My name is Antonio Lopez and I am an inmate in a correctional facility. I am writing you guys to find out any information I can about Rock Out Censorship. The staff here at the facility where I am located recently started censoring all the music we have sent in to us, and they won't let us have certain bands or groups. The latest tape they didn't let in was a tape called "Vulgar Display of Power" by the band Pantera. Their excuse was that is was a "white supremacy" tape, which to me is a bunch of bullshit. I know for a fact that Pantera IS NOT a racial group.
Anyway, I would greatly appreciate any and all information you could send me about censorship, and what I can do to help out. Thanks for your time and efforts.
Antonio Lopez #53891
Norton KS 67654
Rock Out Censorship:
Thanks a lot for writing back, and thanks for sending all of the stuff. We didn't realize R.O.C. was a newspaper; we figured you all were just some cool organization fighting against the real criminals.
You asked about censorship in Britain. Well, in truth, it all depends on what's going on over there in the states. You see, the government over here in England is all but ousted from power, and it would seem that whatever stuff America gets censored, England gets it soon after.
Entombed--The great Swedish metal band brought out a record called "Wolverine Blues" recently here in Europe, and was brought out in America a couple of months later. In America (for whatever reason they saw fit) ENTOMBED's U.S. label cut the last track "Out Of Time" from the album. Fine! That's their problem. Two weeks later, English copies of the album had the track "Out Of Time" cut from the fucking record as well!
You see, John Major (the English Prime Minister) lives with his head shoved up Bill Clinton's ass, and whatever happens in the USA, he does soon after.
We have warning labels here too. I saw a kid being refused a ROLLINS BAND LP because of it. (It mightn't sound much, but it happens a lot.)
We'll help with your cause in whatever way we possibly can. Please consider us your English/European contacts, and send us a few flyers or posters that we can copy and circulate. We've started to get a few signatures (on the R.O.C. anti-labeling petition) in record shops and rock clubs around Liverpool. We plan on getting them Xeroxed and sending a copy to 10 Downing Street, and if you like, to you guys in the U.S. Please get in touch soon.
FAMILY VALUES: CENSORSHIP AND MY KIDS.
I have a family. We have values. Our values can be summed up rather well in one sentence: Honesty is the best policy.
I am married. I have two daughters. I battle censorship everyday. Even in the most subtle ways. One of my pet peeves is people who apologize for swearing in front of my children. Don't apologize after the fact if you're that concerned you'd think before you speak. If you have the overwhelming urge to say the word "fuck", well then say it, and mean it. I am constantly reminding people that we do not censor. Ask my five year old daughter, Poet, about so-called "bad" words and she will tell you, "there are none, it's how you use them."
Children have minds of their own. My girls make this clear everyday. Poet can and does make choices about what she does or does not like. All we ask, is that she have valid reasons to back her decisions. Trust me, five year olds can come up with some very valid five year old reasons.
The whole objective of parenting is to guide our children. We as parents need to give our children the tools necessary to make educated choices. Does the PMRC have such little regard for children that they won't allow kids the opportunity to make their own decisions? Well, hello parents, get a grip, you won't always be there to make Junior's decisions for him. And hey kids, listen up, society will let you divorce your parents, but they don't want you listening to Nirvana. Music isn't hurting your children, lack of information is. So, good luck pushing that censorship snowball because pretty soon it's going to roll over the PMRC.
Music and the music industry has been one of the best influences in my daughter's life. At five, Poet has made fine decisions in her personal music collection: Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Blind Melon, Nine Inch Nails, Hole and various others. She is perhaps one of the biggest fans of Smashing Pumpkins. Hell, she knows more about them than I do. On April 1st in Austin, Texas, she was Billy Corgan's special guest at South Park Meadows. The show included Blind Melon, Red Meat, and Reverend Horton Heat. Everyone had time to spend with Poet, in particular Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon.
Future plans of Poet include this summer's Lollapalooza. But, this Mother's Day, she is taking dear ol' Mom to Nine Inch Nails in Detroit, Mich. These are all her decisions. So, to Poet, I say ROCK ON and ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP!
BORED IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
Greetings from a crappy suburb in western Pennsylvania. Howdy, I'm a 17 year old (though you probably could not tell due to my crummy penmanship and spelling errors.) I'm an anti-censorship type guy I guess. Well, anyway I wanted to write you people a letter before but I kinda sorta didn't find the address. But, I just purchased a NAILBOMB CD, and there the address was. So, lucky you, you get a letter from some geek in a hole in Western PA. There's nothing to do out here. Everyone around me is a "gear head, motor car type, fix it up so it runs real purdy, dude. Boooorrrring!
Yep, I'm also one of the 4 million guitarists in this area. Almost everyone out here plays guitar, and 98% of 'em SUCK! There's like 3 bassists, and maybe 1.5 drummers. Finding members for a band is quite annoying.
Alright! Alright! I'll shut up about that junk. I'm not really one for being vulgar or anything myself, but I do believe in an artist's right to express themselves in whatever way they want. I mean if I ever get a band, I want to be able to write songs without worrying about some easily offended bunch of potato heads yelling, "He said the 'F' word!" Geez, censorship people sure are dorky.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot. Recently when I was at a SEPULTURA concert out here (it was so cool, I met the band and got autographs) I signed some kind of anti-censorship petition. I'd like to know what else I could do to help get rid of censors. I would be very grateful if anyone could send me anything about this whole anti-censorship thing.
Or, if there's anyone that digs music and wants to kinda get a pen-pal thing going, that would be peachy. Heeeereees some of the bands I enjoy listening to: SEPULTURA, ENTOMBED, NAILBOMB, MINISTRY, CLUTCH, FEAR FACTORY, (old) BLACK SABBATH, PANTERA, JIMI HENDRIX, BUDDY GUY, B.B. KING, OBITUARY, PRONG, S.R.V., JOHN LEE HOOKER and PRIMUS.
Ah hooey, enough about that kaka. I guess I better split cause this letter is getting long, and you're probably getting bored reading it. Thanx for taking the time to read my dorky letter.
P.S.- I am proud to say that I'm not a racist or sexist, and I really dislike people like that. Hate groups drive me bananas.
Thanx again, Chris Tritschler
46 Robin Hood Dr.
Zelienople PA 16063
LOCK and LOAD
Dear ROC Readers,
As I travel down the long and winding road called life (in the '90's), I can't help but see the changes that are taking place in America. Changes that are not always necessarily for the better, but are for the worse. Every day, little by little, our rights are being taken away from us.
As we already know, censorship is running rampant in America. We no longer have freedom of speech or freedom of expression. As a matter of fact, the impression I get from groups like the PMRC is that you can say what you want, as long as you don't say it in a song.
The one issue that I would like to cover in this letter, is a topic that has not been covered much in THE ROC, and that is GUN CONTROL.
As you may or may not know, the government has just recently passed a bill that bans all assault rifles. First of all, assault rifles are only responsible for 1% of all murders. Most murders are the effect of hand guns, not assault rifles. Think about it, when was the last time you've seen a criminal hold someone up with an assault rifle?
What pisses me off is that this will only be the beginning, it will not stop here. I predict (more like guarantee) that sooner or later, our government will ban (or at least try to ban) all guns. Hey Clinton & Co., what happened to our 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms? They think (or at least want us to think) that by banning guns we will have less crime in America. Wrong again! The criminals will always be able to get guns, the only thing that will change is that it will keep the average law abiding citizen from being able to protect themselves from criminals that have guns. Think about it, drugs are illegal, but we still have tons of drugs here in America. What makes guns any different? So if you think for one single minute that banning guns will minimize crime in America, you're sadly mistaken!!!
It's time to wake up America! Our government is screwing over us big time, and some of us are just too blind to see it. We have already lost out First Amendment rights, and we are starting to lose our Second Amendment rights, and if things don't change, we'll end up losing all our rights. This is not a free country anymore. They might as well re-write the Constitution, 'cause they don't go by it anyway.
Maybe you should have inhaled Bill (that is if you believe he didn't) you probably would of been able to run the country better! Who gives a shit what kind of underwear you wear, or what your cat, Socks, is up to. We are getting tired of having our rights taken away from us. We are tired of having you think for us, and thinking that you know what is best for us. We want to be able to decide for ourselves if we should wear a seatbelt or helmet. We are free thinkers!
In closing: We need to support all the grass-roots anti-censorship organizations (like Rock Out Censorship) that we can. Remember, they are here for us, they are fighting for us, but they can't do it all alone. They need our help to win.
Keith A. Wilkins
Editor's note: Keith A. Wilkins is a contract song-writer from the Tampa Bay area. He has written and sold songs to several record companies and musicians nationwide. If you would like to contact him about anything in this letter, or about possible collaboration, write to: Keith A. Wilkins, 6401 113th St. N., Seminole FL 34642-6750. PH. 813-339-2341.
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