Friday 14 January 2011

Censorship for nothing and bleeps for free

The little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy, that’s his own hair

That little faggot got his own jet airplane

That little faggot he’s a millionaire

... lyrics you will probably never hear again on the radio, now that they have been deemed "offensive".

They were deemed offensive because one individual, we'll call him Whiny-Pants McLooser to protect his identity, heard the word "faggot", ignored the context in which it is used, got offended, propagated his irrational offense to every other gay/bisexual/lesbian in the country, and complained to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council on behalf of all of them. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, being staffed by politically correct zombies, ruled that it violates broadcast standards and cannot be played.

There will always be individuals out there that are hyper-sensitive, or lacking the intelligence required to put things in proper perspective. I don't blame Whiny-Pants for anything because it's not his fault. He has weaknesses, just as we all do. His shortcoming just happened to result in an externality that affects the rest of the country, albeit it in a small way; but that's only because the CBSC is full of idiots.

Organizations that have the capacity to infridge on personal freedoms and activities like the CBSC, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and so forth, need to have very specific mandates and need to have extraordinary adherance to those specific mandates. Those mandates should focus protecting us from words and actions that genuinely incite hatred or have tangible negative effects on society at large. Their job is not to coddle the weakest member of society ... to protect the feelings of the most thin-skinned individual at the expense of everybody else.

The song "Money for Nothing" has been played on the radio for 25 years without producing any tangible negative effects on society. It has not caused any gays to get bashed to my knowledge. It has not incited hatred. The term "faggot" in this song doesn't even refer to a homosexual -- it is a term used with jealousy in reference to a rock star who gets all the "chicks" he wants. The CBSC has far overstepped it's mandate in banning the unedited version of this song, and has actually made things worse. Thanks to their decision, the word "faggot" has not only appeared in this blog for the first time, but has appeared hundreds of times in newspaper articles all across the country. More importantly, it has created unnecessary animosity against the gay/lesbian/bisexual community: "Money for Nothing" is an all-time classic rock song with an epic guitar/drum intro that compels you to crank up the volume when it comes on the radio. But no more ... thanks to the gays you can't hear it any more.

Why create this animosity over something so trivial as a rock song? A rock song that doesn't even have anything to do with gays? It is total stupidity. Once again, I have to use the "Complete loss of perspective" tag for a blog post. Sigh....


A little piece of trivia for you: that other voice that you hear in the song -- the one singing "I want my MTV" -- is Sting. He was invited to collaborate on the song because that hook is the same as the hook from the Police's "Don't Stand So Close To Me". In fact, he got co-writing credit as a result of that one line.

related: Reed points out that membership in the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is voluntary. While that may be the case, the fact that virtually every radio station in the country is a member tells me that there are consequences for not being a member. I don't know what those consequences are ... perhaps some companies will only advertise with members of the CBSC, perhaps there are implications related to royalties, or broadcast rights, or who knows what. The point is that their decisions have an impact. Not being a member is not an option for most stations.


the Stiff Rod said...

I have been commenting to this issue on several sites....perhaps I will go back and copy some of my more interesting remarks that more or less state censorship limits open discourse and other words, it fucking sucks not to know who the assholes are out there and it also sucks when we remove context because in doing so how can we ever educate others as to intent, hate, context etc.....

Knopfler wrote the song as an ironic statement....the woman who in NFLD launched the complaint? I would assume she is young for as we get older we tend to if we are smart, recognize the power of is the young however that carry the fervor of revolution, bless them sometimes, but in being overly zealous to educate the rest of us they in turn negate and disrespect those of us who have already been painfully aware and subject to SLURS.....

As my one homey in DEEtroyt Chocolate City would say....Unnastan niggahs?

Scott MacNeil said...

Well at least they didn't ban "Sultans of Swing" on the grounds that term "Sultan" was used inappropriately and that it secularized and defamed Muslim leaders!

cherenkov said...

... not to mention that they were swingers.

Scott MacNeil said...

So true!
Truth be old, I am just glad they didn't ban my fav Knopler tune of all time from Communique cause then we would have no reference to tits in our music! Here's the best opening ever, bar none, for a Dire Straits tune:

"Bella donna's on the high street
Her breasts upon the off beat"

If ya haven't heard it, I encourage you to take it in, the back-beat makes it. G'awd I wish I was fifteen again - t'was money well spent on this album - the imagery alone fit the bill!

Don said...

Actually, I first noticed the silencing of 'faggot' on syndicated episodes of Kids in the Hall... if Scott Thompson can't use the word, I don't know who can...

cherenkov said...

Speaking of Scott Thompson:

"Shakespeare would be rolling over in his g-word," said Thompson.

"When you ban a word, you make the word more powerful. All this banning that's going on just makes (the hate) go deeper and deeper into the soul, where it festers. Let it out. I want to know what you really think. I can handle it.

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