As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a bolt bus driving from Virginia to New York city. I’m usually always in the mood to blog, and the bus conveniently has wi-fi, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to post while I’m in the middle of nowhere Delaware. I’m actually pretty impressed by how convenient and inexpensive this transportation service is. Free wi-fi, comfortable seats, big movie screens, a bathroom. A four hour drive doesn’t seem too bad with these amenities. The bus is nowhere near filled and everyone is minding their own business, sleeping, watching movies, on the computer, etc.
The driver took a vote on which movie we wanted to watch, and the majority voted for “The Switch”, which I was fine with. The movie looked funny and sounded like it could be good, and probably is. But when it started, I just couldn’t get myself to watch it because inconveniently Jason Bateman is in it, who creepily looks like an older version of a guy I dated for a while, so I just couldn’t get myself to watch it. I don’t know why, it just was weird to me. Kinda like when you read a book, and they decide to make a movie on the book and you see the cast by accident and all that you can think of while reading the book are the actors in place of the characters. And it ruins it. I’m a firm believer in imagination when reading books, and as much as I like movies, I like to keep the two separate.
After that inner fiasco, I decided to look out the window and just listen to my iPod. If you don’t know, I’ve been dancing for about 18 years now, and as many other dancers can probably relate, I have acquired a wide variety of music from the 100 plus shows I’ve been in. Half of the shows which I’ve had no say in the songs we dance to. When describing my taste in music, I really don’t have one type I like, just that my iPod ranges from the Nutcracker, to the Rolling Stones, to Lil Wayne. So a pretty random selection. While on shuffle, “Shake That” by Eminem and Nate Dogg came on, and I couldn’t help but laugh, 1) because the lyrics are hilarious, and 2) because we dance to it in hip hop class every week and it just reminds me how entertaining it is to dance to such a dirty song. (Vernon if you’re reading this please don’t take it out of the mix its my favorite!) But anyways. I decided to shuffle through more songs to listen to lyrics and see if I could get a theme going on here today for this post. Music content.
In this day and age, I’ve heard a lot of criticism from parents about the explicit content that “contemporary rap” songs contain. A majority of parents argue that these explicit songs promote kids to swear, be violent, racist and engage in harmful behaviors.
This argument is also similar to that of parents and violence in video games. Recently this year, the supreme court voted against a California law which would ban the sale of violent video games to children. The state felt that it needed to protect kids from the violent material that could potentially turn them violent. The whole case was seen as a ‘big blow up’ (literally) and an argument of freedom of speech law and how far gaming companies could go with their material.
Personally, I think this issue like many cases today, will always be in limbo, because the pros and cons both construe very good points. To end this post, which happened to turn into a rant rather than a description of my trip (I tend to get off topic when I blog, no post is ever planned), I just wanted to post a link to a song that I really never thought was suggestive when I first heard it, but from listening carefully and reading the lyrics, got a whole new perspective. My point: its not only rap songs that have secretive meanings, bad language, and potential violent messages, like many parents argue today. There are other songs from other decades which prove as a counter argument to censoring songs. Music can have different meanings to different people, and after thinking about it, I don’t think music should be censored now a days because its freedom of speech, and also because suggestive material has been prevalent in music for a while now. Plus, I think it makes this world just a little bit more interesting. Don’t you think?