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The Cross Fire Debate

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The issue of censorship has been hotly debated since the 1950’s with the advent of a singer by the name of Elvis Presley. Should the government censor music that it feels is ‘inappropriate?” If so, were does the censorship cross? I personally believe that we should never sacrifice our liberty’s in the name of security, 9/11 and the Patriot Act is an example of this, in doing so, our children could wake up homeless in a land there fathers conquered. Although I have a personal distaste for certain types of music, I am not obliged to by them; therefore the decision to listen to whatever variety of music they wish is a persons own civil right, freedom of choice is a personal liberty granted to all American citizens, if we censor music then were does the censorship stop?

Frank Zappa did make a few good arguments, but unfortunately did not have a chance to back up some of his statements because Mr. John Loftan continued to cut him off. One point Mr. Zappa made, that helped his credibility, was that we were debating against “words” and that freedom of speech is advocated by the first amendment. Another point made by Mr. Zappa was referring to his freedom of choice to buy the record, in essence, if you don’t like a certain type of music, then don’t buy it. Mr. Zappa lost credibility when he told Mr. John Loftan to “kiss his ass” which although he was just speaking his mind, if you bring that type of language to a debate, it is likely that you will lose credibility. You can’t let emotions cloud your ability to argue a point. His overall argument was not persuasive enough to me; although he began to make good points, such as protecting our freedom of speech, and if we don’t like a record, then don’t buy it, but did not continue to back up his points with facts. One “fact” Mr. Zappa could have mentioned is the Nazis attempt to censor anything that spoke out against the Nazi party, or how Hilter had the German parliament building the “Reichstag” bombed and used the

 event, not only get his country to sacrifice there civil liberties, but also as a pretense for war. Mr. John Loftan on the other hand did use certain facts to back up his arguments, although they were a bit distorted, especially with his incest issue.

An issue that was discussed and persuasively argued was the government’s right to censor material it finds inappropriate, in which John Loftan felt very strongly that the government should censor certain types of music. Mr. Zappa made a statement, saying this country should fear the fascist’s direction in which it is taking, which in the wake of 9/11 and Bush’s tyrannical Patriot Act, we as a nation are beginning to see just how far we are going down that very path. The fact of the matter is that, if the government begins to censor “bad music” were does the line between bad and good music get drawn?

On the other hand, an issue that was briefly discussed on the show was the issue of civil liberty. Although there are certain vulgar types of music, it is the fact that we cannot take that liberty away from anyone, through censorship or by any other means, Mr. Zappa was trying to head toward this direction in his arguments, but when the statement was made about our country going in the direction of a fascist style theocracy, the subject was laughed at. A way Mr. Zappa could have elaborated on his statement would be to reinforce what he is saying with facts, such as citing examples of censorship used in the mass media concerning pertinent issues, such as the infamous CIA’s operation Northwood’s, or our failing fiat monetary system, primarily due to the unnecessary Federal Reserve institution, its one thing to make a statement that is a personal belief, or opinion, its another thing to state facts.

In summary, I agree with many of Mr. Zappa’s points, but felt that they were unsupported with facts, which no longer makes statements in debates credible, but only reflects personal opinions or beliefs of others. Mr. Zappa and other musicians have expressed many of the same points concerning there constitutional right to freedom of speech, but they should not take advantage of that freedom and accept responsibility for there actions, and the effect they are having in the community.

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