Welcome to the PMRC, Neil Young
Pushy Musicians Reviving Censorship
If you’re Generation X or older, you might be getting flashbacks over this whole “Neil Young vs. Joe Rogan & Spotify” contretemps. On one side, we’ve got a popular public figure who’s expressing his thoughts and opinions, just as America’s Founding Fathers told us we get to do. On the other side, we’ve got a bunch of miserable old fuddy-duddies who want to shut down free speech because they believe it hurts people.
In other words, Neil Young just revived the PMRC.
If you don’t know what the PMRC was and you’re too lazy to google it, here’s the short version:
Back in the ‘80s, a senator’s wife named Tipper Gore got sick of her kids listening to music she didn’t like, so she started an organization called the Parents Music Resource Center. The PMRC compiled a list of songs they found unacceptable, including “Darling Nikki” by Prince, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, and “She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper. Then Tipper used her political connections to convince the Senate to hold hearings about this supposedly dangerous music.
A lot of Americans decided they liked what popular entertainers were saying, and a handful of busybodies tried to put a stop to it. “If we don’t want to listen to it, nobody should get to listen to it. We need to protect the helpless unwashed masses from themselves!”
But then this happened:
If you’ve got a half-hour to spare, you can watch Dee Snider’s entire Senate testimony here. By the time he was done, the PMRC had been exposed for the meddling, hypocritical clowns they were. Their brief moment of relevance was over, at the hands of a guy who looked like Bette Midler transitioning into a Wookie.
The PMRC did get a consolation prize, though: the “PARENTAL ADVISORY” sticker you can find on a lot of cassettes and CDs from the era. Y’know, the sticker that made kids want to listen to what was inside because their parents wouldn’t like it.
Over the next couple of decades, the PMRC ended up helping a lot of artists sell a lot of records. Like this one:
I remember seeing that CD cover for the first time and thinking, “Damn… this must be awesome.” And it was! If not for Tipper Gore, NWA might not have become superstars and Dr. Dre probably wouldn’t be a near-billionaire now.
Decades later, a bunch of old hippies are doing the same thing to Joe Rogan. Maybe the dementia is setting in, and they don’t remember the PMRC anymore. Or maybe they do remember it but imagine they’re somehow different.
They’re not. It’s the same old crap. The erstwhile rebels have become the establishment, and now they’re making the same arguments they once scorned. Neil Young used to be the man, but now he’s The Man.
Now PMRC stands for Pushy Musicians Reviving Censorship.
And they’re getting the same self-negating result their predecessors got. Spotify just announced… parental advisory labels! Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1985.
Does anybody really believe a warning label is going to make a young person less likely to listen to something? Did the Wuhan virus give everybody amnesia?
There’s one big difference, though. Back when I was a kid, all the people telling me which records I should and shouldn’t listen to were older than me. But in 2021, a lot of the people pushing for censorship weren’t even born yet when Dee Snider faced down Tipper and her fellow hens. It feels like my generation is the only one alive that isn’t full of censorious scolds.
Oh well. Whatever. Never mind.
Whether it’s Twisted Sister or Joe Rogan, it’s all just free speech. We should let people listen to whatever they want and make up their own minds. That’s what America is all about. Or it’s supposed to be, anyway.
Hey hey, my my
Censorship will never die
Now Neil is the bully
Givin’ it a try
Hey hey, my my
Update: Joe Rogan responds on Instagram. He’s a lot more evenhanded and reasonable than his detractors. Here’s an excerpt:
By the way, Neil Young is still for sale. He’s just working for a different pimp:
This note’s for you!
A lot of the people who want to silence Joe Rogan are also freaking out because Art Spiegelman’s Maus was removed from the middle-school curriculum of a little town in Tennessee that you hadn’t heard of last week and won’t remember next week. Hey, these people gotta take their daily Two Minutes Hate wherever they can get it.
Remember: Censorship is bad unless self-described “progressives” are doing it.
Peppermint Psaki busts the myth that there’s such a thing as “crime”:
White House to Crime Victims: LOL
If you voted for Trump, I don’t hate you or think you’re a bad person. I just disagree with you, that’s all.1 Sometimes people ask me why I let the Trump Train pass me by, even though I’ve explained why, at great length, more than once.
Well, now I don’t have to explain. Now I can just link to this:
This is completely insane. And stupid. And I’m glad he said it, because it’s always nice to be reminded that I’m right about him.
If you’re making me choose, then I’m on Team Pence.
Now, I’m not the type to freak out over every little thing Trump says.2 But that statement he just put out is important, because it’s foundational. That’s his philosophy of life right there. He’s a giant baby who didn’t get the cookie he wanted, after a lifetime of all the cookies he could eat, and now he’ll do or say anything to get that cookie.3
The guy who replaced him is bad enough. Why would you want to go back to that?
If you want to pretend Trump’s insanity makes sense just to own the libs, I can’t stop you. And you can’t make me participate.
I don’t believe the man is another Hitler. 1/6 wasn’t another 9/11. This isn’t a #TrumpCoupAttempt. And, also, in addition to that: I’m not voting for him if he runs again, for most of the same reasons I never voted for Lyndon LaRouche or Bozo the Clown.
If that means you don’t want to be my friend anymore, then you never were.
You’re reading this newsletter courtesy of Substack, which has yet to censor me or warn me or interfere with me in any way. Every word in every newsletter I’ve published is mine and mine alone.
Now Jack Dorsey, ex-CEO of Twitter, is pushing a rival newsletter app called Ghost. And suddenly he wants to be my pal:
If he wants me to switch, first he needs to apologize for his previous app suspending me because I published a photo from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop a few weeks before the 2020 presidential election.
They’re calling it Ghost? Gimme a break. The only ghosts I like are Space Ghost, the Funky Phantom, Slimer, and this guy:
Have a Monday, bud!
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No, I didn’t vote for Biden either. I wrote in John McAfee, because if my only choices are elderly criminals with mental health issues, I get to pick my favorite.
It’s not as if I’m jumping to NBC after becoming a Fox News conscientious objector because Tucker Carlson is much more popular than I am. Libs don’t like me any more than MAGA-heads do. If I’d wanted to become a grifter, I wouldn’t have gone solo like this. “Conservative media” has cast me out for being too stubborn to kiss the ring, and everybody in “liberal media” hates me too, if they even know who I am. I am a pariah. It stinks, but it’s my lot in life and I’ve accepted it.
And you’re still reading this, which means you have too.
It’s a metaphor, sweetie. Try to keep up.