03 April 2006

Consistency on the Radio

The FCC's ability to fine indecency is due to the scarcity of the radio. In order to avoid such fines, radio stations censor themselves. Which means the stuff they do play is generally permissible by the FCC. Which means they don't mind drug dealing, drug use, shooting people, killing in general, various sex acts... Sure stations bleep out one "offensive" word in a lyric to avoid the fine, but the meaning remains and is apparent. So I don't see how the "protect the children" argument works here.

I'd rather hear a curse word or two in a pleasant song, than a dirty song with some bleeped out words. Good example... T-Pain's song, "I'm in luv (wit a Stripper)" is changed to "I'm in luv (wit a Dancer)" but it is still quite clear what kind of dancer she is and what T-Pain wants to do to her.

This system is used beautifully by James Blunt. His, "You're Beautiful" easily converts from a drug induced hallucination into a cute, heartfelt, quixotic love song by changing just one word, f***ing to flying.

What is the work-around? Internet radio, which thankfully the FCC doesn't own, yet. Oh and then paid services like XM radio, where you can block certain channels.

In researching this piece I came across a funny wikipedia article on one of these dirty words, which is funny because it is so thoroughly complete and formal in terms of usage. (Disclaimer: This link may be offensive, if the s-word offends you).

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