Where Is Our Zappa? Pt. 1

Frank Zappa AP (file)

GameCore is CBSNews.com's gaming column written by William Vitka.

There is nothing scarier than the Cycle of Dumb. In it, we often find politicians from every side attempting to legislate taste and opinion under the guise of protection.

In the 80s, Tipper Gore led the charge against obscenity in music. Now Hillary Clinton is fighting to keep the video games she and her ilk think are harmful out of kids' hands. Both are the wives of Democrats.

In order to throw a wrench into the machine, or at least, as Burroughs said, to educate the mark, I'm proud to present Frank Zappa's Congressional testimony.

It's easy to draw parallels between the legal threats music faced over twenty years ago and what lawmakers are trying to do to video games now. Though this testimony is long, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't read it in full.

Find more Frank Zappa at Zappa.com, watch: Frank on Crossfire and Frank's second time on Crossfire.

Frank Zappa: Statement To Congress, September 19, 1985

From Record Labeling: Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, Ninety-Ninth Congress: First Session on Contents of Music and the Lyrics of Records.


Frank Zappa: My name is Frank Zappa. This is my attorney Larry Stein from Los Angeles. Can you hear me?

Chairman: If you could speak very directly and clearly into the microphone, I would appreciate it.

FZ: My name is Frank Zappa. This is my attorney Larry Stein.

The statement that I prepared, that I sent you 100 copies of, is five pages long, so I have shortened it down and am going to read a condensed version of it.

Certain things have happened. I have been listening to the event in the other room and have heard conflicting reports as to whether or not people in this committee want legislation. I understand that Mr. Hollings does from his comments. Is that correct?

Chairman: I think you had better concentrate on your testimony, rather than asking questions.

FZ: The reason I need to ask it, because I have to change something in my testimony if there is not a clear-cut version of whether or not legislation is what is being discussed here.

Chairman: Do the best you can, because I do not think anybody here can characterize Senator Hollings' position.

FZ: I will carry on with the issue, then.
  • William Vitka

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