This video was one episode of a T.V. show on CNN called Crossfire.
The debate at the time was to discuss the proposed ideas of censorship on albums in music. The argument written down below is on the side of censors, represented here by John Lofton, newspaper journalist. The argument at the time was spearheaded by the “Parents Music Resource Center,” which was an organization of concerned parents who were targeting specific musical artists for releasing what they deemed to be inappropriate content in their music. One of their main targets was musician Frank Zappa who is shown in this video fighting against this argument below.
All songs with inappropriate lyrics are immoral in content
All immoral content are to be censored
Therefore, all songs with inappropriate lyrics are to be censored
All X are Y
All Y are Z
/ All X are Z
This argument as it follows the form described above, is valid. And as with most arguments, the debate seems to boil down to the factual correctness and soundness of the argument. The premises here are completely subjective in this instance. Morality is completely an idea of your own mind and/or the ideas that were instilled in you by others as you grow up. Even the very idea of “inappropriate” is completely subjective to everyone’s own individual ideas. So on this ground, we can’t really say if these premises are true are not. Only your own personal opinion can decide whether it is factually correct or sound in your own mind. In my own personal opinion and as the title of this video (ripped from a Rush song) might suggest, I would have to say I am in a certain degree on the side of Frank Zappa, being completely bias since he is a personal hero of mine, but I also think that a great point is brought up by Zappa in the way of an anti-censorship rebuttal (4:35 in the video.) He basically says that hearing the deemed “inappropriate” side can help you make up your own mind on what is inappropriate to you. And I am completely for people making up their own personal decisions on any subject for themselves. But again, that is just an example of one person’s opinion on this subject. The factually correctness of this argument is completely up to you.
The result of the argument ended up becoming the Parent Advisory sticker put on album with lyrics deemed inappropriate. I think that this is an excellent argument to look at. The whole idea of censorship is such an important idea to discuss as humans. How far do we want to go in controlling other people’s work? Is it moral to censor things because we deem them immoral? And who gets to decide what constitutes as immoral? As I stated before, I personally believe that an artists work should be left up to the artist and that. But then again, is it for there to be a label to warn people about inappropriate lyrics in a piece of music so that they have a fair warning? Should there be a line of protection against things deemed inappropriate? Should there be censorship in music?