Censorship has long been debated among many as a detriment, or argued by others to be a helping hand to society. I particularly believe that today art as a whole is very desensitized. I do now accredit this to the Beat Generation and believe their writing embodied a deep sense of relatability to many people in one theme or another. But this does not go without saying that a large amount if not all mainstream media outlets are still extremely censored for many reasons, many censored differently in different parts of the world.
The feeling of relation, of similarity to someone who is generations older then you, and lived in a different time is powerful and shows that maybe, circumstances have progressed but has our society structure really been tampered with? Some may see this structure that’s been created as a formula for a successful society. This is part of what Plato believes as he wrote of Socrates and his beliefs in The Republic.
A direct quote that stood out from class, ‘Who will watch the watchman’ echoes through my head when trying to understand Socrates ideal society, where philosophers are the guardians of society. From my understanding, Socrates’ ideology of censorship is that anything negative or unproductive should be left out of society or edited to only include helpful, productive information. Oh how terrible this would be if it were the case about our founding fathers, and our beloved politicians. As they are sometimes already hard to see through with their wits.
What if [Last Name] 2 president Trump was the only person in the United States to censor content during the term of his presidency? Yikes, imagine we didn’t have access to information about any scandalous politician before, during or after their terms have been served as a term of good faith by elected government officials? We are lucky enough to be able to obtain information available present day.
We understand the lobbyist objective in politics, all bribery welcomed. Sounds vaguely similar to the regards and context Socrates holds the Gods to. Comparability I understand this could be seen as a joke presenting our laughable government as anything similar to the Gods of Greece, though it’s shown with our government and in myth from Greece that they both as organizations indulge in pleasure, and may have been guilty of a few things. It serves an analogy, that if we try to put the rug over some dog feces at some point someone will smell, or be aware of the bs. I feel that this is insensitive and prejudice of Socrates to assume what is seemingly positive content, does everyone see an unhappy story as an unhappy story? Or do others find joy or productive self-reflecting information in odd and peculiar things, and is that not okay that they find pleasure in content that may not seem pleasure able?
Why are certain people or Gods (if they aren’t people) above censorship but people that aren’t apart of these elite groups must abide by a different set of rules in regards to censorship, seems unjust Mr. Socrates. I see some troubling but interesting arguments from Plato’s writing and also a part of The Republic, ‘The Allegory Of The Cave.’ It is written that these physical prisoners are chained inside a cave and have no real experience in life outside the cave. Shadows of objects such as tress, are casted on a stone wall they are to face due to a fire behind them. When conversation [Last Name] 3 buzzes about the curiosity these prisoners may have, it is said that, ‘… In every way such prisoners would deem reality to be nothing else then the shadows of artificial objects.’ I believe we’d all be living in an even falser reality if we only saw shadows. Symbolicly I see reality being the shadow of truth.
The one prison escapee of the cave is hit with an intense sense of reality once he sees the outside world that he of course believes to be the most real reality, since he’s been seeing shadowing from a cave his whole life. But once your exposed to the truth, you cannot be lied to. The escapee who tries to explain the uncensored or un shadowed world is turned away from his former peers being the two other prisoners because, Socrates sees them as being ignorant, and comfortable with their ignorance. I see it that a man (or women) who can see past censorship or past the shadows, is freed mentally from the idea of censorship. His mind is released from the physical and maybe equally terrible mental prison of the cave. Most of us thankfully aren’t born under these conditions and this reality is the just the shadows of the truths of our society that sometimes we are forbidden to explore legally, religiously or spiritually but should always have the right to display artistically. Perception of pleasure, or what we deem to be ‘good’ or useful content, whatever that means is extremely subjective.
I for instance manage artists so as a part of my job I understand that all content is not for me to have a full understanding of. What I do use is my knowledge of voice frequency, value of their choices of instrumentation and marketability, but obviously developing a positive work environment is the most important factor for me. A positive relationship brings a certain energy that I enjoy being around, even if I don’t completely understand [Last Name] 4 the artist or the music, relativity is something that can be learned the more time you spend with artists in a venture like this. Now of course these are simplified examples for an early stage of experimentation of a possible career path for me, but I do see the value of uncensored content first hand and strongly encourage it. I can imagine Socrates listening to an ipod set in modern day Shuffling through The Beetles, The Hendrix, The Who, progressing to the Alice In Chains, Metallica, Nirvana and beyond. Switching playlist to the birth of hip hop and DJ’s importance in the mid 1970’s, scrolling past the likes of Run DMC, Slick Rick, Nas, Jay-Z, Kanye West and even Drake.
What would he think of this obvious artistic progression? How would Socrates edit this kind of music? Although the content of music can be a topic to be debated, (If it is good or bad) I believe there is way more than enough good content out there, you just need to find it. And although our mainstream music media outlets may flood certain trends or fads within their artist’s lyrics, now it would be primarily recreational drug culture, brag culture and violent culture in today’s most popular genre being hip hop / rap. What if musical pioneers never left the cave, what if they were antagonized as Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg were? I have the utmost respect for these 3 for the amount of confidence it takes to stand against the norm of literature and making it easier for artists down the line to have organic expression of thought.
I always tend to have a song for a certain period of time stuck in my head that kind is the monologue of my current state of mind whether it is for a morning, day, week or month it’ll stay close to playing in my catalogue if it isn’t already on. “Faucet” A song By Earl Sweatshirt’s “I Don’t [Last Name] 5 Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside.” Was a mood I was brought back to deeper into this semester with existential thoughts and even more so with the Reading of Kerouac. The Line in this tune by Earl Sweatshirt that refers to the title of the song, which I later would find to be the most relatable line to Kerouac’s writing in “On The Road” is, ‘Chasing These Rabbits, Whole Face In A Faucet.” The artist speaks in reference to the time in which he was outgrowing his home at a young age due to being at odd ends with his mother in a fatherless home. And although certainly he is doing well by the means of his musical career he can’t seem to focus because of these distractions in his life.
This is what represents the rabbits in this text. At the same time though, he is trying to keep his head space in a Faucet so he can ignore the outside distractions to focus on his art by being in a really tight mind. It is discussed throughout Earl’s ‘I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside’ project of some if not all of these distractions being his toxic relationship with his girlfriend, drugs, the passing of his grandmother and his estranged relationship with his mother that he cannot seem to be at peace with. He refers to this understanding that he can’t ‘Put a smile on your face through your purse of your pocket.” A trouble between his moral code that his mother can’t see past, and the author who is tackling his problems in the wrong way by thinking providing for her is the means of their reconciliation. I find this critically important when speaking of ‘On The Road.’
Though from different times, Jack Kerouac and Earl Sweatshirt embody a dark writing style with a classic amount of wit. And although at the time of both of these writings, the two authors are in drastically different situations they both seem to be dealing with the same internal problems. Trying to block out these [Last Name] 6 distractions in our life that we may be addicted to, to also fix relations with loved ones and or yourself. From Sal’s toxic relationship to Dean, Earls to his lover, a plethora of drugs, they seem both unsure and apathetic to the results of their immediate desires and how and why they arise. I see them both as old soles trying to live by a newer script, in terms of their lifestyles. Two separate authors facing a similar journey expressing their thoughts artistically that can be used for good by many. The relation of these two to me is Censorship of pure thoughts from any author is thievery. Had censorship not allowed Jack Kerouac to publish his writing, or Earl Sweatshirt to release his music this relate ability I feel when going through both texts simply wouldn’t be there.
I see both as meaningful coping mechanisms that detail life’s hardships and is educational for anyone experiencing similar feelings. This type of unfiltered thought is captured best by Kerouac. “… the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” To me, this details all the genuine people he’s surrounded himself with. Carlo and Dean stick out to me specifically how they fearlessly express themselves. Their feelings are intricately involved in their works and as they should be, being that they are largely personal experience.
What better way is there to capture a piece of an author’s raw thoughts then to have them accurately describe their state of mind, their thought process and their actions and how they relate to each other? If we filter any of the three, we are doing a large dis service to artists with [Last Name] 7 real messages. Ironically, in reference to Kerouac since the text we read today of “On The Road” is very different from the original scroll that Kerouac himself typed. Had the novel been written closer to modern day I’d like to think he would’ve had an easier time with press and peer review. Art modern day in terms of writing is a free for all and you see it all the time in music. Headlines are always in reference to controversial lyrics in which artist come out on video apologizing in the name of the almighty dollar. I believe this is how major labels create a win, win situation for their artist where they already have this music and it says whatever it says (more times than not, offensive language) and the label or organization putting money behind this artists career runs with it.
Once they receive backlash from the media and public, the artist apologizes to all their fans and the group that felt attacked, and ultimately they give back to an organization or area that was offended by such lyrics. Charitable? Maybe, ethical? That is up for debate. An odd concept that makes all sorts of sense for the label executives who profit off of the mainstream drama of popular acts. Authors from the “Beat Generations” serve also an inspiring collective of creative minds, and really show that being near other creatives can enhance and challenge your limitations of creativity. Exploring for Kerouac in the novel is his way of giving a reflection of America. I’m particularly fond of his descriptive accounts of all the people he’s around no matter how long he’s around them for, more humorous and intriguing for me when he does so with females. Just because of how eager and excited he is at first site to later be unamused and at a loss of interest. It captures this special feeling that the first encounter with someone that excites you, that never gets relived with the same person twice.
This kind of interaction is one that I think most enjoy more so when it is in the moment, an immediate gratification that we all know doesn’t last and [Last Name] 8 sometimes comes with regret. Something I can see Socrates choosing to leave out in his own rendition of “On The Road.” In this case, and many others I believe that art is proven truth. The proven truth of our human nature is absolutely necessary for us to not feel like black sheep in a world full of aliens, and that some of these aliens share extremely similar genetic make ups to us but are at sitting at total different sides in the spectrum of everything opinion based. How are we all supposed to live in harmony under the same roof with someone you have not much more in common with besides your last name? These dilemmas are not uncommon from my life experiences at least, I’m sure this varies with where exactly you are, but I still see this as a large problem not wanting to be a part of a clan of people you don’t share any of the same beliefs with. If you’re forced into circumstances your life is being censored because in what should be your safe place you do not feel comfortable expressing or defending your opinion.
Kerouac’s father wouldn’t bail him out because he saw him as a disgrace to his family. Disgrace for not helping law enforcement solve a murder he witnessed? Maybe, but something yells family issues when speaking of Kerouac. I think everyone I know has some sort of family problem, aunt they don’t talk to, mom they don’t get along with, a spouse in an unfulfilling relationship. These are real life issues that we cannot just censor and throw a carpet over. These are issues that we work though or eliminate with uncensored communication that isn’t always positive or useful language. My view on censorship is one that I take extremely seriously in the sense of the arts. I believe we can all attribute artistic value because of how wide the arts of the world are. Artists to me range from writers, who depict art with their written word. Music artist who depict art with spoken word all the way to ice sculptors, architects and beyond. Being involved with art and [Last Name] 9 growing up with it has really inclined my defensive ness and sensitivity to the subject of censorship, you should never tell the captain how to drive his boat.