The Heat's Making Me Cranky

For the record, I am against censorship with the understanding that with the freedom to say what one wants comes the responsibility to watch what one says--in other words, be appropriate for your audience, and think before you speak. (I guess the word in a nutshell is "self-censorship.")

I have a compilation CD that came from a Mountain Dew tour giveaway in the late '90s. (The one nice attorney in the firm where I worked had a winning cap on his soda bottle and gave it to me.) On the track listing, there's a word missing from the title of an Old 97's song. It's just blank. "_________ (or a Heart Attack)". Good thing there's a subtitle there.

You know what it's about?

The speaker's CAT has run away, so he's going to leave the back door open so the cat can walk back in anytime.

Hence, it's open to anything or anybody else who wants to walk in the door and do God knows what. The missing word is "Murder," but nooooo, you can't use that word. Seems a little weird.

The reason I bring this up is that I watched with great amusement as Foster the People visited VH1 yesterday morning, and their video for the song I blogged about recently was shown. I was excited--it's my jam! Wait a minute--why are the vocals dropping out?

I really don't understand the reasoning behind music censorship, for the radio and TV. Someone can sing about having had too much to drink even though underage kids are listening, but the words "murder," "gun," and the like get "erased" for videos.

Heck, they used to drop out the phrase "G*d-d**n you
" in Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" years ago, but I noticed that stopped in the past year or so. Yet, Panic! At the Disco's "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" radio version is missing the "God" but not the "d**n." Huh?

I am sure that part of the "gun/bullet" bleeping is Columbine fallout. Remember "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus? There's a line where the speaker describes (derides) the boyfriend of the girl he likes: "Her boyfriend's a d**k/And he. . ." You don't hear the end of the song on the radio or on this compilation (which I own; never watched the show), but it's "And he brings a gun to school." Nope, can't say that. Never mind that the speaker already has established that the guy is a JERK and everybody thinks this girl shouldn't go out with him. Context is nothing.

That's right. Context is nothing, and that might be why Foster the People ended up with a music video of people surfing and the band playing their instruments. With the words "gun" and bullet" dropped out of every chorus.

What a waste.

And I guess I just find the whole editing inconsistency annoying.


Rob said…
VH1 is a cable channel. I would think any censorship there is voluntary. The Hallmark Channel does that, too, for their own reasons. An average Cheers rerun is bleeped about five times. Very annoying.
ccr in MA said…
I have to say that around here, it's the lack of heat that's making ME cranky. The beginning of the week was lovely and warm, but now we're heading into day three of chilly and rainy and hello, July is a week away, where is my summer!

Whew. Sorry to unload. The song censorship question makes me wonder, am I the only person who stumbles over the bleeps when singing along to the radio? I know the words, I have no objection to them, but they don't come out right when the station is playing the bowdlerized version.
Kate P said…
Rob--yeah, it's just random. I just noticed the same thing on USA and TNT. The s-word gets bleeped out, but "G-D" is A-O.K. Whatever.
There's a lot per episode bleeped out in "Cheers"? I can't imagine. Or I guess I can't recall.

CCR--Well, I don't really want rain, either, so I guess I will have to make do with the heat. I hope it warms up in your neck of the woods soon.
Yeah, I trip over the bleeps sometimes. MTV used to just sub in the curse word backwards, which made for some interesting singing.

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