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Inquiry Paper with Comments

Inquiry Paper with Comments

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Published by John Felts
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Published by: John Felts on Dec 05, 2012
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Felts 1John FeltsMs. CarusoENGL 110311 November 2012Protest: From One War to Another
Protest is a way of expressing a person’s disapproval of certain laws, actions, or events
occurring through history. It is a right every American has, and many have exercised this right.Something that goes hand-in-hand with protest is how it is expressed, in some ways more
 
effective than others. In some cases, groups of people resort to violence, and contrarily, otherspractice a form of peaceful protest. Music can be defined as a way to express feelings and ideas,usually in a more passionate way than speech. By incorporating protest into music, this creates avery powerful tool, something that can affect the views and opinions of whoever listens. Somepeople through history have mastered this art form, but has it affected society in a positive ornegative way? Is protesting government decisions during hard times something that can pick acountry back off its feet, or is it something that can bring a country to destruction? Protest, in anyform, seems to have changed through the years, from the historic Vietnam War, to the modernIraqi War. Why has protest seemed to drop from the minds of Americans as an option to show
their disapproval of a war they don’t believe in?
 
 
Protest has been around ever since a person decided to publically disapprove of a
 
gov
ernment’s decision. Protest
in music has been around ever since music was used to expressthat disapproval. Inspiration is a major factor into creating music, and can be triggered by manyhuman feelings, including protest. In early days, music consisted majorly of purely voice;
Comment [BC1]:
Work on combining sentencesthat contain similar information.
Comment [BC2]:
This statement is muchstronger in the next sentence.
Comment [BC3]:
Tell your audience when thiswas.
 
Felts 2instruments were in their early stages. Beats to keep a tempo were popular, evident in manycultures. War seems to be the most popular topic to protest throughout history, dating back inAmerica to the late 17
th
century, during the Revolution. Moving along in time, to a more modernera of protest, was the mid-20
th
century in America. The Vietnam War was very real in the mindsof Americans during this time, and protest, especially through music, erupted in America.Known as the father of protest music, Bob Dylan revolutionized music in the U.S.; hundreds of thousands of people heard his music. Some say protest music in
today’s modern
America has lostits appeal on listeners, but is still out there. The war in Iraq has brought the disapproval of manyAmericas;
 but it doesn’t seem
to be the same level as in the 6
0’s.
Some would agree that a protest song is merely for entertainment purposes, and rarely, if ever, used for actual intellectual government protesting. R. E. Knupp defines protest songs in the
60’s with a lack of educational value, intellectual reflection, and specific issues or policies
(Haynes 4). From an intellectual standpoint, this is a valid viewpoint, but musicians are not Ph.
D’s, along with the vast majority of t
he U.S. population. These musicians relay a message in away easily understood by themselves and most of the population though, which is why it ispowerful and motivating, as well as
 
entertaining.As defined by R. S. Denisoff and summarized by Haynes d
efined: “
folksongs of protestas propaganda songs which were used to induce change in opinion or behavior, written and/orplayed in the traditional folk style.
He stated that a protest song, or propaganda song, is splitinto two kinds, magnetic and rhetoric protest songs. Magnetic was designed to hold the membersof a movement together and to attract
new members to the fold, or the “rhetorical” song, which“describes some social condition,
but one which offers no explicit ideological or organizationalsolutions.
 
One can say that of the two, “magnetic propaganda” songs would probably be more
 
Comment [BC4]:
How so? Why do you think this is?
Comment [BC5]:
Can you give an example of this?
 
Felts 3effective for building up a movement, and throughout history there was one very influentialmusician who did this well (Haynes 4).One of the most influential musicians in America, protest or not, was Bob Dylan. Bornand raised in Minnesota, Dylan started to play music at high school age. He loved music and wasin multiple bands throughout his adolescence. B
y his early twenties, his album “The Time They
Are A-Chan
gin’”
was a huge hit, and he had been deem
ed the “voice of a generation.”
He knewhow to use his talent to relay views and opinions on political issues. This really brought togetherprotesters who agreed with his message, giving motivation and building up the movement.
“Thanks to his sharp
-edged radicalism and unique poetic gifts (as well as
 
no little musical craft)Dylan renewed the protest genre and helped it reach a new mass
audience.”
From the words of Mike Marqusee, Dylan brought the protest genre back to the attention of popular culture.Although this seemed to be a great achievement,
 
Dylan
wasn’t exactly writing his music strictly
 
from his own belief, but rather what he thought the people would want to hear.After his first hit album, he said t
hat he would rather write music from “inside me”, andnot be a spokesman for “no movement.” Even so, his
new music still drew the attention and
approval of a nation. The majority of Dylan’s work consisted of anti
-war and U.S. Civil Rightsmovement, showing his support for both.
Although he didn’t deal with Vietnam directly, a few
 
of his songs were related to the controversy of the war(Marquseepar. 2-4).More directly link to the Vietnam War, Credence Clearwater Revival, or CCR, directly
addressed the war in their music. “Fortunate Son”
talked about the less fortunate in society whohad to get drafted for the Vietnam War. The author is bitter towards the wealthy, which get toskip the draft for individual reasons. This would definitely create tensions between the social
 
Comment [BC6]:
Why does this matter?
Comment [BC7]:
Choose one.
Comment [BC8]:
How did that influence bothhim and the public?
Comment [BC9]:
These two ideas seem tocontradict each other . Work on explaining them abit more.

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