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Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

forcing the artist to be unable to perform is denying him free speech.

How’s that? He can still speak.Banned Books A-IBanned Books J-Z

I'm assuming most of these authors could still speak.

Take note of the tactics employed to ban these books.

Portnoy's Complaint (1969)

by Philip Roth

Several libraries and librarians throughout the U.S. were harassed and threatened for carrying this book on their shelves.

Does this sound familiar?

Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 5:54 PM

Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

AJ, sorry for the miscommunication. I let my passion for the First Amendment get ahead of making a coherent and referenced statement.


Should songs about killing people be considered free speech? Should the KKK be allowed to recruit members and talk about the purity of the white race? Should rap artists be allowed to talk about raping women?

Yes they should.

As Americans, we cannot judge free speech as something to be upheld when it is convenient to do so. History has taught us this much.

Solidarity against a particular form of speech can be expressed with free speech alone. To forcefully deny anyone the ability to speak their mind through artistic expression is a fascist tactic.

Step back from the specifics here and consider that there are people out there who wish to silence any pro-gay voices. These people are not musicians and they are certainly not Buju Banton. Consider how far the dialogue has come in this country from homosexuality being a taboo subject to it being openly discussed. This dialogue is a direct result of the powerful right we call freedom of speech. To ensure the continuation of productive dialogue, we must accept the "good" with the "bad" speech. Making any exception is an extremely slippery slope.

There is no study anywhere showing a significant correlation with exposure to violent artwork and physical violence. Censorship-minded people have tried for years to show a link between pornography and violence with no luck. A case in point is Japan which has a much less violent society than our own, yet they have comic books which depict women being raped by aliens, cut into pieces, and stuffed into suitcases. If that does not incite violence, can you really think that mere existence of a song which was not going to be performed would incite violence in our community?

The most surprising aspect of this controversy is the local politicians who have come out in support of censorship. I take this to mean that they would not mind if their own messages were censored and their campaigns shut down as being unfit according to community standards.

Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 5:21 PM

Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

Here is an article I found when searching for ACLU and censorship from the 2 Live Crew period.


Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 4:08 PM

Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

We can split hairs if you like AJ.

I used the bulldagger song to illustrate that 2 Live Crew's lyrics were derogatory and not simply explicit. 2 Live Crew spoke of "busting" vaginas among other things prior to the controversy which censors claimed would provoke people to rape. The censorship issue was certainly not over the comparatively tame song "Me So Horny," it was over their performance of other material.

Censorship is what has occurred here in Humboldt. Putting out counter messages is one thing, but forcing the artist to be unable to perform is denying him free speech.

Do not try to tell me "I am for free speech, but... this is different." It is not.

If you are wondering, I am pro-gay rights and hold no religious belief about gay people.

Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 4:05 PM

Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

Mitch, the Buju Banton issue was already addressed at the same time as 2 Live Crew. I remember it well. The particular television channel where 2 Live Crew received the most airplay was called the "Jukebox Network." This channel allowed people to call a 1-900 number to play a particular video. Prior to being censored, 2 Live Crew received little airplay. After the arrest for obscenity, "Move Summin'," "Me So Horny," and the Doo-Waa Diddy song were on the Jukebox Network 24/7. It wasn't MTV who were playing 2 Live Crew videos, it was people with $1.99 to spare.

17 years later, Boom Bye-Bye has over 1.5 million views on youtube. The video I posted to the Herald, Driver A, has just under 1 million views even though the Driver A youtube page is actively promoted via paid advertisements. "Boom Bye-Bye" has always been an unpromoted, unauthorized release.

Can we please learn a lesson from history?

The ACLU is against artist censorship. Maybe the community needs to take a step back and examine the logic put forward by the ACLU. This is the classic "I'm against censorship, but..." syndrome.

Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

I think the above lyric should be "gay" not "gave."

Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 3:02 PM

Re: “Buju Banton show cancelled (update)

I am sorry for even posting that. I feel that the point needs to be made. The more involved people become with outright censorship of an artist, the more free publicity that artist receives.

Posted by kushboldt on 10/08/2009 at 2:43 PM

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