hilly & Billy could spell "relief" for some of the corporate maggots at Time Warner. For some time now, a number of their corporate suits have been plagued with a severe epidemic of jellied knees and weak bladders. Most afflicted with the infestation are those who make policy about lyrical content and what albums Warner will distribute. Not long ago, we heard the knees knock and saw the piss flow in the T-W board room when they completely collapsed to pressure created by censors, cops and others around the "Cop Killer" track on the Ice-T/Body Count album. Now a year later, the knees are starting to tremble and the bladders are beginning to swell. Citing "corporate concern" over "controversial lyrics," Warner Brothers has announced cancellation of their distribution deal with Giant Records and the Houston-based rap label, Rap A Lot Records. BBBBBut that's not all folks! Warners has also refused to distribute GWAR's new album on the Metal Blade label because of the lyrics for a track titled "BDF."

Metal Blade's owner Brian Slagel says the new GWAR album tentatively titled "This Toilet Earth," will be released through a new distributor. Metal Blade will not renew its deal with Warners which was due to expire. According to Slagel, "there's definitely been a change at Warners since the Ice-T incident. They now require copies of all lyrics before releasing an album. They're just not going to distribute records they think they're going to have problems with."

We at R.O.C. say "FUCK 'EM!" Bands distributed by Warners and affected by this blatant censorship should break their contracts on the grounds of breach of artistic freedom, and leave. Follow the example of Ice-T, move on to a label where artistic freedom is more of a priority than some whining of cops and politicians. Better yet! Musicians should get together and set up their own labels and distribution companies. Like Ice-T said, "It's time to get back to the underground."

STICKIN' IT TO THE CENSORS

In what can only be termed as an incident that clearly defined exactly what the pro-censorship forces are striving for, Susan Marie Hoffman, a 28 year old student from New Port Richey, Florida was harassed and arrested by a Pasco County deputy for the "heinous" crime of voicing her political beliefs in the form of a bumper sticker on her car. The irony of this situation is that Ms. Hoffman is being censored for opposing censorship as she obtained her sticker by making a donation at R.O.C.'s information and merchandise booth at last year's GUNS 'N' ROSES/METALLICA show at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The sticker in question is our "Censor This!" design. So now life imitates art as it is now Susan's wrist in Pasco County's shackles and she is now giving "the bird" to the freedom hating authorities that wish to silence her. Susan faced up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. In light of all the press this incident generated, Pasco County officials suddenly decided to drop all charges. Despite this, Susan, with the help of the Florida ACLU and Tampa attorney Rochelle Reback, is filing a counter-suit challenging the constitutionality of the Florida bumper sticker law. The current law is written to allow individual police officers the discretion to decide what constitutes an obscene sticker and the power to make an immediate arrest, thus making the officer judge and jury for what is obscene for everyone. Imaging the outcry if an atheistic officer was deeply offended by a "Jesus Saves" bumper sticker and made a similar arrest? Similar laws have been struck down in Georgia and Alabama. With the help of the ACLU, R.O.C. hopes to do the same in Florida, the unofficial national capital of censorship activity. Through R.O.C.'s Ohio attorney, James D. McNamara, R.O.C. has requested to be included as a plaintiff in the Hoffman case.

We at R.O.C. take our hats off to Susan Marie Hoffman. We need more like her in the front lines of the censorship fight. We need more people willing to extend the middle finger to all those who seek to trash our Constitutional rights under the guise of protecting us and our children. What's next?!? Sixty days in jail for "flicking the bird"?!? KEEP THOSE FINGERS UP, PEOPLE....AUTHORITY HAS GONE TOO FAR THIS TIME!!!!

AND MEANWHILE, BACK IN GEORGIA

Although the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that Georgia's lewd bumper sticker law is unconstitutional, police are still ticketing people under the law. The Georgia ACLU has recently filed suit on behalf of a disabled veteran and his wife who were stopped for their bumper sticker which reads, "Don't Like My Driving, Dial 1-800-EAT-SHIT." The officer forced the man, who has steel rods in his back and an external spine stimulator to ease his constant pain, to stand one yard from the highway under threat of arrest for almost half an hour.

FLORIDA MAYOR DOES AN ABOUT FACE

Ft. Myers, Florida, Mayor Wilber Smith had to do an about face following his alleged attempt to ban "heavy" rock concerts in that town.

The Mayor's initial reaction came following an outdoor concert for over 13,000 by the band JACKYL. Smith was reported in several Florida newspapers as wanting to impose a ban on not only JACKYL, but what he termed as "all other heavier rock concerts in general."

Smith was quoted as saying, "We won't be having any more of those heavier rock bands in Ft. Myers again. We don't feel that we need that type of music here."

Well it now appears that His Honor has given second though to his little attempt of playing "supreme censor" and backed off. Smith has retracted his statements, and complained to the media sources who reported it. Maybe next time he won't be so vocal about his plans. Keep an eye on this guy folks.

Apparently the JACKYL show, which was held outdoors in a city park drew complaints from residents over noise. One man who called police to complain claimed the music "knocked him out of his chair, despite his being deaf." WOW! Musta been one hell of a show.

In the wake of Mayor "Wilbers'" initial plan to ban, JACKYL lead man Jesse James Dupree issued the following: "Mayor, you have a right to your opinion, but before you ban rock 'n' roll in Ft. Myers based on complaints from a few anal individuals, think again." Dupree has threatened to come back and run for mayor of Ft. Myers in the next election. Dupree claims that "after he wins" there will be a rock concert every day.

Hey Jesse, you've got our vote!

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