goal for next week –
no entries with the day of the week in the title!
(i can’t believe i did it on ALL of ’em this week!)
regardless, here’ a randomly picked bit from the archives that’s perfectly timed with today being the anniversary of the death of the purple one:
MCMLXXXIV – did orwell have a point?
by sean ~ January 23rd, 2004. Filed under: Uncategorized.
allow me to show my age…
i can remember not only before there was PG-13 movies, but what sparked them. as i recall, it was around 1983, summer time, when the two movies that came out to initiate the rating hit theaters. one was gremlins, and it was the scene where one of the green bastards blows up another one in a microwave. the other was indiana jones and the temple of doom, where they show the guy’s heart getting ripped out. two single scenes that the mpaa decided didn’t doom the movie (as it used to do, numbers-wise) to an ‘R’ rating, but those scenes made it a bit too bloody for the more tame ‘PG’ rating, so we got the now oh-so-common ‘PG-13′.
then came 9 1/2 weeks, which i believe spawned the ‘NC-17′ rating, just to avoid what had THEN been set as the bar for box office failure, the ‘X’ rating. but does a flick actually GET and ‘X’ rating anymore? and what qualifies for ‘XX’? is there such a thing? i know ‘XXX’ can mean anything from normal porn to a monkey blowing a donkey while he’s ass-raped by a midget transvestite…so where does the ‘XX’ rating that should naturally be between ‘X’ and ‘XXX’ fall in? does that just mean no facial money shots or something?
but i’m getting WAY off base here…this WAS supposed to be about music, actually…
the year was 1984. more than a book. more than a movie. more than a van halen album that marked the end (and downward spiral) of diamond david lee roth’s career. it was a year that would set in motion a wave that would effect all pop art entertainment forever.
i think orwell might have been right.
while a bit of it was over blown, an artist tends to express the way he feels the world at large will effect HIM (or HER), whether he wants to admit it or not. they may claim protest for the common good, but by and large most artistic expressions show how things effect the artist, and how it moves there little chunk of the world. in that respect, orwell was right…because 1984 was the beginning of the end for blanket artistic freedom in this country, to a degree.
see, in 1983, the number one album was thriller, by michael jackson. now, never mind what we now know about his personal life…
(quick joke…what’s the difference between john glenn and michael jackson? john glenn was the first man to WALK on the MOON, but michael jackson…likes to fuck little boys)
…but a year later, the gloved one would be replaced by the purple one. of course i speak of the artist THEN known as ‘prince’, later know as ‘the artist formerly known as prince’, then by as that gay-ass symbol, then just ‘the artist’, then ‘prince’ again, and now as ‘that short little fucker in the butt-less pants that USED to have a musical career’.
…but i digress.
the soundtrack to purple rain was all over the radio. we THOUGHT he was big when 1999 came out, but he raised the bar to a level not even HE could attain again with purple rain. there were more songs off it that became radio and club hits then those that DIDN’T become radio or club hits. but with mass popularity comes mass responsibilities. at least in SOME “god forbid i parent properly” eyes. see, when a black artist sells well to the black community, that’s okay. but when it starts to hit white ears, things change. particularly when those white ears wrapped in walkman headphones belong to a little girl who, like her father and mother, has the last name of GORE.
…and i don’t mean the principle song writer in depeche mode.
enter into evidence, exhibit ‘a’ – a vintage cassette copy of the purple rain soundtrack, released by warner brothers records in 1984. side a – last track. the first couplet of lyrics…
”i knew a girl named ‘nikki’, i guess you could say she was a sex fiend…
i met her in a hotel lobby masturbating in a magazine…”
“doing what, what, WHAT in a magazine?”
you can almost picture tipper gore sounding like kyle’s mom off of southpark, can’t you? but she was outraged. how can this SMUT be sold in a record store? how could it get into my little girls hands? how can we protect the minds of other little girls and boys from this pornography disguised as popular music?
i have an idea…encourage your kids to think for themselves. get them to not be afraid to talk to you. PARENT, for crying out fucking loud. then your kids won’t be as easily influenced by music – because they will have a family that loves and SUPPORTS them and encourages them to think for themselves and they won’t cling to the artists they listen to as remote role models…they’ll have one in their own home.
dopey me for being a revolutionary with this, huh?
but, no. in tipper’s vacant eyes it was time to stop all the madness where it REALLY started…not in the home, but in the recording studios. as a result, we got the pmrc…which all due to that line in a prince song decided that recordings needed to be labeled so that parents would know what they were getting for their kids. this begat both video game ratings and tv show ratings. it’s all rated and labeled so parents can know what’s up. in a way, this is a good thing…
…and where the fuck am i going with that???
see, if you watch over your kids, make sure they don’t play violent games, hear the “f word” in their music, and see no sex on tv, and still end up screwed up losers you have nobody to blame BUT the parents, right? sure, they’ll try to blame the schools, or other kids, or society as a whole…but the bottom line is, they CAN’T blame us creative folk. so at least WE’RE protected. again, never mind that they should have turned the finger on themselves long, long ago. and if they want a scapegoat they’ll find one SOMEWHERE. at least us struggling artist types can keep struggling blame-free.
so, where did this all come from? there’s a new song on the RADIO by the foo fighters (band of former nirvana drummer dave grohl). it was a b-side to one of their singles from what i’ve heard, and it’s a cover of the prince song, darling nikki. twenty years ago, prince’s song NEVER hit the air waves, and still started a wave of shit. the foo fighter’s version IS on the radio, with nary a word of the original version changed or altered…no ‘radio version’ required.
god bless progress.
side note: TEN FUCKING DAYS after this bit ran, on superbowl sunday, this happened to close the half-time show:
and miss jackson’s nipple caused a whole new wave of political correctness and censorship with the mass media, with shows like the jefferson’s and all in the family getting bleeped when reruns aired and, yes, my alma mater 101x started running an EDITED version of the foo fighter’s cover, causing me to distance myself yet further from my past profession…