Posted tagged ‘Frank Zappa’

Personal Expression vs. the Powerful’s Repression

2012/03/12

Personal expression takes on many forms. Got something to say? Write a song. Draw a picture. Compose a poem. Do a dance. Heck, you can even express yourself by going for a run – as proved by Kevin Bacon in the film Footloose. As everyone knows, Bacon used running and dancing to not only express himself, but to help solve his problems and save the youth in his town from the repression of Jon Lithgow. Oh, and I guess he used gymnastics too.

pick up your Sunday shoes, Kevin.

Lithgow thought he was keeping kids safe from the dangers of rock ‘n’ roll. He decided that music and dancing threatened youth, and used his authority on the Town Council to get them banned. He connected personal expression with societal ills that were a blight on respectable values, and kids’ safety. Dancing was a gateway drug to trouble.

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this post is approved for all audiences

2011/07/20

If President Lukashenko wasn’t so busy running a dictatorship in Belarus, he might have had time to open a history book before banning songs from the radiowaves. The book he should have looked at, The Time Tipper Gore Tried to Censor Music in America, would have told him a story about politicians going after musicians’ right to freedom of speech. While it cost many artists big time cash in legal fees, all Gore and the “Parents Music Resource Center” got out of it were advisory stickers added to some album covers, and a whole lot of publicity for the bands they attacked. Plus, her husband only made it to Vice-President. They must have kicked themselves for not going for environmentalism earlier.

Anyways. Lukashenko has taken a page from the Parents Music Resource Center’s book. Hopefully it causes a grassroots Viktor Tsoi craze in the Belarus that helps topple him from power.

“Belarusian state radio bans politically sensitive songs”
“Belarus has banned the radio broadcast of several popular Russian songs with dissident undertones amid protests against the regime of the President Alexander Lukashenko, sources said today. Over the past few weeks several songs – including late Soviet-era dissident rock icon Viktor Tsoi’s famous “We Are Waiting for Change” – have disappeared from the airwaves of radio stations.”

“Viktor Tsoi’s song banned on Belarusian radio”
“Syarhei Budkin says that one cannot find a logical explanation for such a decision of the radio leadership. ‘I am convinced this ban is to become additional promotion for musicians. Such things happened before. And it was beneficial to Belarusian musicians to have an image of prohibited singers – interest of listeners grew because of that.’ As for the prohibited song by Tsoi, the expert believes that it really can become an anthem of changes in Belarus. ‘It is often heard from cars. Remarkably, there were attempts to ban it in the Soviet times as well. But after so many years it remains relevant,’ Budkin believes.”

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