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Forum Full Member

Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1895
Location: N/A
Re:Protest Songs
Friday, March 17 2017 @ 02:59 PM CDT

Quote by: Daugrin
My friend why do you insist on frequenting MJs to spout the party line? The only activity you have here is to post inane comments. There is no need. I don't address yer comments because they have so little to do with anything real. Yet, I will try to help you Sir.

Sure. I'm content to allow others to determine whether that statement is more applicable to you or I.

Quote by: Daugrin
There is no thesis, no synthesis, only perspective. There is no duality, only misunderstanding of what reality may or may not be. There is what IS. So, sadly for most people, no right or left exists in social terms. There is above and below. Test this for yourself.

Then you do not understand what a thesis is, because you continue here to present one.

Quote by: Daugrin
If yer having problems understanding the reality that only approved dissent is permitted in the MSM I am sorry I failed to school you sufficiently and humbly suggest it is because the world view you hold does not permit an understanding of reality.


Quote by: Daugrin
The notions I am suggesting are in contemporary lit. Let me name drop Chomsky. He is a marvelous leftist alined thinker and an easy read, and you will find the notion of approved dissent throughout in his writings. The idea is present everywhere, and not original to yer humble Daug... but I can read and reason. You can to, if you try.

Here is an excerpt from Chomski's Manufacturing Consent (from the chapter, A Propoganda Model).

In countries where the levers of power are in the hands of a state bureaucracy, the monopolistic control over the media, often supplemented by official censorship, makes it clear that the media serve the ends of a dominant elite. It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent. This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and governmental malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest. What is not evident (and remains undiscussed in the media) is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality in command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.

Chompski's thesis here is that non-state mass media is controlled by a series of filters, of which he names five:

(1) the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms; (2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media; (3) the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and "experts" funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power; (4) "flak" as a means of disciplining the media; and (5) "anticommunism" as a national religion and control mechanism.

Now we are in a position to evaluate your thesis.

Quote by: Daugrin
The Jesse James and fruit loops memes in the Snoop Lavender video are not approved dissent. They appear as confusion. Look there. Find other art forms which are labeled as confusion by critics inside the MSM. There you will find real dissent. It has to be snuck in.

BTW, yer comments on Ice-T as art are hilarious. Think about what he does as pure exploitation. Ice-T gets paid my friend. Getting paid to dispense approved dissent is keeping it real? Is gangster rap real dissent? What is authentic dissent in American culture my friend?

I will supply an answer for you. Real dissent is being made in small studios throughout America. Groups of black, white, and latino musicians are laying it out daily. It is circulated locally and regionally. It has been this way since the 1950s. The culture you live in does not allow authentic dissent, hence, you will never see it, you won't look for it, and if it finds you it will appear as confusion. Don't take my word. Look for dissent that appeared in the MSM first as confusion and became later became operative... best of luck to you Sir.

So, at question is whether or not any song distributed by the mass media is a "legitimate" protest song. For our purposes, I take this to mean expressing a truly-held point of view or advocating action that is disruptive to the existing economic and political power structure.

My first observation is to dispense with the post hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy inherent in your thesis.

If a musician records a song in a small studio for "local and regional distribution" and that song is a legitimate expression of grievance against the dominant powers, then the authenticity of that dissent is not subsequently mitigated if the song is a) published in a broader context or b) the musician makes money from selling it. The merit of authenticity is therefore inherent wholly in the intent and content.

Now to the question of Chomski's mass media and of what you call "approved dissent." Is a song like "Cop Killer" selected to reinforce the status quo as an example of approved dissent? We can test this premise against Chomski's five filters.

1) Size, wealth, profit-motive Warner Bros. is certainly motivated by profit and believed the album would sell. As observed above, the mere fact that an album or song can be commercially successful does not invalidate the authenticity of dissent. After the release and ensuing controversy Warner Bros. executives received death threats, major shareholders threatened to pull-out, and political figures intoned against them. You can argue that Warner Bros. miscalculated, but they did publish the song in the first place and then re-published it after it had been removed from the album (and assumedly their miscalculation was evident).

2) Advertising Did "Cop Killer" strengthen Warner Bros. position as an advertiser? They suffered boycotts until the the song was pulled. One might argue that they gained credibility in a niche market, but those gains were likely overshadowed by damage to their reputation among mainstream consumers.

3) Sourcing Not really applicable here. The song was written by Ice-T, inspired in part by Talking Head's Psycho Killer. You could argue that his motivations were cynical or disingenuous, but there is no basis for that charge. He was raised in Crenshaw since the 8th grade and attended Crenshaw High School, so his perspective is certainly genuine.

4) Flak This is the most obvious refutation of your thesis, according to Chomski. Warner Bros. received an inordinate amount of flak from status powers for publishing the song. Economically they received flak from shareholders, distributors, and popular boycotts. Politically they received flak from law enforcement, media pundits, Tipper Gore, and the President of the United States. These are the repercussions that Chompski cites as punitive for the distribution of "real dissent."

5) Anticommunism Not really applicable here. One could make a tenuous association between the fascist state using communism as a boogey-man and a call for rights-infringing law and order as a prophylactic against images of armed black youth conjured by the lyrics of a song, but it would be a stretch.

Now, your thesis is that any song published for profit by mass media is de facto propaganda. My first objection is that commercial viability alone is not an indicator of authenticity (post hoc ergo proctor hoc). My second objection is that as in the "Cop Killer" example above, we see the status powers arrayed against mass media to decry the content they publish.

Is there a Chomski-esque filter? Yes, I think there is. But it is far from absolute. The authenticity of dissent is inherent in the intent and content of the message and each work must be assessed independently and on its own merit, not merely disdained because it is simultaneously a commercial product. It is a disservice to thoughtlessly delegitimize an artist who voices dissent simply because their work is also profitable or distributed by "mass media."

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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Ed Hannifin
Forum Full Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 3404
Location: , MA USA
Re:Protest Songs
Friday, March 17 2017 @ 05:28 PM CDT

Chikoppi, I appreciate your clarity of thinking and your attention to detail.

I also appreciate your devotion to logic and reason.

And I'm absolutely in awe of your patience...

"We have to remember...when it's surrender that's called for, it's not surrender of your brains. It's surrender of your ego. It's a different thing." --Bruce Cockburn
Forum Full Member

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 4348
Location: N/A
Re:Protest Songs
Friday, March 17 2017 @ 08:00 PM CDT

Quote by: Ed Hannifin
Chikoppi, I appreciate your clarity of thinking and your attention to detail.

I also appreciate your devotion to logic and reason.

And I'm absolutely in awe of your patience...

no shit!

my most recent song: "First Light (solo piano)"
Forum Full Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 3802
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Re:Protest Songs
Friday, March 17 2017 @ 08:05 PM CDT


It's better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done.
Forum Full Member

Registered: 11/13/04
Posts: 4530
Location: Somewhere In Time, USA
Re:Protest Songs
Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 01:35 PM CDT

Chikoppi, I'm guessing this dialog you're having will prepare you well for your first contact with extraterrestrial beings. Hopefully, that experience will prove more fruitful. Wink

MY LATEST: A demo version of my Work-In-Progress DAILY GRIND