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Primary Sources

Title Page
Thesis
Parents' Music Resource Center (PMRC)
Impact on the World Today
Process Paper
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
Timeline
Contact Us

     "Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are in my opinion more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality. Freedom of speech, freedom of religious thought, and the right to due process for composers, performers and retailers are imperiled if the PMRC and the major labels consummate this nasty bargain." --Frank Zappa At the PMRC Hearings, 1985.

          In this quote, Frank states that he believes that people who make laws tampering with our freedoms are more dangerous than musicians who write about sexuality.  He is also saying that the PMRC’s ideas will destroy musicians’ freedoms.  This quote supports our thesis because it supports the fact that censorship limits communication, therefore limiting our rights.

     “Books won't stay banned.  They won't burn.  Ideas won't go to jail.  In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.  The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”  ~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959.

     This quote says that people who censor ideas can never win because ideas can’t be destroyed through book burning, editing, etc.  This quote supports our thesis because it says that people who try to limit or destroy our freedom of speech and expression can never win.

     “Dee Snider’s statement to the senate September 19, 1985”

[http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a376806d70cec.htm]

     In this congressional hearing, Dee Snider from the band “Twisted Sister” was asked to state his view on the PMRC’s objective to put warning labels on CDs that contain explicit material.  He also informed Tipper Gore and the rest of the congress that Gore’s accusations of Twisted Sister’s music being sexually explicit were, in fact, false.  Dee Snider was one of the lead speakers against the PMRC.  He tried to get the point that censorship limits and corrupts communication across to the public.

    I don't think there's a problem. First of all, I don't think music turns people into social liabilities. Because you hear a lyric -- there's no medical proof that a person hearing a lyric is going to act out the lyric. There's also no medical proof that if you hear any collection of vowels and consonants, that the hearing of that collection is going to send you to Hell.
-- Frank Zappa, interview, WRIF, 1985

     This quote says that music doesn’t necessarily influence people to do the things it talks about.  This quote ties in with our topic because it says that what the PMRC thinks is wrong.  The PMRC said that rock influences kids to kill themselves and get pregnant.

     “I wrote a song about dental floss but did anyone's teeth get cleaner?”

-- Frank Zappa, Senate Hearing on "Porn Rock", 1985, in response to Tipper Gore's allegations that music incites people towards deviant behavior, or influences their behavior in general.

     This quote implies that people don’t take actions according to music as the PMRC said.  This quote ties in with our thesis because Frank Zappa is stating that censorship is extremely wrong and should be abolished.

“Frank Zappa’s testimony against the PMRC”

[http://members.aol.com/markjx/pmrcfull.htm]

     This is the full testimony Frank Zappa made against the PMRC.  He states his views on the PMRC’s ideas and tells them what they’re doing is “an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children,” infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design.”  He also calls the members of PMRC ‘Wives of Big Brother’ (referencing to the book 1984 by George Orwell).  This testimony is perfect for our topic because Frank Zappa is trying to defend musicians’ First Amendment rights to free speech.

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."  -- Benjamin Franklin, 1730           

     In this quote, Ben Franklin is saying that everyone has different ideas and different views, so if a printer were to only print ideas that everyone agreed with, there would barely be anything printed.  This ties in with our thesis because censors limit peoples’ ideas thinking that what they think is what the people think.  So if one censor doesn’t like a book, it doesn’t mean that no one else does.

“John Denver’s Testimony against the PMRC” [http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a376806d70cec.htm]  

     This is John Denver’s testimony against what the PMRC was trying to accomplish.  This relates to our project because they talk about different acts of censorship.  Denver supports our thesis by saying children shouldn’t be restricted to information that could harm them.

“There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.”-- Frank Zappa           

     This quote quite obviously states that no word is bad and you won’t be sent to “the lake of fire” because you listened to music with “dirty” words.  Our thesis is supported by this quote because Zappa is saying that there aren’t bad words and that they shouldn’t be censored.

“Porn wars” by Frank Zappa [http://www.lyricsondemand.com/f/frankzappalyrics/pornwarslyrics.html]

This song is about the PMRC hearings by Frank Zappa and other artists.  The song was made to make fun of the PMRC and the senators who spoke in favor of them.  This song is saying that people who practice censorship are idiots who don’t know the danger of censorship.

"Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful... Better a thousand fold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race." -Charles Bradlaugh.

     In this quote, Charles states that extreme abuse of free speech would be better than denying someone of their free speech.  He also says that the abuse will eventually die while the denial destroys people.  This quote ties in with our project because it supports free speech.  Charles would rather have free speech be abused rather than communication limited.