Monday, February 11, 2008

Frank Zappa Rocked Against Totalitarianism

This video from Crossfire (the dragon that Sir Jon Stewart slew) has been circulating for a while on the Web, and is in fact about 22 years old, but here's guitar hero Frank Zappa doing his part to prevent the United States from becoming either a fascist theocracy or a Stalinist bread line/salt mine. In this case, the topic is censorship in song lyrics:

The government should never regulate art. (Wasn't that the back story in the film Equilibrium?) If there's any word regulation in the "music industry," it should come from record labels to their respectively signed artists. The corporations behind these labels could dictate to those whose music is contractually owned by the corporations. They do it all the time asking for "hit songs" on albums and status quo crap like that.

My advice to the songwriters and artists (those with a little bit of integrity, anyway) is to sign better contracts when dealing with corporations. Or better yet: D.I.Y. The Internet, if it remains free, can prove helpful and convenient.

When it comes to profanity or culturally-abhorrent words in commercial music, let the marketplace decide if it sells or not. (Wow, I'm sounding quite economically conservative right now!) We can go on a long tangent about the inherent inequality of the current marketplace with corporate welfare, poor people welfare, etc., but we'll just leave it at those buzz words. Back to the topic: There's a lot of content out there with which I don't agree, but if their voices are silenced...there's no guarantee I would be able to express my opinions, either.

Anyhow, here's to keeping the Web an equal-access highway with Net Neutrality!

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