Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

Censorship in Canada

Posted on | January 14, 2011 | No Comments

The CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council) published a ruling this week which dropped like a bomb on Canada’s cultural scene. Following a complaint from a listener, the organization ruling over our airwaves decreed that the now classical hit “Money for Nothing” from the Dire Straits should be censored in Canada.

Here is a formal complaint I’ve logged to the CBSC via email. I encourage you to copy it and send it as well, signed with your name.

“If, like me, you’ve been listening at Money for Nothing for the past 26 years without worry, you probably had the same reaction than I : « Wait, what? ». It seems the word “faggot”, a term offensive to homosexuals, is uttered three times in the song. Honestly, I had to check the lyrics online to realize it, as I never paid much attention to it before. Then I went and bought the song on iTunes. Nice marketing ploy.

But let us come back to this offensive word. It does indeed occur three times as mentioned. The true question is: is it meant to hurt anyone? Fortunately this isn’t the case. The whole song must be seen from an ironic perspective, as sharp criticism from the less-than-average blue collar worker towards the excesses of rock stardom. In context, back in 1985 (and who wants to remember spandex and Glam Metal?) the use of the word plunges us deep into a debate which rages regarding the “subversive” aspects of rock music.

Unfortunately, the CBSC did not have the inkling of a shred of common sense in this matter. By reacting at the mere presence of the word, the CBSC is not only guilty of blind censorship, but doubly so as it closes its eyes on the long history of censorship surrounding rock music, on the social upheavals voluntarily brought about by the artists in this culture, and in general insults the intelligence of all Canadians, no matter what their sexual orientation is.

As a Canadian listener, citizen and taxpayer, I am outraged that your organization could have participated in such an unenlightened act of censorship, and strongly encourage you to reverse your decision.”

And just so you can make your own mind about it, here are the song’s lyrics:

Et à titre d’information, voici les paroles de la chanson… faites-vous alors votre propre idée:

I want my MTV

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s

(See 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)

Gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
Gotta move these colour TV’s

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin’ in the camera
Man we could have some
And he’s up there, what’s that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin’ on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s

Look a’ here
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on your MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free

Look at that, look at that

Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
I want my, I want my, I want my MTV
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

I want my MTV

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