On Sun March 12 2006 06:40, Cesare Marilungo wrote:
I don't think we're talking about music with lyrics demeaning the
listener. The most common use of censorship I've seen has been
applied by people who just don't understand the song, and
therefore don't realize the author of the lyrics was writing a
character, not his own feelings.
To throw out an example that was supposedly offensive to my own
personal minority, in the 80's we had Dire Straits:
That little faggot in 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.
You wouldn't believe the shrieking and the crying. Some radio
stations bleeped out the word "faggot" and they didn't use it
when they played the song at Live Aid. Boy George and others
threw big public hissies. To this day, GLAAD (the gay version
of the ADL) organizes boycotts of radio stations that dare to
air the song unedited. But the song was based on a conversation
the songwriter overheard at a furniture store, and was meant to
poke fun at people who said things like the above.
And then you have current mainstream hip-hop, where the artists
throw around the word "nigga" like it's an indefinite article.
At the Oscars the other night they had some hip-hop band
performing (they later won Best Song) and it was like every
other word got bleeped. I have no idea whether that French site
would ban them for using racist speech, but if they did, it'd be
ironic since the people writing and saying it were black. (On
the other hand, the constant use of the words "bitches" and
"hoes" is sexist, though again they can be spoken by a character
and not necessarily the author or singer of the song.)
Racist and sexist lyrics aren't always what they seem to be, and
I really think that most attempts to draw the line result in
overzealous squelching of actual artistic content. I guess it
comes down to a simple question: are they trying to be purveyors
of art, or of easily saleable product?