“Every so often, Congress holds a hearing on the perils of pop culture,” starts this video from Retro Report, citing such hearings going back to 1985 on topics like video games, hip-hop and violence on television. “The topic changes,” the video goes on, “but the script stays pretty much the same.”
For instance, lawmakers tend to argue these hearings are not about first-amendment censorship, but rather about common decency – cue Sen. Paula Hawkins opining about Hot for Teacher, and other politicians expressing concern over Madonna, Marilyn Manson, Eminem and Tupac Shakur.
“It’s child abuse in my judgement,” says one Congress member in the video.
“A good part of what has gone wrong in this country is due to our mass media,” says another.
Don’t miss the coded language, either: “It’s a very appealing beat. It’s sort of like a tribal beat,” says a Congresswoman.
And what do these lawmakers do about the alleged problem of decency in pop culture? Nothing, more or less; they just convene more hearings.