Music and Censorship

Music+and+Censorship

Tyler Damico, Reporter

Music is undeniably a part of all our lives. It is as ingrained in human culture as food and clothes. Music does affect our lives, but the question is whether music can influence one’s actions in everyday life.  More specifically, can music with a negative message lead one to negative behaviors?  First we have to consider the artists intentions.  When an artist writes a song that at first glance condones heinous acts, ninety nine percent of the time the song is either satirical or trying to illustrate how the actions described are malignant.  Chances are, most musicians are not trying to raise a brainwashed army of nare- do- wells to wreak havoc on their communities. They are trying to sell you their music and t-shirts.  Trying to find any motive beyond that is somewhat ridiculous and makes people sound like conspiracy theorists.  One might argue that satirical music could have the wrong effect on those who take the message literally, but even if that were the case, which with most individuals it is not, what would your solution be? Would you have artists dumb down their art just because some people do not know what satire is? Art should never have to conform to what the majority thinks.

Regardless of the points I just brought up, censorship of music is still a thing. A recent example of this would be Tyler the Creator being censored in the U.K.  There are innumerable reasons why censorship of art is morally bankrupt and it frankly irritates me to no end how we still see examples of it.  Censoring something automatically tells us that your position is indefensible, and the only way you can hope to win is to drown out the opposing viewpoint.   Even if you have a valid concern about something, censorship is the equivalent of a five year old covering his ears and making loud noises.  Music will find a way to people regardless of whether it is censored or not. One might even argue that censoring something only makes that certain form of media more alluring and interesting.  If your parents tell you to avoid a certain movie or a certain song, all it makes you want to do is experience it ten times more.  I really dislike the phrase “Be on the right side of history,” but I find it relevant in this aspect, especially considering examples of censorship in the past.  Hopefully, those in charge realize how ineffective and malignant censorship is, but until then, we will continue to fervently enjoy  all forms of music, censored or not.