Words

This is something I post every couple of years because I just enjoy it so damn much that I welcome any excuse to watch it again: a 1986 video of Frank Zappa debating government censorship of rock music on the old politics talk show “Crossfire“.  And who would be more up to the task than the delightfully obscene Zappa?

Readers of a Certain Age will recall the idea of state censorship of rock music was a popular item among the shrill and shrieking crackpots of the religious right which was in its ascendancy back then (thanks, Ronnie), but interestingly, something they seem to have since gotten over, or gotten past, or aged out of.  Or maybe lascivious rock lyrics matter less to them as they busy themselves with feverish preparations for the Rapture.

13 Responses to “Words”


  1. 1 hemmingforddogblog Monday, June 18, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Remember when they weren’t allowed to show Elvis below the waist on Ed Sullivan? Seems so funny now…

  2. 3 Rev.paperboy Monday, June 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Often forgotten is that Frank Zappa arch-nemisis in the war on free expression was none other than Tipper Gore, spouse of Al. Which tells you just what a screaming pinko uber-liberal the former VP used to be and just how far the Overton window has been dragged to the right.

    • 4 JJ Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Right, she had that organization “Parents Entertainment” or something, to ensure that little darlings’ ears weren’t damaged by the F-word.

      That Overton Window thing is getting just plain scary.

  3. 5 Sixth Estate Monday, June 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I always felt Jack Chick captured the craziness of the anti-rock fad in that way only he can:

    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0034/0034_01.asp

    Oh, the memories. Do you think they still have those anti-rock and roll recovery camps anymore, or were they all replaced by ex-gay camps? I assume the latter. Rock is in now. Good Christian rock, to listen to at your good Christian purity ball, no?

    • 6 JJ Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Jack Chick! I love those Jack Chick tracts.

      Yeah I think rock & roll has gotten a pass lately in favour of more imminent threats like Teh Ghey. Like they do with everything, they’ve co-opted a small corner of rock music… when you think about it, they’ve even co-opted a small corner of Teh Ghey with all these “Ex-Gays” like Ted Haggard. Speaking of which…

  4. 7 frankfrink Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Yep. No longer “The Devil’s Music”.

    A shame that.

    I have also always enjoyed that FZ clip.

    (also amazed I remembered how to post a comment here)

  5. 9 Scotian Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks for that blast from the past JJ, I absolutely loved that episode when it first aired. It alas also underscores just how much worse the general dialogue/debate between opposing/differing views have become these days too, especially in America, but we in Canada have been trending that way far too much over the past decade for my liking let alone comfort. Whatever happened to the idea that one can disagree on political views and yet both/all sides still believe that their opponents are just that, not enemies/traitors to all things good decent who must be destroyed utterly…*SIGH*

    • 10 JJ Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Scotian – Excellent point, and the subject of a post I’ve been working on intermittently (I’m totally uninspired these days… sigh).

      I’m not sure when the level of discourse began spiraling to its current lows. I mean, I’m as bad as anyone I guess, but I didn’t start it. And I don’t think right wingers started it either. If I had to blame it on something I’d say it was the advent of political blogs and a whole huge swath of aggrieved and stupid on both sides suddenly having a voice and getting delusions of grandeur about their importance in the overall scheme of things.

      • 11 fhg1893 Monday, June 25, 2012 at 4:57 am

        Have you not seen this?

        Let’s recap here. We have the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms who were monitoring Mexican drug cartels buying American fireams, in some cases, fully-automatic assault rilfes – the real kind, not the NDP/CBC “it’s black, therefore assault rifle” kind. The ATF allows those guns to leave the USA without doing ANYTHING to track them. The ATF and the Department of Justice know about this, the attorney general knows about this. A few months later a member of the United States Border Patrol is shot and killed by an American sourced assault rifle in the hands of a Mexican drug cartel member. All the while, the Mexican drug cartels have been painting parts of Mexico red with human blood. Congress takes notice and says, “OMG, WTF!?!” and over several months the truth starts to come out that the DOJ is running some kind of operation which results in American guns helping to fuel the drug war in Mexico.

        When congress presses the attorney general for an explanation, Obama, a leftist president steps in and tells congress to STFU, and Holder isn’t required to give an explanation.

        So, of the thousands of murders that have been committed in Mexico, we know that at least three hundred Mexicans and one US Border patrol agent that have been killed using American guns, and the President himself moves to protect the criminal who is probably responsible?

        Bill Whittle suggests one possible reason for this fiasco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFIpoL3jrfo

        Now, I don’t know if Bill Whilttle is correct. But what I know is that if indeed he is correct, then this demonstrates that the political left is perfectly willing to produce Mexican bodies to push their leftist agenda.

        That, my dear people is a conspiracy. A concentrated, secretive, attack on people who want to live with the freedom to own and keep firearms for any purpose we wish.

        Now, I really want to believe that you’re correct, that there’s no conspiracy by the other side. So far, the prepondance of evidence standard is demonstrating that such a conspiracy does in fact exist. What will you say if it should eventually occur that we move past the prepondance of evidence standard, and become satisfied that no reasonable doubt exists?

        • 12 JJ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 5:05 am

          fhg – Wow. That doesn’t sound good. Unfortunately, i have to learn more about this before I can comment on it intelligently. But I will say that it sounds like a sadly familiar refrain: the US has been conducting these kinds of weird covert operations in latin american countries for a long time. Reagan certainly did, and for many years there have been people who insist that most of the cocaine snorted up here is run in by the CIA… /tinfoil hat :P

          • 13 fhg1893 Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 6:13 am

            Fast & Furious might just be Watergate +300 dead people, and what ammounts to a civil war in Mexico. Details are still emerging so, I’m trying to be tentative in painting Obama as the bad guy in this thing – it got a lot more difficult when he asserted executive privelge. Trying to maintain perspective here, sure, I don’t care for the guy anymore, but at least he didn’t completely botch the unnecessary invasion of Iraq. And he’s just a president, there’s only so much he’s supposed to be able to do – the economic woes can’t be blamed soley on Obama.

            And it’s not like the right-wing doesn’t periodically conspire to mess with abortion rights, gay rights, whathaveyou.

            But on the other hand, this is bad. This is really bad. To the best of my knowledge, nobody died as a result of Watergate. Attacks on abortion providers are normally carried out by a lone murderer who acts alone, IE: without the backing of the United States Government. Gay bashing for instance doesn’t normally operate with government sanction. Or at least, not anymore.

            But to provide arms to drug cartels for the sake of attacking the second amendment, AND probably also to demonstrate the futuility of the drug-war? It makes Mittens look good…


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