DAVE MARSH ON H.B. 2982 AND WHY WE CAN'T DEPEND ON THE R.I.A.A. TO FIGHT IT
When we first received information about H.B. 2982, we of course faxed it around to other folks in the anti-censorship movement for response. One of those who we immediately heard back from was author, music critic, and member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, DAVE MARSH. We'd like to share with you a bit of what Dave had to say.
ROC: So Dave, you've had a chance to ponder through H.B. 2982, what's your immediate reaction?
D.M.: Well I think as usual, we're gonna' be told not to fight it, that the Recording Industry (RIAA) will take care of this and if we're just all nice to all the Congress-people, or the legislators, everything will go all right. That's a lie, and it's a very dangerous lie. The most important thing we can do is to fight, to fight on our terms, and to not back up on this. This is a no go, it's unconstitutional, it's wrong, it wants to put kids practically in jail to punish them as though they were criminals, simply for loving music, and it's the product of a sick society. Some of the music as well is the product of sick society, but it's a pathway to health, this is a pathway to allowing the disease to run the hospital. What we've gotta' do is flat fight, and not be persuaded by anyone who tells us that they'll take care of it for us. No, we have to take care of this for ourselves, period. That is what's gonna' start coming out from these assholes at the RIAA.
ROC: Gee, Paul Russinoff at the RIAA sent me the information about the bill.
D.M.: He'll be sorry. (intense laughter)
ROC: I bet he's sorry already, in fact, I'm sure he's sorry already.
D.M.: Well, that's his problem.
ROC: Yeah, we intend on asking him how do we go about getting a little chunk of the $700,000 a year they claim is used to fight censorship, to use in Pennsylvania. We want to know where that money goes. In fact, Randy wants to run a sidebar in THE ROC titled "Follow The Money."
D.M.: Well I think that's a good idea. First of all that money's invisible, and secondly it is not enough, it's less than 10%. And number three, what they seem to be doing is, you know, less censorship is still censorship. They're not asking for no censorship, they're asking for less censorship. So as far as I'm concerned they should take that money and...well I hope they have a good septic system because that's where it's going. And they don't even seem to know who hates them.
ROC: In the July 23 BILLBOARD article, what did you think about the part where the RIAA told Rooney if H.B. 2982 passes their members may take the stickers off altogether? Then in the next paragraph they say that this scenario is unlikely to ever happen. How about that?
D.M.: Well if the RIAA is paying attention they have to take the stickers off the records. If they don't take the stickers off the records then the RIAA is essentially saying that Rooney's right. In other words, if Rooney's not right then why do there have to be stickers on the records? And I think that's the other thing that people have to know when they're fighting is, they have to know that's what they're fighting for. They're not fightin' to make the world safe for labeled records, they're fighting to get the labels OFF the records.
ROC: Rooney says this law is no different from the "R" ratings on movies. How would you answer that?
D.M.: Yeah, it is no different than an R rating on a movie, and that's the reason if you ask movie directors like Brian DePalma, Martin Scorcese and some of the other best known movie directors like the guy who made The Field of Dreams, they hate the movie ratings, and the reason they hate the movie ratings is because movies come out with more content and more free speech in Europe than they do here. Ask anybody in the movie business. They'll tell you so. The problem is that most people don't understand that the movie ratings are censorship.
ROC: Since Rooney is using that as a justification for his bill we've been really asked that a lot by the press.
D.M.: Whenever they ask that, then our position is on that is that the movie ratings are also censorship and what you don't want to have is a kid in England being able to hear more of a band than a kid in America where that band is from. That is what happens in Europe and it happens all the time. All these pictures, and even pictures like The Piano, even arty shit like that, they have one cut in Europe and another cut in the U.S. that's not good, that's bad! Anyway do you think you're kid ought to be sent to jail if they go to an R rated movie, when they're only 16? Do you think they ought to do community service for going and seeing an R rated movie?
ROC: That's what we said, well we don't know of any kid who's been sent off to community service for sneaking into a movie.
D.M.: I would be even more aggressive about it and say, 'do you think that's a good idea?' Because a lot of these reporters are just scum. They're practically the friends of Tipper Gore at the press. It's like whatever the government wants to do, I'll do it. Stick my finger in the air and when they tell me to stick it up my ass I'll lick it off after I'm done. I hate a lot of these reporters, they're fuckin' stooges for power. Anyway, with any luck Rooney will take a hint. Somebody ought to be leafleting Bethlehem. It's probably too late to run against him, but if it isn't somebody ought to run against him, and somebody ought to be distributing leaflets saying "T.J. Rooney, take this bill off the table or we won't vote for you."
ROC: We've sent flyers to our contacts in that area.
D.M.: They ought to be calling his office saying "we want this off the table or we won't vote for you, and lots of other people will follow us." We should be organizing on that basis. I guarantee you, if he gets 100 phone calls like that, that bill is gonna disappear faster than it appeared.
ROC: What's your opinion about Rooney being described as a "liberal Democrat?"
D.M.: From the beginning of this struggle against censorship our problem is the liberal democrats. It's liberal democrats cuttin' our throats and at least some of the hard-core republicans do believe in freedom of speech. It don't break down that easy.
ROC: Yeah, these liberals will smile at ya and fuck ya' at the same time.
D.M.: That's their specialty. Anyway, keep me posted on this and I'll do the same with you if I hear anything. Alright? Take care.
ROC: Thanks a lot Dave.
D.M.: Yep, anything you need.
JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST H.B. 2982
For More Info Contact:
ROCK OUT CENSORSHIP - P.O. Box 147, Jewett, OH 43986, PH/Fax: 740-946-2011
John Horstman-Bay City Nights - 444 1/2 E. 12th St., Erie, PA 16503, PH/Fax: 814-453-6888.
Tina Nelson - 3373 Papermill Rd., Huntingdon Valley, PA 19005, PH: 215-947-1970
Stew Bradley-Arrow of Truth - 33 Naomi Ave., Landisville, PA 17538
Jesse Nelson - 2A Ann Court Apts. - Luserine, PA 18709
Carol Schutzbank - Earwig Inc. - P.O. Box 15921, Philadelphia, PA 19103, PH: 215-561-9027