I was able to see Frank Zappa at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta back in the early 80's. He performed his albums, "Joe's Garage, Parts 1, 2, & 3" on two nights. I was there those music filled nights. Young, idealic, and just listening to this fantastic band, with Zappa playing, cigarette smoking in the crook of his mouth. Occasionally placing the lit ciggie in the top strings of his guitar during solos, with the smoke curling up to the heavens. Playing songs like "Catholic Girls," and "Why Does it Hurt When I Pee"? (that one's hilarious!). It was an incredible time and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be there.
This video of Frank Zappa on Crossfire from 1986 hits the mark on censorship. As much as we've gained in the last thirty years, we need to remain vigilant with people like Palin, and the voices of the right. Frank Zappa takes on the government in this CNN Crossfire episode when music was on public trial for a time. The Right (or The Wrong as I like to call them from time to time) was trying to blame the ills of the youth on music and art. I would agree that we need to shelter the little ones from adult themes, but otherwise as long as it isn't hurting people who are old enough to understand, then let this country remain free with it's speech and creativity. You don't have to agree with it, you don't have to listen to it or even watch it. But to force your sense of morality or ideals into other lives, when they don't ask for it, is just plain wrong.
You hear me.. "Right."?
When Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said her peace to a UK audience apologizing for Bush being from Texas, and taking us into war, she caught hell for it from many here in the US. Is there something wrong with "not" wanting to be at war people? Being in a free country, she is allowed to have her opinion. But if you let folks like country artist Toby Keith, who criticized them heavily and saying "We support our troops" then turned around and at his shows featured a backdrop depicting Maines and Saddam Hussein as lovers. What?? Her statement was obviously against the war (not the troops), and this outlandish singer puts her in bed with the enemy? It's unfortunate that Mr. Keith was so misguided (but he certainly used it to promote himself at the same time), and he led a lot of other people (lemmings, these are lemmings I tell ya) into this (CD burnings? - c'mon people). But 'cha know what? It's a free country, and he's allowed to voice his opinion in WORDS and ART. And I say Hallelujah!
Isn't that what makes this country great?
This Crossfire clip really brought it back for me. Images of the band Wasp, with their "saw-blade-crotch" album cover, Tipper Gore, and Dee Snider all comes to mind from these times in the mid 80's.
So here we are back at the video clip I offer up for you to view. John Lofton of the Washington Times is one of the guests on this program. He repeatedly tries to work over Frank Zappa on what words are acceptable in public, and which are not. As a writer for the Washington Times, you would think that John Lofton would fight for everyone's rights to freedom of speech. Watch how he really lashes out at Frank, and tries to rile him up.
As of this posting this video had been viewed over 1.5 million times. I'm here to try and help raise that number. Everyone should see this.
As soon as anyone begins to silence you, me, us, this country is in trouble. Stand up and keep your rights.... and remember.. if you don't like it, turn the channel, don't buy the book, but let others have the right to do so.
Thanks for the WORDS Frank. We miss ya, but your WORDS are still heard.