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By: K. Smith, Crescent Collegiate, Blaketown, NF

Who decides what is offensive to the public? What may be offensive to some may not be offensive to others. So who decides what is to be censored and what is allowed to be heard?

Why is it that the Dixie Chicks can sing a song called Good-bye Earl freely on the radio and television with out any censorship whatsoever? This song describes the killing of a man by poison, how the murderer wrapped him in a tarp, put him in the trunk of her car and then threw him in the river with no obvious signs of remorse. In fact, the song is a joyful celebration of a mans murder. This song is played on the radio, and the music video shows the entire process of the murder from start to finish. Is this not violence at its finest? Were the Dixie Chicks censored?

However, when Marilyn Manson sings about murder, he is looked down upon as a bad influence. When high school kids open fire on their classmates, who gets blamed? Certainly not the Dixie Chicks. It is more likely to be artists like Manson. Censorship seems to apply only to those artists whose music is not country or pop. This is unfair.

Censorship hinders an artist's right to express themselves. In the same way that country singers sing about love they have never really lost or places they have never really been, other artists may sing about people they may not really hate or want to harm.

When did a song become more than a piece of music. How can it be taken seriously when it is not even serious half of the time? Censorship also causes songs not to make sense or run smoothly. When certain words or sentences are removed from a song, the song really becomes pointless. Who decides what should be omitted? In the song "The Real Slim Shady" the word valium is removed but the word viagra is not.

Who decides which is worse? In the popular song "Last Resort" by Papa Roach, the word "Resort" is removed because of its reference to suicide and yet the sentence "would it be wrong would it be right, if I took my life tonight" still remains untouched. Sometimes censorship is almost laughable.

I think that the grounds for censorship should be put under the microscope. I see no problem with playing a certain show or song after a certain time to avoid an unintended audience. Also, I think it is wise to administer warnings or labels to show when something is coarse or obscene so that whoever is watching or listening can choose whether or not to do so. I think that the promiscuous life style promoted freely and openly by Christina Aguileria's far more offensive then the word "resort" in a song which happens to rely heavily on that word to get its point across.

It is difficult to find the words to describe my disgust on this topic. If I could find the words, I probably wouldn't be allowed to say them.

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