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Old 02-24-2006, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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this is my 11th grade Research Paper. please review it. the DM history is a little off, but it serves my purpose.

Censorship Is A Dirty Word

Censorship is an oft-used word that’s meaning has seemingly been lost overtime. It comes in many forms, whether it is the change of lyrics for music groups, the cutting of scenes in music and television, the refusal to distribute or print books due to their content, or the limited selling of video games because of violence or other obscenity. The public most often see’s censorship in the form of music. And most prominent example of censorship is in the rap industry. But far more than rap is censored. Rock began its long battle against censorship and oppression from its birth. Starting in the 1950’s, rock music has weathered racism, censorship, and ridicule. Even so, it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Now the heavy hand of censorship is falling on Death Metal. Censorship of Death Metal should not happen.

In the mid 1980’s, ‘extreme’ metal had become almost common place among fans of heavy music the world over. The Thrash movement (pioneered by Metallica, Megadeth, and Overkill) had become a popular phenomenon and many metal fans were left feeling as if their idols had become too involved with the look of the scene. The time was ripe for a new sound, and in 1984, Californian band Possessed released Seven Churches (Mudrain 44). Their blistering take on Thrash Metal, with its lightening fast drumming caught the ear of many disillusion metal-heads (the name many metal fans use to describe themselves) as something new and exciting. Soon, bands such as Death, Mantas, Xecutioner, and Morbid Angel rose out of Florida, Suffocation and Immolation out of New York, and Genocide and Repulsion out of Boston started up, and the American Death Metal revolution had begun (Mudrain 47). Death Metal was able to survive due to the intense underground nature of the scene (Purcell 23). Very few people listened to the new, brutal style, and there were no labels to support its mass distribution. Bands traded tapes with each other in order to uncover new music. It was this do-it-yourself attitude that forged such a strong, cohesive, and supportive underground scene. Europe was slower to catch on to the Death Metal style (as grind bands such as Siege, Deep Wound, and Napalm Death, were the current favorites), but Sweden soon closed the gap putting forth four influential bands in the forms of Grave, Nihilist, Carcass, and Carnage (Mudrain 78). Death Metal continued to evolve and with the surprising commercial success of bands such as Morbid Angel, Carcass, and Cannibal Corpse. Many signed to corporate labels such as Columbia Records and Giant Records (a subsidiary of Sony Records) (Nuzum). This is where things started to go poorly for the Death Metal movement. Emphasis was put on image, and many albums had artwork and lyrics changed in order to fit in with the image the labels were creating for them. The censorship of Death Metal had begun.

Musicians have often been targets of censorship. When Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1957, cameramen were instructed to only film from the waist up, due to the ‘lewd’ movements of the artist’s hips (Nuzum). The Sex Pistols were initially denied the visa’s necessary to enter the United States for their 1978 Tour. Heavy Metal acts such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Mercyful Fate are targeted by the newly formed Parents Music Resource Center, for their lyrical content and “subliminal messages” (Nuzum). Music censorship in America dates back to early Jazz. Politicians believed that the loud, raucous, disorderly music would cause normal white people to act in an “unbecoming and lewd manner” (Purcell 129).

Cannibal Corpse is the most noted Death Metal band to be selected for censorship. With the release of 1991’s Butchered at Birth, Cannibal Corpse drew waves of negative press for the openly gory and misogynistic lyrics. No retailer would stock the album with the original cover art, so it was changed (Woods). Senator Joseph Liebermann went so far as to say, “these songs…are helping to create a culture of violence that is increasingly enveloping our children, desensitizing them to consequences and ultimately cheapening the value of human life(Purcell 75).” 1996 presidential candidate Bob Dole cited Cannibal Corpse and bands of their nature as one of the “…catalyst for the decay in society’s morals (Purcell 75)”. The Swedish death band Carcass came under fire from both their native country and America politicians for their overtly graphic album art (depicting limbs and other anatomically correct body parts in one big collage) (Mudrain 102).

In 2001, three Californian teens murdered and then raped, a 15 year old girl. Their actions were supposedly influence by the Thrash/Death metal band Slayer. The girl’s parents took the band to court, citing the song Kill Again’s lyrics, “Trapped in mortal solitude/ Lift the gleaming blade/ Slice her flesh to shreds/ Watch the blood flow free.” The presiding judge however ruled that “the freedom of speech covers all forms of speech. Such lyrics do not advocate the actual fulfillment of the idea, but rather the expressing of this idea” (Guardian Unlimited). This is an underlying principle of free speech. The expressing of an action and the fulfillment of an action are two different things. The charges against Slayer were dismissed.

The First Amendment guarantees American’s many things. The freedom of press, petition, assembly, and religion are all very important and affect Americans every day. But not everyone reads the newspaper, or writes letters to their congressmen, or gathers together to protest. And certainly not everyone prays, or advocates prayer. But everyone has an opinion on something and the right to speech protects this right. What constitutes free speech is a subject of great debate among historical and contemporary scholars. Free speech can be defined as; “the right to express any opinion in public without censorship or restraint by the government, and the corresponding right to experience anybody's expressions in public without censorship or restraint by government.”(Purcell 78) Still, protection under the first amendment hasn’t stopped several ‘pro-active’ senators and congressmen, such as Joseph Liebermann of Connecticut and then Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, from attempting to disallow the more violent and aggressive forms of music (Purcell 56).

Within other extreme metal scenes there are examples of real violence and murder. In the Norwegian Black Metal scene, murder or church burning is as likely an occurrence as a concert. Burzum’s Varg Vikernes, murdered fellow musician ‘Euronymous’ (of Mayhem infamy) because he “was a filthy ***got” (Moynihan and Søderlind 123). The murder of another *** man by Dissection singer Jon Nödtveidt rocked the underground metal scene. Church burnings were also a big problem during this time, as anti-Christian Black Metal artist and fans, sought to rid their world of all non-pagan influence (Moynihan and Søderlind 201). The anti-Christian atmosphere, overtly violent nature, and higher concentration of Satanism of Black Metal brought them infinitely more controversy and infamy than Death Metal. But Death Metal has more relevance to American culture, to American youth with its aggressive tendencies and technical prowess (Moynihan and Søderlind 256)

Death Metal is a very abrasive style of music. Much like bats or the dark, people fear and malign Death Metal because they do not understand it. Death Metal does not preach a life of violence and hate; rather it supports unity between people and independent thinking. No one in the Death Metal scene ever murdered someone else because of a reputation, or because their beliefs differed, but even if this had happened, the First Amendment, protects the right to free speech. You are allowed to express your opinion no matter how violent or misogynistic it may be. Death Metal is about expressing your own views and not following set standards. But Death Metal musicians and the people who listen to the music are not able to fully enjoy the benefits of such a diverse kind of music with the constant attempts by misguided parents and politicians at censorship. Death Metal music should not under any circumstances be censored.




















Works Cited


Purcell, Natalie J. Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture. London:
McFarland, 2003

Mudrain, Albert. Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and
Grindcore. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2004

Moynihan, Michael and Søderlind, Didrik. Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the
Satanic Metal Underground. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2003

Nuzum, Eric. “Censorship Incidents Through the Decades.” Music Censorship in
America. 30 Aug. 1999. 12 Dec. 2005. http://ericnuzum.com/banned/incidents/

Purcell, Natalie J. Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture. London:
McFarland, 2003

Woods, John. “Talking With Chris Barnes.” The Roc. 23 June 1998. 13 Dec. 2005
http://www.theroc.org/roc-mag/textar...8/roc08-12.htm

“Slayer Named in Lawsuit.” Guardian Unlimited. 29 June 2001. 3 Feb 2006.
http://www.fradical.com/slayer_named_in_lawsuit_2.htm
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That was very nicely done and such and an awesome read mr ian.
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Ive seen you on muiltipul forums saying Metallica and slayer are the worst **** you kid go suck your **** while you listen to your ****ing emo **** I bet you do listen to emo music
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well on just skipping through it you need to alphabetize (sp?) your works cited.
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Second thing I noticed...make sure all your quotes go like this

"blah blah blah blah blah" (Source and page number if it's a book).

Period goes after the source, and quotations are closed around the actual quote, before the source. You did it right on some, but others were wrong.



And one last thing, personally I've been taught not to use first or second person in research papers, so on this

Quote:
No one in the Death Metal scene ever murdered someone else because of a reputation, or because their beliefs differed, but even if this had happened, the First Amendment, protects the right to free speech. You are allowed to express your opinion no matter how violent or misogynistic it may be.
I'd change the last sentence to "Musicians are allowed to express their opinion no matter how violent or misogynistic it may be."
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also if you don't cite them in the paper, don't include them in your works cited.

I looked for the Slayer article to be cited and didn't see it, but could have missed it.


EDIT: Nevermind, saw where you edited it, but if you are citing something and don't have the actual author, then you cite it with the first major word in the title. Therefore the cite should be ("Slayer").
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It was extrememly well written and interesting....

The only thing I have to criticize is your opening paragraph...it goes a little astray in the fourth sentence....Whilst the opening paragraph is supposed to outline the entire essay [which it does], it's still not supposed to give so much detail.

Eg...

Quote:
Starting in the 1950’s, rock music has weathered racism, censorship, and ridicule. Even so, it continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Though I'm sure you wouldn't get points off for something like that little sentence...but just as well, the essay is about censorship in death metal, not rock...though to two are closely related, it's not the same and in my opinion doesn't belong in the opening paragraph.

EXTREMEMLY WELL DONE, non the less
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"Kick out the jams motherfucker."
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Old 02-24-2006, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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em alejo, triple post? SPAM!! I HOPE YOU WERE GIVEN WARNING FOR THAT!!
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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thanks for the criticisms Alejo. I'll be sure to change that stuff.
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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em alejo, triple post? SPAM!! I HOPE YOU WERE GIVEN WARNING FOR THAT!!
I gave myself a 30%.
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