Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The culture war attacks from another angle

I guess anything that isn't staying home and praying is under attack these days. Like live music. I am always perplexed by the idea that music hurts anybody, but as I'm sure everyone knows, it's a widely held opinion that music is dangerous. And today in Austin, the supposed Live Music Capitol of the World, music got the smackdown again. This shit is ridiculous:

Austin police arrested Ozomatli members and the band's manager on March 18 while enforcing the city noise ordinance.
The band took the stage late and played past 2 a.m., McCracken said.
Police charged one of the musicians with assaulting a police officer. Lawyers are working to get the charges dropped, according to the band.


Actually, what happened was the band played even though the cops were shouting at them and people were dancing and in a desperate attempt to stop these evildoers from their sick, twisted dancing behavior, the cops pepper sprayed everyone and then arrested the band.
And of course, a big nationwide blow to live music is the so-called RAVE act, designed to circumvent your right to peaceably assemble by holding everyone liable if one person in a crowd partakes of an illegal drug. Supposedly written up to make taking drugs even more illegal (whatever), this act in reality has a chilling effect on live music venues. As usual, expect underground music scenes to be the hardest hit. I have a funny feeling Tim McGraw concerts won't be busted up by cops looking for crankheads, common as they are in the country music world.
Music is political, even if not overtly so. The mere existence of an underground music scene makes cultural conservatives quake in their boots. People getting together, full of joy and energy and creativity are dangerous indeed. And that's when the music isn't political at all. Add a band like, say, the routinely censored Dead Kennedys in the mix and the threat grows.
Here's a website with information about the RAVE act and other attacks on music. Check it out. And, if nothing else, please remain conscious of the continous threat that just ordinary music, literature and other creative arts are under.

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