and law cant suit all
Chatman is a sophomore news- editorial journalism
major from Fort Worth.
rap and country music. I actually become physically ill
when I hear songs in those styles. Do I have a reason
beyond not liking the music? No. I am just a music snob.
I said it. I feel better.
When I was younger, I wanted rap and country banned. I
had hundreds of reasons that were logically unsound. I
claimed that they were sub-standard music forms that were
appealing only to the unintelligent. Their growing popularity
took away from my freedom to listen to music I enjoyed.
When they got record contracts, that was one less deal
for a band I liked. I justified my desire for a ban by
saying that people would appreciate a higher quality music
form if they didnt have the option of listening
to rap or country. I even wanted groups I didnt
like that played good music banned.
As time went on, I began to understand that I had a lot
in common with those who listened to rap and country.
Some of those people had good reasons for not liking the
forms of music I enjoyed. Those who listened to rap sometimes
didnt enjoy the sound of traditional instruments.
They preferred music that was based on beat. Others preferred
the improvisational vocal style. Those who listened to
country preferred the blues-like format. They, unlike
me, liked the twang. Maybe they identified with the lyrics
more than with what I like. Certain elements even appealed
to me in different contexts. This was a rare occurrence
but it did happen on occasion.
I also began to notice that the existence of these music
forms actually helped the forms I enjoy. Hearing something
I dont like makes me appreciate that which I do
like even more. There is a symbiotic relationship between
my music and the others. The commercial nature
of rap and country feed the anti-commercial drive in my
music. Less music is out there for me, but what remains
is higher quality.
I found that it is ridiculous to judge people solely on
their musical tastes. It seems like a given, but for a
teenager obsessed with music this was a shocking revalation.
It took time, but I learned to separate the music from
the people that listened to it. Dont expect me to
listen to rap and country, but I am capable of co-existing
with those who listen to those musical forms.
The big change in my opinion came when I realized that
hatred was anathema to my personal beliefs. I believe
in freedom of choice. Banning sub-standard
music would increase my freedom at the expense of everyone
elses. Removing something that one person finds
offensive only makes life more comfortable for that one
person. Law cannot make everyone comfortable. Some people
dont feel comfortable with law, while others dont
feel comfortable without. Self-determination is a concept
that is more easily determined, and therefore is a better
measure of what should be law.
So the next time someone tries to ban something on moral
grounds, remember that something as trivial as music can
teach us all a lesson. Just because you dont like
something, doesnt make it wrong. To quote Rush,
The spaces in between leave room for you and I to