Eminem and censorship

by Uni girl 67 Replies latest jw friends

  • Tina

    I personally don't find eminem funny or entertaining.
    If he is such the lyrical genius as has been suggested,couldn't he use something other than fear and hate against women and gays to express 'societal ills?'
    What makes that OK?
    Music as other communication media is a powerful tool.
    When one considers the age/scholastic level of the target audience,
    I have to wonder how many are sophisticated and literate enough to understand the metaphor....I don't think a whole lot of them are savvy enough to make these distinctions.
    I'm not saying this causes violence,but wthat it does is desensitizes and trivializes violence against gays and women. It seems to say 'that's just the way it is' and that it's 'cool'.
    1st Ammendment rights are still important,but so is the health and safety of our female and gay citizens.
    As long as this garbage is around it makes it really difficult to creat and promote a caring culture. just MO FWIW,Tina

  • SixofNine

    The simple fact is that people ARE influenced to varying degrees by what they listen to.

    The even simpler fact is that children are FAR more influenced by what they listen to.

    So think about that the next time you support eminem, you god-damn, piece of shit, fucking morons.

    Have a nice day you liberal, moist brained pussies.

  • BadAssociate

    the problem is that most people aren't smart enough to seperate the message from the messenger

    works of art - much the same as dreams - are non moralistic in the way we are accustomed in the day to day world


  • outnfree

    This is difficult for me (defending eminem), but living in the Detroit area, when Tina asks

    >Couldn't he use something other than fear and hate of women and gays to express 'societal ills'?

    I have to respond that fear and hate of women and gays ARE societal ills. As Uni girl put it: 'Eminem was simply verbalizing the mumblings of society as a whole.'

    As long as 7 years ago I was turning off a Connecticut radio station that my niece wanted to listen to because of the misogynist lyrics of the song that was playing. I don't have to add anything about gay bashing.

    Prisca asked

    > Why would anyone want to listen to songs that talk about killing people, raping a woman, or murdering homosexuals?

    The killing goes on daily just about everywhere. Why would anyone want to read a newspaper that reported on such things? Watch TV news coverage of the aftermath? Watch those inane TV "talk" shows where people scream about [real or imagined] injustices, betrayals, etc.? Buy those tabloids?

    Songs are generally a reflection of popular culture -- 20's honky-tonks, 30's depression, 40's world war, 50's rock'n'roll, etc. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of hatred alive and well in American society. The solution is LOVE, but too few are really extending themselves.

    Personally, I think the best thing for Marshall Mathers III would be for him to find someone to really love and hug him. He is tortured and mixed-up. His music is an exaggerated reflection of the world as he sees it being played out. And he has personally been let down by a lot of people.

    I don't go out of my way to listen to eminem (except maybe 'Stan'), but "my honor-roll-achieving, gay-lifestyle-is-fine-with-me, refuse-to-let-the-WTS-tell-ME-what-to-believe, 17-year-old" DAUGHTER bought his CD as soon as the record store would let her. She'd never harm a flea and she has a fine opinion of her own worth.

    SHE says I get too incensed over the lyrics. *I* retort that she's not sensitive enough about the damage they can do.

    But my favorite singers were the anti-culture balladeers of my youth, and it seems the young people see Eminem as a similar voice.

  • claudia

    The point that I want to make personally is that a normal sane person is not going to rape because of a song! Alot of parents are blaming music when their child does wrong, then when we take a closer look at their homelife.......Anyway I trust my son isnt going to rape and murder because of eminem. I have a gay friend, my son loves and respects him. His favorite teacher in his 10 yrs of school happens also to be gay.

  • Tina

    hi outnfree,

    yes they are society's probs. but taking in the whole context of eminems music,coupled with his past history with mom etc,,,,it's easy to see he's not being metaphoric as much as he's expressing his contempt for women,gays/sexuality....and as another poster mentioned kids cant discern the difference even if its there(which I reiterate is not . Messages of hate do not produce anything positive in changing these probs and his music does not sensitize them positively towards these,,,regards,tina

  • SanFranciscoJim

    It seems to me that those who are so carefully protecting Eminem's right of free speech are forgetting one important factor:
    The majority of his listeners are not adults. If indeed he is simply making a social statement as many of the posters here have implied, then his lyrics are directed at the wrong audience. As adults, many of us can appreciate tongue-in-cheek, ironic humor, but most youths take such things at face value. For example, have a look at this web site: http://www.clonejesus.com/ It is professionally laid out and well presented. But for crying out loud, who on earth is going to clone the DNA of Jesus Christ? I mean, come on! This likely is the same vain in which Eminem is operating. He has already admitted in interviews that he personally does not harbor prejudices against gays or women. (Did any of you catch his duet with Elton John?) Still, this form of "entertainment" should carry a strong disclaimer for the underage listener that the lyrics are a form of irony and should not be taken seriously, much as packs of cigarettes carry a warning label, and no one calls that a violation of speech freedoms. How's that for compromise?

  • JanH

    If an actor plays a bigoted person on the screen or in a movie, we laugh at dumb people who get the actor and the role figure mixed up and harasses the actor.

    How come people can't realize the same thing about a musician? David Bowie was only playing Ziggy Stardust on the scene; he was not Ziggy.

    Marshall Matters have even made it obvious by taking one artist name, Eminem, and singing in the name of yet another guy, called Slim Shady. The opinions and ideas of Slim Shady are not those of Marshall Matters, even though it's obviously an expression of many of his own ideas and dark ghosts (like most authors use autobiographical material some of the time).

    Personally, I have never understood rap music, and never liked it much. But I find Eminem brilliant. And his lyric is some of the best musical lyrics written in the last ten years, and I don't say that easily.

    As for the censorship issue: obviously he has succeeded in offending lots of people and interest groups. It is my strong opinion that many interest groups for noble causes -- feminism, gay rights, anti-racism/civil rights, whatever -- after some time ends up suffering from a distinct lack of perspective. They also tend to evolve into organizations that are bigoted all by themselves; the only difference is they want to censor the others. That is sad. It's like seeing the Jews in Israel instituting an apartheid state and oppressing the Arabs.

    - Jan
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen"
    -- Albert Einstein

  • JanH


    I mostly agree with you here, but this time I think you got it way wrong.

    Young people generally understands irony much better than adults.

    - Jan
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen"
    -- Albert Einstein

  • unanswered

    sfjim-i've read your comments, and i empathize with your view in that i'm sure it is motivated by a good heart. i hate censorship. it starts with things most of us dislike, and ends up trampling down things many of us like. i do think that eminem isn't out there trying to gay bash, but i do see how it could be taken that way. with most music, the motivation behind the lyrics is VERY open to interperetation, which is precisely why i think we cannot censor it. i remember when matchbox 20(i'm not a fan) came out with a song that upset many people because they thought it was speaking from an abusive man's point of view. then, when it was discovered that it was about an abusive woman, there was no problem. my point in making this reference is that it is a mistake to start bringing our own definitions to something that someone else has brought forward as art, even if we don't see it as art. i also agree, however, that some material is not appropriate for children. that is when the parent can chose what their child can encounter.

    jim-i have no problem with methods taken to ensure that young children will not have access to certain materials w/out their parents permission, as long as it doesn't start that evil censor snowball rolling.

    i think that with censorship, the gray area is to large to start drawing lines on what is and what is not acceptable. also i think that humans need to be very careful when it come to judging something based upon how it appears on the outside-it's to easy to make a mistake. besides, we all have the ability to chose for OURSELVES what we want to be exposed to and what we don't. just my opinion, not trying to offend anyone-nate.

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