- Clinton's attorney general, Janet Reno, has appealed a 1992 court ruling that deemed the National Endowment for the Arts "decency clause" unconstitutional. If Reno gets her way, NEA grants will once again have content restrictions, which in the past have been influenced by cultural experts like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond.
- A group of more than 150 ministers has issued a statement urging country music to renounce themes of infidelity and self-pity and return to its Christian gospel heritage. How's that for a revisionists history of country music.
- The Illinois Senate recently voted 44-3 to ban "morose, morbid music" since it "expressly counsels for suicide." Keep an eye out for the gothic police at the Illinois border.
- In South Carolina, state legislators want to place a $1 tax on all sound recordings "depicting nudity or sexual activity."
- "WE DIDN'T MEAN US" DEPTARTMENT: Two books by Andrea Dworkin were seized by Canadian Customs while enroute to Montreal. Dworkin's and Catharine MacKinnon's theories were used in a Canadian Supreme Court decision that says sexually explicit expression is harmful to women. Since the decision, there have also been many attacks on lesbian and gay expression. How does it feel to be on the receiving end of a boot to the head?
- In Naples, Florida, a self-styled "decency" group has mounted a campaign about the dangers of "obscenity" while three video store clerks and a manager are being prosecuted for renting adult videos. The clerks were arrested at the instigation of a representative of Morality in Media -- a group seeking to rid Collier County of "pornography" as a violation of "community standards." However, a local survey found that 70% of the Gulf Coasts residents approve the viewing of "pornography" in the privacy of their homes.
- In Grand Saline, Texas, a picture of Santa Claus on the classroom wall was challenged because the letters of the word "Santa" can be arranged to spell "Satan." The objectors circulated a petition through the town accusing the teacher of "teaching Satanic worship in the classroom." The teacher eventually resigned.
- In Meridian, Idaho, when a few citizens complained about a presentation on gay parenting made to three high school sociology classes, the school board immediately suspended the teachers in charge, even though the teachers had followed procedures in arranging the session.
- In Berkeley, California,
a bunch of drugged out radio station DJs started swearing to their listners during a fundraising event. Some of the epithets uttered were "motherfucker," "cocksucker," and "dickhead."
CAL-ACT (Californians Against Censorship Together)
1800 Market St., Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94102 510/548-3695
An active anti-censorship group with an 8 page newletter chock full of information and action alerts related to "defending our right to freedom of expression, especially sexual expression."
National Coalition Against Censorship, 275 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Their 4-page newsletter, Censorship News, has articles detailing censorship in the United States and Canada with an emphasis on books, magazines, and videos.
People For the American Way, 2000 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036
For $11.95 you can receive their 200 page annual report, entitled Attacks on the Freedom to Learn, detailing censorship incidents in the U.S. schools and libraries.
Rock & Rap Confidential , P.O. Box 341305, Los Angeles, CA 90034
RRC publishes an 8-page monthly newsletter with a section that chronicles incidents of music censorship.