Protecting Punk

The nature of Freedom of Speech is often tested. Since the beginning of time music has existed, and since around the same time (thanks Government) so has censorship. The idea that music is inherently powerful – usually that power is assumed to be corrupting, to be negative and threatening. We can see that from opera to rap.

The late 80’s cultivated “antirock legislation” and “passed [it] in more than a dozen states, including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Virginia. Each state legislature acted on the assumption that all controversial music was legally obscene and had no redeeming value.”[1]

The 2000’s showed less concern about sexual exploitation, offensive/hateful language or demonstrations of violence. Has our concern for protecting the impressionable from the obscene diminished or have we figured out that maybe that SLAPS test has a point after all, (proving serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value of a work.)

I’d argue the later – as seen by Tomi Lahren’s rise to infamy and Green Day’s most recent release. Check out the punk legends newest release, a very pointed discussion of the current state of politics in the United States, and one that (for now) is entirely protected.


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