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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Who Could Imagine That They Would Freak Out Somewhere In Kansas?

Don't go looking for any Rage Against The Machine, OutKast, Notorious B.I.G., or Stone Temple Pilots CDs in Kansas public libraries. Apparently Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline has withheld some 1,600 CDs from distribution to public libraries due to objectionable content, namely, that they promote "violence" or "illegal behavior." (The music, incidentally, was given to libraries by the recording industry as part of a price-fixing settlement.)

Most good music at some level promotes illegal behavior - or least should be designed to make people like Phil Kline think that it promotes illegal behavior, even if it doesn't.

I've come to expect this sort of thing from the state that gave us an Board of Education that wanted creationism taught in public schools.

I'm just wondering what Devo is doing on the list, aside from just being weird. Maybe in Topeka, Kansas, the state capital that also brought the world the oh-so-charming Rev. Fred Phelps, that's enough.

Follow-Up (for DEK): The CD price-fixing suit I wished I had blogged about a few months ago.

The first time we got a goofy story about it was when, due to what the industry called a "computer glitch," a library in Seattle getting some ungodly number of copies of "Three Mo' Tenors" in connection with the settlement, and similar things were happening at libraries nationwide. I suspected, as Dwight also did in the comments, that they were merely using the settlement as a way to throw out what didn't sell. I saw this story and its references to OutKast (whose stuff does sell) suggest to me that maybe it really was a computer glitch and that they fixed it.

While I wouldn't necessarily expect a library to carry stuff that stores won't sell to minors, the inclusion of Devo on a list of artists producing objectionable content strongly suggested that Kansas was casting far too wide a net.


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