Canada censors Dire Straits

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Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:32 am UTC

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7 ... inmentNews
Canadian radio station have been warned to censor the 1985 Dire Straits hit "Money for Nothing," after a complaint that the lyrics of the Grammy Award-winning song were derogatory to gay men.

A St. John's, Newfoundland, station should have edited the song to remove the word "faggot" because it violates Canada's human rights standards, according to ruling this week by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

A unnamed listener to OZ FM in the Atlantic Coast province complained to the industry watchdog last year after hearing the song, which features Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and fellow rock star Sting.

The council said it realized Dire Straits uses the word sarcastically, and its use might have been acceptable in 1985 when the best-selling "Brothers in Arms" album was released, but said it was now inappropriate.

"The decision doesn't really relate to the Dire Straits song at the end of the day, the decision relates to the word in question," Ron Cohen, the council's chairman, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.


This seems to me to be a clear case of PC gone wrong. Not only is this song one of the most awesome ever made, I don't see how it is anti-gay. Maybe the person described in the song is anti-gay, but the song is not very sympathetic to the storyteller. Surely you are allowed to write about homophobic (or sexist, or racist) characters in lyrics, books, movies, etc? What's next, banning 'To Kill A Mockingbird' or 'The Color Purple' because of racist language (but wait, they actually do this, don't they?)

I wonder what the forums think of this. Especially people from Canada. Is this kind of PCness typical over there? I always thought of Canadians as laid back.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Chandani » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:43 am UTC

Hey, look, I can relate it to another discussion going on (except in that discussion, the idea isn't being supported by the regulators):
The council said it realized Mark Twain uses the word sarcastically, and its use might have been acceptable in 1860 when the best-selling The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was released, but said it was now inappropriate.

That comparison pretty much sums up my ideas about this topic. I really don't see the point of this at all.
Also, since I'm not from Canada, exactly what are the free-speech rules over there? Because I don't think this would get through in America.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Kayangelus » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:02 am UTC

I find the fact that these kinds of laws exist to be disgusted.

But than, I find the existence of laws/rulings that mandate Basic Human Decency to be a disgusting violation of free speech in general.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Vieto » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:14 am UTC

next to be sensored: Shakespear

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby GhostWolfe » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:42 am UTC

I have no problem with them playing a donkey edit of Money for Nothing on the radio; no more than I take issue with any other song that's been censored for the radio.

It's not like they're re-releasing the album and forcing all copies to have the word changed to "sailor".

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Glass Fractal » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:42 am UTC

Vieto wrote:next to be sensored: Shakespear


I mean just look at the name. It's full of violent imagery! :P

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby M.C. » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:51 am UTC

Hate to rain on the parade, but 'Radio Edits' are extremely common. Katy Perry/Lady Gaga/Ke$ha and what have you have certain words censored on the radio, why is this any different?
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:58 am UTC

Besides which, the little faggot in the song has his own jet airplane and is a millionaire. Hard to see how that's an insult.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:12 am UTC

Vieto wrote:next to be sensored: Shakespear
Is he related to Francis Baking?

Also, Dire Straits and Shakespeare? Seriously?

I love the song, but that part always made me cringe a little, even as a kid. Anyway, I don't see a problem with radio airwaves censoring this; not in context. I'm generally against censorship (if I had my way, radio airwaves would broadcast anything and everything), but if you're going to censor 'bad words', you should probably be consistent.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Vieto » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:16 am UTC

harhar, so I make a couple of typos >_>

(in any case, I was refering more to 'The Merchant of Venice' and such plays)

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:30 am UTC

Vieto wrote:(in any case, I was refering more to 'The Merchant of Venice' and such plays)
Yeah, but it's a terrible connection. This is not the widespread censorship of a four century old play that's had an immense impact on Western history, literature, and propaganda. It's only the realization that, if you're not allowed to say 'nigger' on the public radio, you should also probably not be allowed to say 'faggot'.

I disagree with the broader notion of censorship and its utility, but if we are going to do it, let's at least do it with some consistency.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:53 am UTC

Huh? I thought that radio stations had been forbidden from playing the song altogether, not just censoring it.

In any case, I figure that a radio edit is appropriate in this case.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:23 am UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Huh? I thought that radio stations had been forbidden from playing the song altogether, not just censoring it.

Nope, just inaccurate reporting:
Canadian Broadcast Standards Council Atlantic Regional Panel wrote:The Panel notes parenthetically that the song would not otherwise fall afoul of any of the foregoing broadcast standards if suitably edited.


Also, the CBSC is a non-governmental organization; whether this is a good decision or not, it's only binding insofar as the radio station chooses to maintain its membership. Saying that "Canada" is censoring Dire Straits is inaccurate.

Edit: Oh, and the decision itself addresses the slippery slope argument from this thread (mentioning To Kill a Mockingbird by name, for one).
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:27 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Besides which, the little faggot in the song has his own jet airplane and is a millionaire. Hard to see how that's an insult.

I think your privilege is blocking the view.

Edit: was that sarcasm?
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:29 am UTC

So, even if your radio station wishes to broadcast the original they can't? I thought radio edits of songs were voluntary.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:37 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:So, even if your radio station wishes to broadcast the original they can't? I thought radio edits of songs were voluntary.

No, it's not forbidden by law or anything, but a voluntary group of radio stations has decided to play the song with 'faggot' removed only.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby dedalus » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:50 am UTC

Just pointing out, the 'little faggot' in question is the band themselves...

That being said, it's hardly a good use of the word, but I don't think it deserves censorship.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Felstaff » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:23 am UTC

Huh. Having heard the song since I was a wee bairn, so possibly over one thousand times or more now, I never actually heard the word faggot at all in the song. This calls for a re-listen!

See the little faggot with the earring and the make-up
Yeah buddy, that's his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet aeroplane
That little faggot he's a millionaire


^Those lyrics are completely alien to me. I'm genuinely surprised at not hearing them at all. Of course, when mumbling along with the song, I'd say things like "we got a big stone microwave oven, something kitchen, deliverie-e-e-e-e-e-s". I never actually paid attention to the lyrical content, although I thought that the lyrics were written when Mark Knopfler hid in a wardrobe in his own home as workmen were moving furniture about, and he wrote down what they were saying about him ("that little faggot's a millionaire"). It turns out, according to wiki, that he was in a hardware store and one worker was watching him on a TV-screen, saying these things.

In retrospect, the lyrics are most certainly offensive and derogatory, and the fact they were intended to be ironic (Knopfler singing groundless insults directly aimed at Knopfler himself verbatim, unbeknownst he was within earshot) does not obviously come across in the song. Should it be edited on the basis of this? Probably not, but should things be edited for containing offensive language? In this case, most likely, as radio-friendly music doesn't really have much of a case for defence when 'the language is needed for the context of the song'. Music is not like film in that it doesn't need offensive language to portray 'gritty realism' or whatever.

Every Christmas, we have the same argument here (in the UK) about whether to keep the word faggot in Fairy Tale of New York. If they can find a decent insult that rhymes with 'maggot', I'd be more than happy for them to, if the song is to be broadcast on public radio. The faggoty version would still be available for people who are offended that people can get offended.

IN FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS, it's most likely I've been listening to the edited version all my life anyway (hence my surprise that the song even contained the word faggot) as it's common to replace 'faggot' with 'mother' in several editions.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:27 am UTC

dedalus wrote:Just pointing out, the 'little faggot' in question is the band themselves...

That being said, it's hardly a good use of the word, but I don't think it deserves censorship.

I think it is some band, perhaps not the Dire Straits themselves.

But let's be clear: people are not censoring the word because of the message it sends. They cut the word because people don't want to hear particular words on the radio, and people (very reasonably) don't want to listen in detail to the lyrics of every song to find out if the word is used appropriately. I personally don't care about offensive words on the radio, but cutting them isn't a deep crime against principles.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby dedalus » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:08 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
dedalus wrote:Just pointing out, the 'little faggot' in question is the band themselves...

That being said, it's hardly a good use of the word, but I don't think it deserves censorship.

I think it is some band, perhaps not the Dire Straits themselves.

Well, from Felstaff's story, it actually is Knopfler, and if you watch the music vid, then it's directed at them. However, you can't tell that just from the lyrics.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:24 am UTC

dedalus wrote:
Zamfir wrote:
dedalus wrote:Just pointing out, the 'little faggot' in question is the band themselves...

That being said, it's hardly a good use of the word, but I don't think it deserves censorship.

I think it is some band, perhaps not the Dire Straits themselves.

Well, from Felstaff's story, it actually is Knopfler, and if you watch the music vid, then it's directed at them. However, you can't tell that just from the lyrics.

The guy in the shop is singing about bands he sees on MTV, the Dire Straits might be among them, but that isn't really clear. He also talks about bongos and Hawaiian noises for example, hardly Dire Straits stuff. And there are loads of 1980s musicians who look much more like little faggots with make-up and earrings than Mark Knopfler...

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:This seems to me to be a clear case of PC gone wrong.

Is it? Is it really? Do you think so?

Because a general rule-of-thumb goes that anyone who starts a conversation or a post with "this is PC gone too far" has already lost sight of the forest for the trees. Really, the Dire Straits album still exists and the uncensored song is easily accessible virtually fucking anywhere. It's just censorship for casual broadcasting, and the word in question is one that could stand to be reproduced less.

And for the record, I thought the Netherlands was a pretty laid-back place, too. That is, I used to.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby cerbie » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:37 pm UTC

*sigh*
*headshake*

Well, my album of the day is going to be Brothers in Arms.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:59 pm UTC

M.C. wrote:Hate to rain on the parade, but 'Radio Edits' are extremely common. Katy Perry/Lady Gaga/Ke$ha and what have you have certain words censored on the radio, why is this any different?

Yeah stations voluntary censoring themselves is quite common. And also things like banning bad words early in the evening. However a judge banning a station from playing a song? Afaik that is not very common. And while the verdict is only directly about this one station, it affects all other stations too.

Also, just before it happened before, doesn't make it ok.

And the reasoning in this particular case is quite bizarre too. It's not the content that is banned, it's the actual word. They recognize that the song is not homophobic, it's the word itself that they fall over.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:03 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:However a judge banning a station from playing a song?

Where do you get that from? the article says:
The Broadcast Standards Council is a non-governmental industry group that administers ethical standards established by its members, Canada's private broadcasters

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:11 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:In retrospect, the lyrics are most certainly offensive and derogatory, and the fact they were intended to be ironic (Knopfler singing groundless insults directly aimed at Knopfler himself verbatim, unbeknownst he was within earshot) does not obviously come across in the song. Should it be edited on the basis of this? Probably not, but should things be edited for containing offensive language? In this case, most likely, as radio-friendly music doesn't really have much of a case for defence when 'the language is needed for the context of the song'. Music is not like film in that it doesn't need offensive language to portray 'gritty realism' or whatever.

But that kind of reasoning is dangerous. By the same logic you should ban The Color Purple or To Kill a Mockingbird, to name a few books. Or censor all occurrences of 'nigger' from Huckleberry Fin I suppose.

And i couldn't disagree more with you that music is not like film (or literature) in this regard. Music has a giant impact on our culture and powerful lyrics can have a lot of influence. Besides, it's not up to the courts to decide what kind of artistic expressions are artistic enough to deserve protection.

IN FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS, it's most likely I've been listening to the edited version all my life anyway (hence my surprise that the song even contained the word faggot) as it's common to replace 'faggot' with 'mother' in several editions.

Dire Straits had a habit of making lots of different versions of their songs. Sings their songs were always quite long, they also often made specific radio versions that were much shorter. I think the radio version of this song does not include these specific lyrics. But the original version is simply much much better. And many stations still play the original. Anyway that should be up to the station, wether they want to be commercial with songs of exactly 4 minutes interspaced with 5 minutes of commercials and 10 minutes of stupid chatter, or if they want to play real music (If you read carefully between the lines I believe you might be able to detect my own opinion on that matter).
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Or censor all occurrences of 'nigger' from Huckleberry Fin I suppose.
When showing it on free broadcast television. Yes. They already do things like this.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Jessica » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:33 pm UTC

Huh. So, they (read: the broadcast standards council) realized that the word "faggot" is an offensive word, and are censoring it on the radio like they do other offensive words. No news here.

Just because it's a classic song, doesn't mean they don't make radio edits of them. It's just that this song has only just recently been added to the list of songs with offensive language in it. And yes, it is offensive to gay people. Doesn't matter that he's talking about himself, he's saying that being gay is bad.

Just another instance of the "anti-PC" zealots trying to make something out of nothing.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Red Hal » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:58 pm UTC

I agree with the concept of radio edits, and have no problem with editing out the words when played on primetime middle-of-the-day public radio. I also agree that the word's usage in this song is in the derogatory and offensive context. However, remember that the narrator in this song is a delivery man in the mid-'80s spouting his hatred and disdain for the so-called easy life of the rock star, and that the narrator is being criticised for this. In that sense it is akin to Huckleberry Finn, in that it charts (if you'll pardon the pun) the casual homophobia of the '80s, trigger:
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Felstaff » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:01 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:But that kind of reasoning is dangerous.
Not really, and
Diadem wrote:By the same logic you should ban...
also not really. If I employ the same logic, I should ban the word nigger from a reading of Huckleberry Finn on daytime public, commercial radio, whilst still allowing the uncensored version to be sold (in whatever format; book, audiobook, ebook, other radio stations that wish to preserve original lyrics) to those who wish to purchase it uncensored. And, like I said, commercial (rock/pop) music shouldn't be held to an identical standard, as
Felstaff wrote:radio-friendly [pop] music doesn't really have much of a case for defence when 'the language is needed for the context of the song'
whereas srs literature, film, art and poetry would make a stronger case than a pop song.

Huckleberry Finn without nigger would be taking a powerful word out where it has a context and a role and important meaning within the text. Taking the word faggot out of a popular song that can be enjoyed and listened to without the word included (indeed I never even noticed it contained the word) is different. I see where you're coming from though; 'censor all or censor none', but a case like this calls for a degree of rationality. I added the [pop] caveat, because a song like Money for Nothing is different from, say, a protest song (generally radio unfriendly as they are), and should be treated as such. The word faggot does not add to the song in an artistic way*, and removing it detracts nothing from the song. No artistic merit is lost from its expungement.

It's no different to, say, a TV station censoring a swear-word on a pre-watershed showing of Alvin & The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakual (there's a bit where Alvin grabs Theodore by the scruff of the neck and threatens to "fuckin' shank the high-pitched cunt"). Had the word in the song been motherfucker, or crotch-pheasant, there would not have been as much hullabaloo, but as it's a newly problematic word, rather than an age-old taboo word, it's garnered much attention ("We Fear Change" /garthvoice).

May it be noted that the Canadian broadcasting standards agency don't want to censor the song itself, for if they did they would request that a new edition of the song is released, and all copies of the problematic version were removed from shelves/online stores. They merely requested that radio stations take into account the problematic version, and amend it accordingly. Also the CBSA doesn't have any legal power to do so, but they do have a strong influential role, like nearly all "standards agencies" the world over.

Sometimes I find it problematic if I don't use the word problematic exactly five times in one post.

*theoretically it could, as in context, Knopfler wanted to recreate the language the man he heard critiquing "MTV bands" was using, and faggot appears to be a linchpin word of his speech. Had this been made clear within the song, so as not to be misunderstood, the case against radio censorship may have been a little stronger. Hell, they censored the phrase 'let's start a war, start a nuclear war' in Electric Six's Gay Bar, which I found ridiculous. And 'I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to drive?' from Eminem's Stan, which I consider much more lyrically artistic and appropriate for the song, for it was a ballad. That was MTV though, and not Canadian radio. Nope, the only dangerous reasoning I would say is if someone said 'we shouldn't let people have access to uncensored versions of the song', or perhaps if this were, like, 1920 and radio was the only viable method of hearing music for the masses.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:It's no different to, say, a TV station censoring a swear-word on a pre-watershed showing of Alvin & The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakual (there's a bit where Alvin grabs Theodore by the scruff of the neck and threatens to "fuckin' shank the high-pitched cunt"). Had the word in the song been motherfucker, or crotch-pheasant, there would not have been as much hullabaloo, but as it's a newly problematic word, rather than an age-old taboo word, it's garnered much attention ("We Fear Change" /garthvoice).

I guess it's mostly a cultural thing, but censoring of swear words happens hardly at all here in the Netherlands (where Diadem is from too). That might make this look like a bigger thing to us then it is.

One reason is probably simply that most offensive songs on the radio are in English, and quite some offensive TV too. That means the protective-parent demographic doesn't care so much about those swear words. And even for people who understand it, the words lack emotional punch.

On the other hand, Dutch swear words of every level of profanity are broadcast too, and the only organized protest is from a wacky religious group that doesn't want the name of the Lord used in vain.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Xeio » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:37 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:It's no different to, say, a TV station censoring a swear-word on a pre-watershed showing of Alvin & The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakual (there's a bit where Alvin grabs Theodore by the scruff of the neck and threatens to "fuckin' shank the high-pitched cunt"). Had the word in the song been motherfucker, or crotch-pheasant, there would not have been as much hullabaloo, but as it's a newly problematic word, rather than an age-old taboo word, it's garnered much attention ("We Fear Change" /garthvoice).
Well, I'd say I'm against censoring either. It's bad enough there are already words we censor, adding more is arguably worse (but then, I don't live in Canada, so whatever).

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Jessica » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:49 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:Well, I'd say I'm against censoring either. It's bad enough there are already words we censor, adding more is arguably worse (but then, I don't live in Canada, so whatever).
I disagree that adding more words is worse. If we are going to censor words we consider offensive on public radio, we should censor all of them, not just some. Recognizing that a word IS offensive to a group of people, and censoring it makes sense. It's understanding that the word is offensive. Maybe to most of straight canada (and the world) they don't think that faggot is a bad word. It's just the gays, who cares. But, if we're going to censor nigger, or fuck, or cunt, we should censor faggot.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Czhorat » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:37 pm UTC

[quote="Jessica" I disagree that adding more words is worse. If we are going to censor words we consider offensive on public radio, we should censor all of them, not just some. Recognizing that a word IS offensive to a group of people, and censoring it makes sense. It's understanding that the word is offensive. Maybe to most of straight canada (and the world) they don't think that faggot is a bad word. It's just the gays, who cares. But, if we're going to censor nigger, or fuck, or cunt, we should censor faggot.[/quote]

Agreed. I'll go so far as to say that censoring some and not others is worse than no censoring at all. If one allows slurs for homosexuals and not for African-Americans, for example, what does that say to homosexual facing prejudice about how we as a society feel about their rights?

The "classic rock" station here in New York (Q104.3) plays the Dire Straights song without edit. If my daughter is in the car with me, I'll flip to a different station because I don't want the repetition of that kind of language to send the message that it's acceptable to use, nor do I feel the need to call attention to it by pointing the word out to her and explaining why its use is wrong. I also don't like hearing it myself and think there's a fine line between parodying bigotry and just expressing it.

I also get frustrated over complaints about "Basic Human Decency". They generally seem to be a call for the right to say bigoted and offensive things without consequence.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby StNowhere » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:39 pm UTC

Czhorat wrote:nor do I feel the need to call attention to it by pointing the word out to her and explaining why its use is wrong.

...

I also get frustrated over complaints about "Basic Human Decency". They generally seem to be a call for the right to say bigoted and offensive things without consequence.



This strikes me as emblematic of the actual problem. I always sigh when I read stories about things like this (sigh, and not scream, mostly because - as others have pointed out - no one is (yet) calling for the elimination of original works, be it something as silly as a song by Dire Straits or a book like Huck Finn). Taking out words, or replacing them, is just sidestepping the issue. There are no bad words, only bad ideas. Remove or replace one bad word, and another with an identical (or worse) connotation will spring up in its place. You can't win the war against "bad words" - hell, you can't even break even. If you simply change the station, you're losing the opportunity (and you damn well should take every opportunity where this arises) to confront the idea that the prejudice is the real problem here; the word "faggot" is just a collection of letters shielding a much uglier, more sinister motive - to separate and denigrate. We've got to leave these words where we find them, so that when we find them, we take the time to explain, in clear and unambiguous terms, why people of differing sexual orientation/race/gender/religion/culture/etc. are not and have never been inferior, wrong, offensive to one's (limited) sensibilities, etc. Yeah, the real war is going to take a lot longer. You can't change the minds of an entire populace overnight - you can only change your world: your coworkers, your friends, your family and especially your children.

And I consider myself, at least in this context, to be "anti-PC", but I disagree completely with your generalization. I don't want to see "offensive words" left in because I want people to express their offensive idiocy without consequence, but just the opposite - I want to make sure that we live in a society that doesn't simply try to eliminate the speech, but that takes the offender to task every time they use it. Only when there are consequences will there ever be change, and consequences only exist when people are allowed to be wrong.

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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

Okay. I'd been opposed to this when I thought that they were pulling the song off the air in it's entirety. If they're just calling for a radio edit, then I okay with that; after all, the original version of the song will be around for people to listen too.

Of course, people are still opposed to this, and the talk on the radio today was mainly about how horrible it was that this song was [i]getting banned from the entire radio/i] (again, likely misinformation). However, the other part of the story that has people angry is the part where the ruling was made as a result of one person in Newfoundland making the complaint. Anyone want to read into this?

By the way, take a look at this article right here. It basically covers the same story, but pay attention to the comments section and notice which ones are highest rated and which ones are lowest rated.

Maybe it's because recently starting my sociology course at school has prompted me to notice these things a bit more, but I can't help but take this as a sign of just how angry people are at the idea of censoring a 'term that used to mean a large number of sticks tied into a bundle for firewood'.

Edit - Check out this comment left by someone from the original site.

"The Canadians have criminalized thought and speech. Creepy."

Because telling radio stations to edit out a word that some might consider offensive means that we have a full-fledged Orwellian thought police on hand.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Belial » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:06 pm UTC

StNowhere wrote:And I consider myself, at least in this context, to be "anti-PC", but I disagree completely with your generalization. I don't want to see "offensive words" left in because I want people to express their offensive idiocy without consequence, but just the opposite - I want to make sure that we live in a society that doesn't simply try to eliminate the speech, but that takes the offender to task every time they use it.


But if you broadcast or publish that speech, aren't you the one using it? And if you refuse to broadcast it (and therefore don't use it) aren't you engaging in the head-shaking-inducing behaviour you describe?

So if you're a broadcaster or publisher, what's the winning move here?
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Lostdreams » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
StNowhere wrote:And I consider myself, at least in this context, to be "anti-PC", but I disagree completely with your generalization. I don't want to see "offensive words" left in because I want people to express their offensive idiocy without consequence, but just the opposite - I want to make sure that we live in a society that doesn't simply try to eliminate the speech, but that takes the offender to task every time they use it.


But if you broadcast or publish that speech, aren't you the one using it? And if you refuse to broadcast it (and therefore don't use it) aren't you engaging in the head-shaking-inducing behaviour you describe?

So if you're a broadcaster or publisher, what's the winning move here?


Nowadays it's whatever gets more ratings/sells more literature.
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby Belial » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:38 pm UTC

Lostdreams wrote:
Belial wrote:So if you're a broadcaster or publisher, what's the winning move here?


Nowadays it's whatever gets more ratings/sells more literature.


Different game. The game we're talking about is "win StNowhere's approval".
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Re: Canada censors Dire Straits

Postby StNowhere » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:02 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Lostdreams wrote:
Belial wrote:So if you're a broadcaster or publisher, what's the winning move here?


Nowadays it's whatever gets more ratings/sells more literature.


Different game. The game we're talking about is "win StNowhere's approval".


Good. I was feeling rather like I hadn't been insulted lately.

To answer the original question, if you broadcast someone else's speech, no, that doesn't make you the one using it. That seems a bit like saying all publishing houses that put out Huck Finn in its original version are tacitly approving of racism, not because of the content of the novel or the impression of the character using it, but by the simple act of publishing the word "nigger", and by extension that by replacing it with "slave," we somehow make the speech less racist.

If you manage to blot out a word, what victory have you won against prejudice? My major point is that, for example, if you force a homophobe to stop using the word "faggot," he's still a homophobe, just one with a slightly more limited vocabulary. If you get people to understand why homophobia is wrong, however, then people will no longer need to use the word*.


*in that context.


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