Dee is my hero. However, one area where I differ from him is that I actually like and have always been in favor of the "parental advisory" labels. Granted, the PMRC wanted to go much further and use those to have certain albums banned for certain age groups, etc. But both as a consumer and
as a parent, I like that the labels are there. Dee makes the point that it is a parent's responsibility to listen to what their kids are listening to and make sure they are comfortable that it is not inconsistent with the values they are trying to instill in their kids. The labels help with that. They tell me as a parent, "okay, let me MAKE SURE I listen to this one, and pay a bit closer attention." Same with as a consumer. Even as a kid, if something was profanity laden, I would be less likely to want to own it. So it's good knowing that going it because, rather than just making the blind purchase, the label raises the warning flag that makes me go and try to listen to it before buying and see whether or not it truly crosses the line. I get the argument that putting those labels on albums "backfires as a means of punishing the band" and makes the kids want the albums even more, which means they'll sell even more copies. I don't really care about that. If the motive of putting those stickers on is to "punish the band," that's a stupid motive, and I'm kind of glad it would be a failed effort. But whatever the purpose of putting the labels on albums, again, I find it helpful to me as a consumer and as a parent, so I think it's all good.
EDIT: As an example, I'll take Barry's last Anabasis album. (which is a stellar album by the way, and I highly recommend it) Let's say, for example, that I knew nothing about it, and my kid asks me to buy it for him. In one scenario, I look at it, and it has no parential warning label on it. No red flags. I pop it in. Starts off with a cool 14+ minute epic about Romans. Cool! History and
good prog rock together. I like it. Then a ballad, and then another short song, and then a cool 17 1/2 minute epic about Vikings. YES!
By now, honestly, I'm probably not even paying very close attention to lyrics specifically, since there was no warning label and no other red flags. And I might either stop listening if I'm busy, or just kinda have it on in the background and tune out while I'm doing other stuff, and think it's all good. It's entirely possible that I will entirely miss the fact that there is a song much later in the album that has some VERY blatant profanity and some very explicit lyrics about some very adult subjects (and for good reason, I might add--the very explicit lyrics are there on purpose to make a very specific point and to convey very specific emotions that are entirely appropriate to the song, as I came to understand). Alternate scenario: The label is on the album, so that tips me off that I need to play closer attention. Now I'm more likely to listen more closely and to scrutinize the lyrics sheet or to find the lyrics online. And this helps me as a parent to do one of the following: (1) determine the album is not appropriate for my child, (2) determine that parts of the album are appropriate, but that I will make a copy for my child to listen to that does not include that song, (3) determine that it is fine for them to listen to, but that we should discuss the song that I have concerns about, or (4) something else that gives me a comfort level as a parent that I am doing my job and being engaged in what my kids are doing and that I am helping guide them appropriately. (and in case I didn't mention it, The Anabasis' album is fantastic, and I highly recommend it)