Monday, April 5, 2010

Generally Speaking #3 "Do We Go Too Far?"

Date: 3-31-10
Time: 2:00 am
Mood: refreshed


DO WE GO TOO FAR?


“When (or can) Freedom of expression goes too far"
OR "when keeping it real goes wrong"


Do we take freedom of expression too far?
I mean can we take our freedom to express too far?
 Does that sound like a crazy question to ask?

I know when speaking of freedom it's kind of odd to suggest that we may take it too far.
That’s almost like asking "are we too free?"
I mean are we?
Do you ever feel like some people take FREEDOM for granted?

Do we sometimes take our freedom to express ourselves for granted? Or do we take others freedoms for granted?

Myself as an artist has a high respect for creative freedom which is one of the reasons I am an independent artist.

But do we as artist take our right to express ourselves freely too far?
I guess we would have to ask how far is too far?

First let’s look at this quote from the Bill of Right:
"First Amendment: addresses the rights of freedom of religion (prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion and protecting the right to free exercise of religion), freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition."

I know there are artist as well as many people who are not artists who express their dissatisfaction with a boss, their record label, a law or regulation and even the government and the people in power.

There have been many songs by hip hop artists and other various song writers expressing a bevy of controversial topics.

P.E. said Fight The Power, NWA said F*** The Police, Ice T had a song called Cop Killer which he performed with a rock group. I released an album titled Amerikkkas Nightmare 2/Children Of War where I gave my opinion on many controversial issues. Luke and The 2 Live Crew were also very controversial artist.

Some of these artists spawned a small crusade of neighborhood politicians, clergyman, religious figures and others in attempt to censor and or even ban these hip hop artist.

This sparked a huge first amendment battle in court one of the first of its kind. This may have been one of the incidents that catapulted these artists into stardom as the plan to censor them only exposed them to the public even more making them even more famous or more infamous.
 
There have been many ways artist have expressed themselves. Some have always been odd to many of us maybe increasing the allure. I guess that’s what a Lady Gaga has in mind with her bizarre outfits or perhaps what some these rappers are thinking as they get more and more extreme tattoos.


You've had people in protest who burn the American flag.  

We've even seen Erykah Badu strip bucket naked in her video Window Seat of her album titled "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) ".

She actually may face charges of indecent exposure. I for one hope not.

But if it was on the flip side and some crazy guy stripped bucket naked in the street, he would surely go to jail. Ha-ha

But it’s been done before in rock n roll music. Some crazy rocker wilding out on stage or a fan for that matter. Like Ozzie biting the head off a dove or the fan of say a Rage against the Machine.

There have been controversial paintings and photographs as well.
But can we go too far? Do we sometimes go too far?
Some say yes
But how far is too far? Who is to say? How do we rate that?

Well in my opinion that’s one hell of an argument that may be debated for decades. But with all the creative ways people choose to express themselves on all levels better believe the powers that be are constructing new ways to restrict those expressions.

No matter how vulgar or how "different" someone's style is should that give us a right to revoke their first amendment? Maybe I'm going too far or maybe we do go too far...sometimes.

Like the 22 year old rapper who shot a guy then made a song about shooting the guy. Obviously his words were used against him in a court of law and he went to jail for the crime.

They say art imitates life.

That art is just an expressive extension or distortion of life.
How it is or how one would like to see it.

Our likes and dislikes
Our cries and our desires
Our fears and our fury.

We express what we believe or what we feel or what we know....if we find the courage to do so.
I don't know if we go too far
Who am I to judge?

GENERAL STEELE 


1 comment:

  1. This blog gives you a lot to think about. When I think of people who take freedom of speech for granted, I think about people who speak about hate, violence, crimes against children, things like that. I think the good thing about America is that we can say what we want without worrying about persecution. Sometimes you do have to say "Fuck the police" to get anyone's attention.

    I copped the album too...good shit. I hope you go on tour with it.

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