Re: RARA-AVIS: Don't Let the Man Bust Our Music

Date: 06 Apr 2008

Kevin wrote:

"Hell, why is hard-boiled popular fiction worthy of respect and even serious discussion, but a four-minute song dealing with the same subject deemed somehow morally suspect or culturally negligible?"

Interesting question. The culture of the masses never gets the respect of more refined cultural pursuits. Literature, even the more popular genres, gets more respect because it requires a certain level of education and/or literacy. However, music is aural and can be understood by anyone, regardless of age, education or literacy. So those who feel they must save us all from immoral culture trumpet the risk of the young being exposed to things for which they are not yet ready (must save the children!). Plus there are often class and race distinctions at play.

The same applies to movies, being visual and accessible to all. Reminds me of something I heard about video regulation in the UK in the era after the "Video Nasties" controversy. Supposedly the video release of Reservoir Dogs was long delayed because of fears about its possible influence. There was no delay, however, for the release of the far more graphic Man Bites Dog, about a documentary crew following a serial killer (a very sick, but entertaining movie, far better than the similar Natural Born Killers). The release board decided its audience would be limited to an artier (read better educated) audience because it was black and white and had subtitles, so there was no need to worry about its effect on viewers.


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