We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


The sidebar to “Dirty War”(8/25) quotes (900) 288-PMRC as warning parents against an album supposedly promoting “Eastern mysticism.” This is also mentioned in passing in the 10th paragraph of the article—and nowhere else. Just who is it who finds “Eastern mysticism” objectionable? And on what grounds? PMRC has already gone beyond sex ‘n’ violence. Why didn’t Dean follow this up?

Even the self-styled “Christian Republic” types claimed that other religions were welcome as guests, provided they knew their place. The new PMRC treats “Eastern mysticism” (Zen? Hare Krishna? Shinto?) as something alarming in and of itself. Will they next warn parents about new age albums? Albums influenced by Native American songs and chants? Whale songs?

They even try to dictate what emotions are acceptable, warning against the “relentlessly morose” (try some folk songs or some opera), and what they call “promoting…lack of meaning in existence.” Today they target rap; what will they target tomorrow? Look at the record: Throwing censors a bone only makes them greedier.

P.S. When I “think of the slaves” musically, I start humming, “For the old man is a-waitin’ for to carry you to freedom/Follow the drinking gourd.” Yes, indeed, “their music was full of hope.”

Landover, Md.