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Censorship and Dire Straights

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David Young
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Joined: Dec 9 2007

Who gets to decide what is offensive?

I recently saw Monty Python's AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, which has the Terry Gilliam animated bit about two cancer spots falling in love, and moving into a house, which prompts the neighbours to say "Did you see the colour of the ones who just moved in next door?  Yes; black as the Ace of Spades!  Well, there goes the neighbourhood!"

If someone of African origin saw that, and objected to it's broadcast on similar grounds to the Dire Straits song, is it a valid claim of racism.  Granted, it's Monty Python, the absolute kings of satire, but...!


milo204
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

i know what you mean bagkitty, i find it ridiculous that they have no problem showing people getting tortured, killed, maimed, beaten, etc.  but the "bad" words have to be bleeped or overdubbed.  My point though is there is no front page headlines/days of news coverage about "they bleeped out "fuck" in rambo!  nanny state!" like there is with this.

it just seems like the people complaining about this don't seem to object to the censoring of other equally offensive words in music like fuck, shit, other racial expletives, and other so called "bad" words, in any context.  

it sounds like people are unjustly equating beeping or changing the word in a public broadcast with actual censorship of the recorded material, like with mark twain, where the book will actually be printed with the changes, meaning hypothetically the original book might no longer be available at some point.

i think if it was any other word, and not an expletive used to denigrate gay people that is still commonly used, there would be no uproar.  Did anyone freak out when the changed "shit" to "ish" in that nicky minaj song? no.  So why freak about this?

Also, we should keep in mind, the band themselves recorded the vocal change to "mother" instead of "fa***t".  And any band that doesn't want their song changed (provided they actually own the rights/publishing and not the record company) can always say no to changing the song and simply withdraw it from commercial radio play.


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

Pet peeve (I have a whole menagerie): if we are discussing the use of the word "faggot" let's use the word... no need to type in the asterisks. It is not being applied as a label to anyone and yes it's use is disgusting -- but if we are going to have to delve into the muck, let's not get all prissy about it. I find the avoidance of the word itself by using f****t actually more annoying than seeing the word itself. My 2 cents anyway.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

I took the opportunity of this ruling to have an "All Offensive Lyrics" show today.  I haven't been able to work some of these tunes into a program before.  I don't think I've ever had to do a disclaimer before a show in the past 17 years, but I did today.

  • Sissy Man - Josh White
  • Masculine Women! Feminine Men! - Irving Kaufman
  • Manana - Peggy Lee
  • Egyptian Ella - Ted Lewis and his Band
  • Mr. Wu's a Window Cleaner Now - George Formby
  • Puttin' on the Ritz - Fred Astaire
  • Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) - Rudy Vallee
  • Mississippi Mud - Paul Whiteman Orch.
  • The Sun has Got its Hat on - Ambrose and his Orch/ Sam Browne voc.
  • Chinese Blues - Irving Kaufman
  • Two Cigarettes in the Dark - Bing Crosby
  • Smoking Reefers - Larry Adler
  • Was I Drunk?  Was he Handsome? - Georgia White
  • Slap 'Er Down Again, Paw - Arthur Godfrey
  • She Wouldn't do What I Asked Her To - Original Memphis Five/ Billy Jones voc.
  • Shoot Him High, Paw - Rosalie Allen
  • Hong Kong Blues - Hoagy Carmichael
  • Swinging on the Reservation - Chick Webb Orch. /Ella Fitzgerald voc.
  • Totem Pole - Lucille Hegamin
  • Oh, is She Dumb - Eddie Cantor
  • The Cake Walk - The Victor Minstrels
  • You've Got to Beat Me to Keep Me - Trixie Smith
  • Since Ma is Playing Mah Jong - Original Memphis Five
  • Complainin' - It's Human Nature - Sophie Tucker

The CRTC should shut the station down any day now.


Cueball
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Joined: Dec 23 2003

Don't forget "Bomb the Boats" by the Forgotten Rebels, and "Fuck Off" by Wayne County and the Electric Chairs.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Can you imagine the outrage that would have taken place if they had ruled that "faggot" was acceptable for being broadcast?


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Cueball wrote:

Don't forget "Bomb the Boats" by the Forgotten Rebels, and "Fuck Off" by Wayne County and the Electric Chairs.

 

Hmm, my guess is that Corus Radio Corp. wouldn't have played those anyway.

 

That reminds me, back in my pre-current progam days, I played Rachbottomoff by The Pansy Division, as well as Patti Smith's "Rock and Roll N*****."


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

I decided to do a nostalgia trip and watched the 1967 film To Sir With Love for the first time in many decades.  Given this thread I found it hilarious that in one scene in an East End London market one of the women stall vendors calls one of the male vendors a faggot. Fortunately I didn't have to endure a bleep it was just left in.  It came out the same year that I was thrown out of high school for the first time so I enjoyed it at the time.  It held up fairly well despite the obvious flaws in its portrayal of a young women's proper place in society. The message of self respect was great but since it came in a wrapping of a "women's place is in the kitchen" it didn't quite work 40 years later.

I wondered if the writers even thought about using the term faggot as an insult or whether it was written into the dialogue because it was so everyday that nobody reading the script noticed.  


alan smithee
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Joined: Jan 7 2010

Isn't a 'fag' British slang for a cigarette?


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

@ alan smithee: yep, you are correct it is.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Yes but not faggot. Fag in British slang can mean either a cig or someone's whose gay. 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

@ al-Q

Great playlist.

I could suggest a few others in the same vein, but I don't think that sort of tangent would get too far.

I presume you saw the Twain-Knopfler cartoon in the star kleenex.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Nope; I avoid the Kleenex, and rarely read it.

I had more tunes, but ran out of time.  I did play the really bad ones, as I'd have trouble finding an excuse to play them in any other context.

I listened to "Rainbow Radio" for a while, waiting to hear their take on the decision, but they noodled around talking about other things so I shut off the radio.


milo204
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

favorite offensive songs (great message-plenty of swearing.  Will all the people saying dire straights is censorship defend the unedited play of these songs? not in a million years, even though the "context" is wonderful.

hallie selasie, up your ass: propagandhi' 

shamus' nuts: i spy

needle up my cock: gg allin

fuck the police: j dilla

nazi punks fuck off: dead kennedy's

fuck you: the germs

too drunk to fuck: dead kennedy's

mass communication mindfuck-insect warfare

hey, fuck you:beastie boys

talk about fucking: big black

you don't want to fuck with me: odb

i don't give a fuck: partisans

expensive shit: fela kuti

oh shit!: buzzcocks

get the fuck out: phobia

wu tang clan ain't nothin ta fuck wit: wu tang

gator fuckin':big boys

the sin-hellfucked: belphegor

i was a teenage fuckup: really red

no fuckin' war!: the dicks

tough fuckin' shit: gg allin

dick dogs: sonny sharrock

big dick: no means no

lick my ass: kool keith

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

never mind the potty talk, no one has ever questioned how appropriate Down By The River or Hey Joe are for the airwaves.

Nice playing. Vile fucking songs IMO. There are a mere handful of songs I can't stand to hear, and those two are on the list.


alan smithee
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Joined: Jan 7 2010

How about album covers?

Blind Faith took alot of heat for theirs...

But The Scorpions 'Virgin Killer' album cover...How the fuck did they get away with that?

 


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Those protectors of all things holy and good are slouching on the job.  There's some purdy nasty paralanguage goin' on out on the airwaves.

Donna Summer

Serge Gainsbourg et Jane Birkin


alan smithee
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Joined: Jan 7 2010

Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?

Good Golly Miss Molly...Sure likes to ball-->It amazes me that that song always ran under the radar even back at the time of its original release which was in the late 50's or early 60's.

But for some reason,according to censors, Louie,Louie was the filthiest song ever recorded.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

alan smithee wrote:

Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?

But for some reason,according to censors, Louie,Louie was the filthiest song ever recorded.

No, she wrote it about Don McLean, I believe ...about his singing, to be specific (I think it you google it you can find out for sure).

And the only actual filthy version of Louie Louie I ever heard was The Stooges' version, I think the whole rumour was because no one else who sang it enunciated clearly.

 


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Quote:

Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?

 

I don't know, but "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper is, as is The Who's "Pictures of Lily."


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Wow. Talk about double entendres.

I think there might be some hidden meaning in this one too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwAtifCoB3I

(one of the greatest pop bands of all time, BTW)

 


bekayne
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Joined: Jan 23 2006

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Quote:

Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?

 

I don't know, but "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper is, as is The Who's "Pictures of Lily."

And this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsVmsPv6_Ic

Now, I know this guy 
His name is Mick 
Now, he don't care when he ain't got no chick 
He do the shake 
The rattlesnake shake 
Yes, he do the shake 
And jerks away the blues 
Now, jerk it




al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Well, if you want to go all subtle on us...

 

Ethel Waters -  My Handy Man

 

"Sometimes he's up long before dawn,
Busy trimming the rough edges off my lawn;
Oooh, you can't get away from it! He's such a handy man!

Never has a single thing to say,
While he's working hard;
I wish that you could see the way
He handles my front yard!"

 

Ms. Waters' Organ Grinder Blues isn't so cheeky.

 

In the "Make Love, not War" department, there's Lizzie Miles' My Man O' War.

I'm not going to spoil the effect by supplying lyrics.


wassup
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Joined: Dec 17 2010

perhaps we should all agree that all censorhip is wrong, or complete censorship is the way to go. Someone will always find something offensive in most forms of art, music or everyday living, others may aprreciate the content of the so called art, music or the way that others live. I am probably wrong because everyone should be more offended than I.


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

wassup, I invite you to check out the link in post 55. The lyrics are also available here. If you are unfamiliar with Jamaican slang, batty boy is basically synonymous with "faggot". Poison like this pretty much undercuts the possibility of my agreeing that all censorship is wrong.

You should also consider researching overt "hate rock" - a North American and European sub-genre popular with certain elements in the "white nationalist" and skinhead communities. Lyrics are available on most of the sites that link to it.

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
milo204
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

the thing is, it doesn't bother me that some people generally don't want to hear certain expletives on the radio.  A bunch of corporate radio stations that play the same 100 songs over and over do far worse things then edit content for "objectionable language"...as in they censor out a large portion of music i'd like to hear, political views that many people have, are used to shill advertising etc.  to me that's much more offensive.

 


Sky Captain
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Joined: Jul 14 2008

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The best music on the airwaves in the dismal mid '80's was the Parachute Club.  At the Feet of the Moon was a far superior album to anything Dire Straits did. Gad thinking about that era reminds me of frat boys with mullets and high heeled boots slagging gay people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OawT1I8n1Ms

Excuse me, but compared to Dire Straits, what the frack is the Parachute Club?

 


Hurtin Albertan
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Joined: Nov 19 2010

They were a Canadian band from the 80's.  Got a lot of airplay from the Canadian content rules.  And they had some really good songs too.

Still have some of their songs on a cassette somewhere that I taped off the radio back in the day.

'Course, you young whippersnappers wouldn't know what a cassette is.  Back in MY day, you didn't have all these newfangled eyephones and eyepatches and whatnots that you could listen to music on.  You considered yourself lucky to have a small single speaker tape player that was only about a foot long and a few pounds in weight, and that ran off as few as 2 D batteries.  It was either that or cart around a huge ghetto blaster.

Now, now, simmer down there, I don't mean nothing from calling it a ghetto blaster.  That's what we called them back in the day.  Weren't nothing racist at all to it.  The important thing to remember is it was a larger and heavier tape player that often used to come with a radio.  And it had 2 speakers.  The fancier ones had 2 tape decks too so you could record tape to tape.  What's all these tapes I keep going on about you say?  I'm getting to that part.  The important part of the story was that these larger tape players or ghetto blasters if you will, heh, would run on as many as 6 D batteries or even more on larger versions.

Yes, darnitall, you heard me right.  That's D batteries.  Kind of like those AA batteries that seem to run the world, but way bigger.  Nowadays everything seems to run on those bitty little AA batteries, back in the day we had C's and D's and those funny little square 9 volt batteries but for some reason I don't think they had a letter, everyone used to just call them 9 volts.  At least where I grew up as a kid we sure did.

You'd have to save up a lot of dollar bills to buy one of those fancy tape players anyhow, and dollar bills were a might rare in the home where I grew up.  Yes, dagnabbit, dollar bills.  Just like the Americans.  We didn't have all this modern pocket change when I was a kid.  "Can I change this 5 for 5 singles?" you'd ask the bank teller.  Yes, bank teller.  In my day you went to the bank when it was open, which wasn't all that often, that's where the term banker's hours comes from.  Because the banks opened fairly late and closed pretty early.  Anyhow you would go to the bank when it was open and stand in a lineup by these fancy velvety rope dividers. 

Those things always reminded me of a snake for some reason.  Which is kind of funny, since I grew up in northern Alberta and we didn't have a lot of snakes up there.  Too cold in the winters or some such.  I remember my father coming home once and telling us he had seen a turtle swimming in the Clearwater River, but that's another story.


milo204
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

you know, hurtin albertan, most of us here are not that young.  Not only do i remember cassettes, but eight tracks, vinyl records, laser discs, mini discs and all the rest.  

uh oh...did i just date myself?


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