Rock & Rap Censorship Campaign Continues

They don't like his way with words.

The Texas Finance Committee approved a bill Thursday

(April 17) that would ban Texas entities responsible for investing state funds

from investing in companies directly associated with offensive lyrics, as well

as those indirectly associated by virtue of a 10 percent or more stake in such

enterprises, according to a Reuters report.

The purpose of this

bill, authored by Republican State Sen. Bill Ratliff (chairman of the finance

committee), is to put pressure on corporations that own record companies. One

company already targeted is Seagram Co., which owns MCA, which in turn owns 50%

of Interscope Records (Snoop Doggy Dog, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, etc.)

In February, Texas' Permanent School Fund said it would sell $3.5 million of

Seagram Co. stock because of lyrics on some of the Interscope

recordings.

Under the "offensive" category would be lyrics that describe

acts of criminal violence, including murder and assault; necrophilia,

beastiality or pedophilia; illegal use of controlled substances; criminal

street gang activity; degradation or denigration of females; or violence

against a particular sex, race or ethnic group. Sounds like songs by everyone

from the Beatles and John Lennon to Cypress Hill, Liz Phair and Alanis

Morissette would fit the bill.

Governmental entities that currently own

such investments will be required to divest "as soon as is reasonable and

practical" but no later than Jan. 1, 1999.

The Texas Senate is expected to

vote on the bill next week.