Tuesday, August 23, 2005

finally, a cause I can really get ::horn honk::

Radio censorship is really just getting ridiculously out of control. Sure, censorship first began running rampant after September 11th and Clear Channel's list of banned songs and then swelled into a country-wide lumbering Juggernaut after we all caught a peek at Janet Jackson's boob.

The thing that drives me nuts about it all, though, is the incredibly inconsistent standards used to figure out what gets censored and when. Take, for example, the song Date Rape by Sublime. This song was uncensored on regular radio as of a few years ago. Now, however, it's been censored and played this morning on 104.9 as Manda and I lay in bed trying to wake up this morning.

For those who aren't familiar about with the song, it's about a guy who rapes a woman, gets convicted of the crime, and then goes to jail where he's raped himself. Here's what just pisses me off completely about how this song is being censored, though. Let's take a look at some of the lyrics. [The highlighting is my doing to illustrate a point.]

That night in jail it was getting late.
He was butt-raped by a large inmate, and he screamed.
But the guards paid no attention to his cries.


They locked him up and threw away the key.
Well, I can't take pity on men of his kind,

even though he now takes it in the behind.

Okay. So, here we have two different stanzas that, essentially, revolve around anal sex. Now, what completely baffles me and - quite frankly - pisses me off is that "butt-raped" is not censored but "takes it in the behind" is. Every time the word "behind" was said, there was some kind of ridiculous sound effect: slide whistles, horn honks, etc.

What the fuck? Is it possible that, because "takes it in the behind" doesn't have a specific statement of violence like the phrase "butt-rape," 104.9 then sees "takes it in the behind" as a statement of consensual homosexual sex and therefore censored it?

It's absolutely ludicrous. Why don't we all just start dressing like Pilgrims again and get it over with. Forget the shiny silver jumpsuits we were all supposed to be wearing in 2005. Someone tell Wall-Mart to start stocking Chinese-made Monk robes and we'll all just start flagellantly beating ourselves back into the dark ages.


phobucket said...

I agree that censorship is more pervasive than ever, but it started way before 9/11. Look at Tipper Gore for instance. Even so, I think the root problem is much deeper than a censorship issue, as terrible as that is.

EmoRiot said...

what do you mean, phobucket, by "the problem is much deeper than a censorship issue"?

phobucket said...

I think censorship is the result of 2 other issues joining forces. The first one being the idea that one groups arbitrary moral standards can be enforced by law on another group. Let's call this the Impending Theocracy angle. The second is the slackening of personal responsibility. "I can't be expected to monitor what my children are watching, or better yet, instill values in them that prepare them to understand and accept or reject the messages they see, so I'll just have the government take care of it for me." Let's call this the Irresponsible Adult angle. They often operate separately from each other: Gay Marriage>>Impending Theocracy; McDonald's Coffee Lawsuit>>Irresponsible Adult/Parent. There are also times when censorship operates outside of these angles, such as the during the Bush Town meetings. I don't really have any explanation for why that is permitted, but Bug's radio example fits within my model.

phobucket said...

I was thinking about this more last night, ad about different types of censorship. The original post deals with censorship of material, but there is the separate issue of censorship of dissent. That may be worse than the Impending Theocracy/Irresponsible Adult angles I suggested.