Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Silenced Songs

There's a long history of censorship of songs about drugs, especially the Spanish narcocorridos.  Now, I'm not a fan of censorship in general.  But if your society is so broken that one of the most effective ways to make enough money to live on  is to sell illegal drugs, you really have no grounds to complain when people do that and talk about doing that.  Because, you know, people generally want to survive and all the mainstream societies now have decided that money is necessary for that.  So blaming singers for creating cultural material that reflects the culture is just pathetic.  (This applies to Mexico and the United States and various other places.)  However, there's a cool book about narcocorridos, so you can read that.

I've actually written something along these lines myself, although it happens to be free verse rather than lyrical poetry.  "This Bittersweet Weed" (74 lines, $37) from the December 2011 Poetry Fishbowl deals with aliens discovering chocolate, which has various interesting effects on different species.  And then the Earth is saved by drug lords, who know how to handle political upheavals over drugs.  That's narcocorrido  territory.  I'm sure the censors would hate it.  But in my writing, anybody  can be a hero and you just never know who might turn out to have the one crucial skill to solve the problem at hand. 
Tags: ethnic studies, linguistics, music, poetry, politics, reading, science fiction
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