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Things are heating up in America. People are protesting outside of the movie theaters, concerts, and book and record stores of this great nation everywhere. What is all the fuss about? Censorship, Government officials and raving mad protesters alike have been trying to stop the expressive creativity in everything from Marilyn Manson to Mark Twain. One of the biggest shake-ups happened in museums all over the world recently that would have made Michelangelo and DiVinchi's hair stand on end. In the Constitution of the United States, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, religion, press, the right to assemble and to petition the government; the Ninth Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people". So it seems one cannot use any of the other rights to quell the rights of an individual or group. Then why is the government trying to censor literature, movies, music and art? All of the world's modern society has become desensitized and easily trainable. Therefore society has come to accept the ideals, morals, and values driven into the psyche by the dominant forces in the nation: the Government and the Church. By quieting the objective voice these two institutions stand in the lead and stay in control.
One might assume that the blood-sucking politicians have nothing better to do than to look for things that offend any one major group of people (i.e. the church) to obtain votes. In this manner the government is becoming more and more controlling and artistic censorship is just another way to maintain control. Things were not always so. Government had very little to say about censoring anything. Was it not only three decades ago that as one nation the population was united by the ideals of peace love, and harmony? As an art student in the 60's era, Robert Mansfield states in his article, Artistic Freedom: government challenge "the first amendment was seldom an issue of concern...In fact it seemed that boundaries of expression were governed only by individual creative ability intellect and imagination". Where have these ideals gone? It seems in recent years they have disappeared with the freedom of thought. Why is it so important to some people not to offend? It seems the people easily offended are the ones deciding what is acceptable for the population. "Well about a decade ago when the nation debated about funding controversial art," writes John Cloud of TIME magazine, "in the capital of crude, few people consider rude art a problem." Articles ranging in titles from "New York's Art Attack" to "Creative Chaos" are appearing in TIME and other numerous front-page materials across the country. In H.G. Hovagimyan's TOKARTOK: The Censorship of Art, he states: "Artists are often asked to change parts of their works to conform to the publics morality. This has been going on since the Pope asked Michelangelo to paint fig leaves on Adam and Eve." Yes do not forget about the control the church has had on artistic expression since the beginning of time. When the church has something to say everyone listens. It is amusing how when something offends the church it quickly disappears. However, when these people see some bubble that looks like the face of the Virgin Mary in a tortilla chip, they start worshiping it. Next comes a media circus and before lunch it is all over CNN and every other news broadcast in the world. It is obvious the government uses those situations to promote the Church and its ideals of acceptable art even if it is a tortilla chip.
As the 1960's came to an end the meaning and importance of the first amendment became indisputable. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago, protesting against the Vietnam War and the political assassinations of the late 1960's (with the governments' interjection and objection) showed that the so-called guaranteed right of freedom of expression was not so guaranteed anymore. This point was proven again by the incident at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, where students rallying against the presidents decision to send troops into Cambodia without declaring war were arrested, beaten, bombed with tear gas, and ultimately shot at by a dozen men armed with M-1 rifles. "A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds." Is what it said in on the May 4th Task Force of Kent State University. Four of the students were killed and nine were wounded. The extent the government would go to in order to quell the objective voice was proven that day. The government proves once again, in modern times, that they cannot be trustworthy of humanities unalterable rights by trying to censor artistic expression. In September 1999 an exhibit called SENSATION went on display at the Brooklyn Museum of A
Quotes talked about in this paper
Names talked about in this essay
Mayor Giuliani, mayor Guiliani, Michelangelo, Marilyn Manson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Chris Ofili, Mark Twain, Karen Finley, Kevin Smith, Robert Mansfield, Pope, Jesus Christ, John Cloud, H.G. Hovagimyan, Nina Gershon, Steven Madoff, Hans Haacke, Patrick Buchanan, Madonna, Arnold L. Lehman, Monsignor Peter G. Finn,
Organizations mentioned in this research material
government, Kent State University, NEA, TIME magazine, Christian Coalitions, National Coalition Against Censorship, Federal Court, Bible, Catholic Coalition, Democratic National Convention, Barnard College, Supreme Court, Catholic League,
Locations included in this term paper
United States, New York, America, Staten Island, Munich, Cambodia, Vietnam, Chicago, china, St. Paul,
Facility talked about in this essay
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of Art,
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Keywords included in this essay
museums, Brooklyn Museum, nation, Staten Island, New York, New York City Mayor, Kent State University, artists, censorship, movies, artistic expression, government intervention, tortilla chip, Virgin Mary, hardcore pornography, Kevin Smith, general standard, so many things, coalition, web site, new ideas, Art Attack, adam and eve, so high, Ku Klux Klan, Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a museum, Art Director, Staten Island Advance, Democratic National Convention, officials, petitions, elephant, federal funding, Artistic Freedom, civil rights, our god, one thing, Marilyn Manson, TIME magazine, Chris Ofili, porn magazines, movie theaters, another way, fig leaves, court hearing, Hans Haacke, catholic, September 1999, Mark Twain,