Canada Bans Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" for Being Too Offensive. No, I'm Not Kidding

Please don't ever tell me that Canada is a more enlightened country than the U.S. and A.:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that Dire Straits' 1980s hit Money for Nothing is too offensive for Canadian radio.

The ruling, released Wednesday, was in response to a complaint against St. John's radio station CHOZ-FM. The listener complained that the word faggot – which appears three times in the song is "extremely offensive" to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The council is an independent body created by Canadian radio and television broadcasters to review the standards of their content. [...]

The council ruled that the song contravenes its ethics code which states: "broadcasters shall ensure that their programming contains no abusive or unduly discriminatory material or comment which is based on matters of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability.":

It ruled that "faggot," when used to describe a homosexual, is "even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, is no longer so."

Here's your Canadian samizdat, which if anything should be banned for animating Sting:

Read more about Canada's "human rights censors" here.

By the Great White North's ape-like logic, there is no end to songs that Canadians should be protected from. Starting with Randy Newman's "Rednecks":

And, obviously:

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  • ||

    "Crazy Train" may offend crazy people.

  • Solanum||

    Playing Shock the Monkey on Tuesdays is offensive.

  • ||

    Don't most hip hop songs include the word, "nigger"?

    Gotta go. Sorry.

  • Almanian||

    I thought of ANOTHER Randy Newman song, "Short People"...RACIST VERTICALIST!

  • ||

    Beat me to it. Hey, they have no reason to live. Maybe Canada agrees.

  • Zeb||

    Not on the radio.

  • ||

    Ah, good point, if true.

  • Almanian||

    Pro, I believe the word for that today is "slave"

  • RUSH||

    Today's Tom Sawyer
    He gets high on you
    And the space he invades
    He gets by on you

    No his mind is not for rent
    To any god or government
    Always hopeful, yet discontent
    He knows changes aren't permanent
    But change is

    HATE SPEECH!!!

  • More Rush||

    now there's no more ...oppression
    For they've passed a noble law....

    And the trees are all kept equal...
    By hatchet,
    Axe,
    And saw....

  • Anomalous||

    And the men who have high voices...

  • Entitled Slacker||

    Racist.

  • ||

    I prefer Gabirel's own German version, Schock den Affen, with the lyric "Schock den Affen im Schlaf!"

    Wir schlafen, meine Brueder Affen, wir schlafen!

  • Ska||

    It ruled that "faggot," when used to describe a homosexual, is "even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, is no longer so."

    Except isn't he calling the rich rock star a faggot, and not actually commenting on a homosexual?

  • Zeb||

    Canadians are too stupid to pick up on such fine subtleties and need to be protected from them.

  • ||

    Zeb, nice name, if Canadians are too stupid, you must be a faggot, asshole. Grow up you little jackass

  • Mike Bell||

    "Canadians are too stupid"

    Unlike you, as evidenced by such a brilliant statement.

  • Atanarjuat||

    I thought he was referring to someone specific, like Boy George.

  • Greer||

    I always thought he was referring to Mick Jagger. Many people looked at his prancing around as faggoty. Especially the teamster type guy saying it.

  • ||

    Prancing always implies homo.

  • ||

    I always thought he was referring to Prince.

  • Joe R.||

    I thought George Michael.

  • mgd||

    It was Boy George, I'm sure. George Michael and Prince were unknown at the time.

  • ||

    Was Boy George ever famous enough to fly around in "his own jet airplane,"
    I say Elton John

  • Montana||

    I hope you pussies will finally be on board for an invasion now. Those smug Kokane drinkers have been thumbing their noses at us for far too long. 53rd parallel or bust I say!

  • Restoras||

    Let's just take the shale oil - definately don't want the French bit.

  • ||

    Ça parrais que ça ne va pas fort dans ton petit cerveau d'Américain. Et ce genre de commentaires prouve bien votre minable morale guerrière !

  • Andrew||

    54-40 or fight!

  • ||

    My sense is that the word was being used by a tough working class guy to describe a guy he saw as unmasculine rather than homosexual. Don't old accounts of British boarding schools describe a practice called "fagging" - a tougher boy bullying a weaker one? It didn't have any sexual overtone that I'm aware of.

  • Mike G||

    I didn't think there was anything about British boarding school that wasn't flamingly gay.

  • Anton Sirius||

    This is a game with tons of potential. Gentlepersons, start your hashtags!

  • -||

    The council is an independent body created by Canadian radio and television broadcasters

    Independent of the government? Voluntary censorship?

  • Mythical Canadian Libertarian||

    Sort of. One of those self-inflicted de facto "censorship" panels to ward off de jure regulation.

    It's functionally censorship.

  • -||

    There's a big difference between an industry association censoring itself, and the heavy hand of government doing it for them. The self-censorship is often in response to an implied threat, however. The FCC comes to mind.

  • -||

    Anyway, "Canada bans Dire Straits" might be a bit misleading.

  • Tom Hawthorn||

    Not 'might be misleading.' Is misleading.

    Matt Welch got his facts wrong. This is industry self-censorship, not a government decision. *Canada* has banned nothing.

  • ||

    Except this isn't really a voluntary industry association, if the government requires that you belong to it in order to do business.

  • ||

    There's actually more than an implied threat-- the governmental body the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) reviews CBSC decisions and decides if they were harsh enough.

  • b||

    Soooo... Not such a big difference.

  • ||

    So if I have a radio station in Canada and I want to play this song anyway, there is nothing stopping me but a voluntary organization to which I do not have to belong? Then why belong to such a stupid organization, eh?

  • Lark||

    Because if you don't, the CRTC won't renew your broadcasting license. They've done it before.

  • ||

    Considering that probably less than 5% of the hearings of "Money for Nothing" come via broadcast radio or TV, I don't know if I'd even agree it's "functional" censorship.

    And they can still play it on the radio as long as they edit out those three words, which most US stations do anyway.

  • robc||

    Really? I havent heard it on the radio in a long while, but I dont remember "faggot" ever being editted out.

  • nekoxgirl||

    It's not edited on XM but I've noticed some FM stations play an edited version.

  • ||

    Yeah, I was referring to AM/FM radio. Is satellite radio in Canada affected by this decision?

  • ||

    I've heard it several times on local stations here in blue-but-surrounded-by-red Albany, NY and it's never been edited out, which actually surprised me. I can't speak for solid blue downstate stations. The same stations play PSAs where the speaker is telling people to stop saying "that's so gay" because it's offensive.

    Anyway, as a rock star singing a song from the perspective of a working class guy, isn't he really poking fun at himself as the rock star? I don't see why, if listened to with a brain, it would be offensive. Context has meaning.

  • Trailer Park Boys||

    Here's your fucking context. Fuck off!

  • ||

    We need a new government program, something like Radio Free Canada.

  • Tipper Gore||

    Can we make them edit the CD and MP3 versions? And destroy all vinyl copies.

  • Richard B||

    Someone played the album version of the song... that whole verse isn't included in the Radio Edit that 90% of all other stations play.

  • Gray Ghost||

    they also usually edit out or silence the "bangin' on the bongos like a chimpanzee" stanza.

  • ||

    It's racist. Duh.

  • Xenocles||

    I first heard the song as part of a top-whatever list put together and commented on by the station's talk hosts. The guy who picked Money for Nothing explicitly (perhaps even approvingly) mentioned the word's appearance in his introduction and it played uncensored. I think it was about 20 years ago on a Boston AM station.

  • Steve||

    The threat of government punishment is implied, thus this is definitely censorship -- a soft form but a form none-the-less.

  • ||

    It's been known to happen, for obvious reasons.

  • tr0n||

    No. It is allowed, by the government, the power to regulate radio stations. It's like letting mall cops enforce traffic laws on the freeway.

  • Stelanthin||

    I really wanted to think this was a joke. Even though you said it wasn't in the title.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Clearly, the only safe course of action is nuke their Frenchie parliament from orbit, as a preemptive measure.

  • Destrudo||

    Partie terminée, homme. Partie terminée.

  • omg||

    But I am le tired.

  • ||

    WTF mate?

  • Steve||

    I always thought that part of the song was making fun of the people who were jealous of some gay MTV star.

    Please send that idiot out and tell us that we just got "Punked."

    Please?

  • BakedPenguin||

    I always thought that part of the song was making fun of the people who were jealous of some gay MTV star.

    It was a song written in the voice of ass-crack showing furniture movers making fun of rock stars who they thought looked gay. Since they go on to say "get your chicks for free", it's obvious "faggot" was only meant to be derogatory.

  • ||

    That part of the song was about Boy George, wasn't it? Just like the "finger in her coochie" line was a reference to Madonna.

  • ||

    Right -- the song actually parodies people who spend all day complaining that they're not rock stars. The person saying "faggot" is the object of the song's ridicule.

    Apparently that distinction is too subtle even after having 30 years to mull it over.

  • ||

    It's not a very good parody if people don't realize it's a parody.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    People are pretty stupid if they can't realize it's a parody.

    I knew that 30 years ago when the song first came out and I heard Mark Knopfler telling the story of how he wrote it.

  • Amakudari||

    It's not a very good parody if people don't realize it's a parody.

    Why?

    IMO some of the best parodies are the ones that the dimmer among us take word for word.

  • ||

    Yep, that's what makes Colbert so great -- some people actually think he's serious.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Probably the kind of people who take The Onion seriously.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I guess the fact that the point of the song is to poke fun at people making those statements is completely lost on the censors.

  • Tim||

    Nobody gets sarcasm.

  • nekoxgirl||

    And even fewer people get satire.

  • Jerry||

    Remember Mark Steyn, Ann Coulter...

  • Almanian||

    Please note that it took them, like, thirty years to get around to making this determination.

    So, right on schedule for a gummint or quasi-gummental bureaucracy.

  • seanrude||

    It took them that long to get the Compact Disc out of the long box it came in

  • Kristen||

    All the Canadians I know are candy-ass hand-wringers with constantly furrowed brows. But they're all from Toronto. Please tell me the ones from Saskatoon and Edmonton are different!

  • Mike Laursen||

    All the Canadians I know have a crude, politically-incorrect sense of humor. Oh, wait. Come to think of it, all the ones I know left Canada to work in the U.S.

  • ||

  • Atanarjuat||

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0302585/

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086373/

  • c*nt fingers||

    I had a serious conversation the other day with my wife about leaving the USA for greener, freer pastures. The first thought was Canada . . . but then we considered shit like this and said no. But where to go? Australia? Switzerland? Is it really "better" anywhere else?

  • Almanian||

    We're considering Wyoming - thinking everyone forgets about it, and we can maybe secede before anyone notices.

    Australia's second (but not in the cities, which are every bit as bad as the UK)

  • T||

    I can't comment much on Wyoming, but I can tell you about Montana. And what I can tell you is wintertime is a stone bitch. I wouldn't spend wintertime there again if I could possibly avoid it.

  • Montana||

    It works as a wonderful genetic screener for manliness in our state.

    Unfortunately this effects the women also...

  • sevo||

    But not the sheep.

  • Anomalous||

    Besides, who wants to grow dental floss, anyway?

  • Bucky||

    or have a midget pony?
    isn't that tough going in deep snow...

  • Matt Welch||

    Enjoy the mandatory voting, mate!

  • Almanian||

    Plus, all males have to change their name to Bruce, which also sucks...

  • Hugh Akston||

    Wait, mandatory voting? How does that work?

  • Steve||

    Vote of Die...But for Real!

  • ||

    It's actually compulsary attendance at the polls. Given that Australia invented the secret ballot (it's sometimes called the "Australian Ballot") they cant actually make you vote.

    You can, however, get fined if you don't go to the polling place. The way to avoid it is to not get naturalized.

    Another feature of compulsary voting is that voting results are published with a section called informal. That is all the votes that could not be counted as going to a candidate. Some interpret a high number of informal votes as an indicator of dissatisfaction with the candidates who are running.

  • ||

    embracing the term 'nomad' seems practical

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Somalia, of course.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Switzerland is a pretty nice place. Let us all know if you manage to get in, though.

  • robc||

    Dont know if anything has changed, but I had no trouble getting in in 1991. You didnt even need a Visa to work there (but you did to live there, so if you want to commute from Germany or Italy, that is cool with them). For understanding was that moving there is easy, citizen is functionally impossible.

  • Entitled Slacker||

    For God's sake avoid Swiitzerland. All Swiss are policemen at heart. You will receive a sound dressing down if you even THINK about not sorting out the different colored bottles in your recycling. And don't try to drift through a stop-sign at four in the morning. You can be sure that some Swiss busybody will be right there and try to make a citizen's arrest. I speak from expereience.

  • ||

    Antarctica is relatively free, and you never have to worry about air conditioning.

  • Pointless Commentary||

    Plus, all the penguins you can eat!

  • wtf dude?||

    Canadians are a bunch of faggots!! There, I said it. BTW, did it take 30 years for this song to make it to Canada?

  • ||

    I'm already piling the faggots for the pyres we'll use when we lynch the hell paving folks at the CRTC.

  • CanadianHumanRightsCommission||

    Why don't you have a seat over there.

  • DesigNate||

    +10 for using the word in it's original meaning.

  • ||

    The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is a broadcast industry organization. It does not need to ward off de jure regulation because the industry regulator is a captive of the industry. It allows violations of conditions of licence and of its own rules of conduct willy-nilly. This seems to me more like a charade to make it look as if the broadcast industry is attuned to "community concerns" (even when the community is one complainant).

  • The FCC||

    *sigh*

  • ||

    This isn't the first bad thing to come out of Canada. Let's not forget Bryan Adams!

  • ||

    has apologized for Bryan Adams on numerous occasions!

  • Sheila||

    Pff. You with your flapping heads and beady eyes!

  • nekoxgirl||

    I think Scott is probably behind this. He's a dick!

  • ||

    listen here, guy!

  • John||

    don't call me guy, buddy

  • ||

    I'm not your buddy, friend.

  • ||

    I'm not your friend, guy!

  • Entitled Slacker||

    Don't be so quick to congratulate yourself. You still as yet to make amends for those two caterwauling idiots Celine Dion and Alanis Morrisette.

  • tote-road||

    Canada has ample credit with us for supplying Rush. We could absorb another dozen Celine Dions (though fewer singers of normal girth) before they exhaust this credit.

  • ||

    Not to mention Triumph and April Wine.

  • Amakudari||

    Nickelback
    Avril Lavigne
    Simple Plan
    Sum 41
    Three Days Grace

  • ||

    We should bomb them for Nickelback alone.

  • Bucky||

    GBS

  • Weird Science||

    She lives in Canada. She has no morals. I don't like that in a girl.

  • Mike M.||

    I clearly remember most radio stations were playing the "sanitized" version of the song even back when it was a huge hit. It was always deemed to be somewhat offensive.

  • Mike Laursen||

    That explains why I never knew there were offensive words in the song. That and Knopfler's mumbling all his lyrics.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, it even took many listens to determine it was "chicks for free" and not "checks for free". (Banks had started offering free checking to large depositors.)

  • Robert||

    Wait a minute...the CBSC still allows "chicks"? Whew!

  • ||

    When I first read the headline, I figured this was what it was banned for after feminists complained.

  • ||

    WARNING: The sanitized version is the one included on "Money For Nothing" (Dire Straits' Greatest Hits). When this CD was released, it was marketed at a notably higher price than usual CDs of the day. I wrote a letter of protest to the label, complaining that they should at least give us the full, unabridged version of the song from which the album took its title, if they were going to ask us to pay extra. A response that respected the customer might have involved sending me either a refund for the purchase price or another CD that included the original version of the song. Instead, I got a letter from some clown at a place called "Damage Management," which basically told me, in a couple of pages of closely-space typing, "tough titties, and by the way, Knopfler approved of the compilation."

    This and other instances of music industry contempt for customers convinced me way back then that the bottom would fall out of that industry in the not-too-distant future and, looky-here, that's what we're seeing. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of f---, ... er ... guys, imho.

    Tough-titties, record companies.

  • ||

    Another reason not to listen to the radio. Which I haven't done for about 5 years now.

  • ||

    was tuning in the shine on the light night dial
    Doing anything my radio advised
    With every one of those late night stations
    Playing songs bringing tears to my eyes
    I was seriously thinking about hiding the receiver
    When the switch broke 'cause it's old
    They're saying things that I can hardly believe
    They really think we're getting out of control

    (CHORUS) Radio is a sound salvation
    Radio is cleaning up the nation
    They say you better listen to the voice of reason
    But they don't give you any choice 'cause they think that it's treason
    So you had better do as you are told
    You better listen to the radio

    I wanna bite the hand that feeds me
    I wanna bite that hand so badly
    I want to make them wish they'd never seen me

    Some of my friends sit around every evening
    And they worry about the times ahead
    But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
    And the promise of an early bed
    You either shut up or get cut up, they don't wanna hear about it
    It's only inches on the reel-to-reel
    And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools
    Tryin' to anaesthetise the way that you feel

  • x,y||

    Private censorship: Comedy Central cuts the scene in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where they sword fight, hug, and [commercial break] call each other "fag."

  • S. Preston Esquire||

    Ok I may have to boycott Comedy Central now. No one should mess with a historical piece of art like B&TEA; 1 or 2.

  • ||

    You're supposed to be boycotting them already over the Mohammed South Park episode getting scrubbed.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    That reminds me, Tropic Thunder was on FX a week or so ago. I was half-watching it while doing some other stuff. The part where Downey and Stiller discuss Stiller's character's previous role as a retard was edited to hell--every instance of the word "retard"/"retarded" was replaced with either "special" or "slow".

    "You never go full special."

  • Ska||

    Meta full retard?

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Exactly. I had to wonder if anyone involved in the dubbing process realized the intense irony of what they were doing.

  • Bradley Strider||

    Jesus. Reminds me of seeing Showgirls playing on cable one time, where they'd covered up all the nudity by painted-on digital bikinis.

  • Pointless Commentary||

    That was strange. Nevertheless, I got a digital boner.

  • -||

    You got a stiff finger?

  • aaron||

    After a certain hour though, Comedy Central doesn't edit anything. They were showing the unedited Team America the other night.

  • Self-hating American||

    The "clean TV version" of "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" overdubs the Spicoli line "Those guys are fags!" with "Those guys are fools!". And that goes back to the mid-80's.

    Bowdlerization is an American tradition.

  • Dr. Bowdler||

    Notwithstanding the fact that we Poms invented it!

  • ||

    Maybe they should dub over faggot with hoser.

  • Boy George||

    I was going to cover the song replacing "faggot" with "breeder", but I sobered up.

  • ||

    Only faggots could possibly ban a Dire Straits song.

  • c*nt fingers||

    Comedy Central has one, and only one, redeeming thing - Tosh.0
    In fact, Jon Stewart's elevation to America's most trusted news source is one of the many reasons I am looking to leave the country.

  • Kenny||

    South Park is by far the best commentary on modern America of anything in the media.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Knopfler can pick. He made a good album with Chet Atkins about -- wow -- 20 years ago.

  • ||

    So are so fucking old. I bet you piss dust.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You're right. Three times every fuckin' night.

  • ||

    i bet u dont even no how 2 txt hurr durr

  • SF||

    I have a cut from that album - There'll Be Changes Made. Never get tired of it.

  • Huckleberry F***||

    That's so fucked up.

  • ||

    On a different note, anyone notice that somehow Lady Gaga turned "muffin" into a bad word? They show her Poker Face video on MTV and it gets to the part where she's "just bluffin' with my muffin" and they take out the "muffin". Wow. Was that from the FCC threatening them?

  • ||

    Lady Gaga? Please... how long ago did Aerosmith croon about going down on a muffin on Walk This Way? That chick is all lame PR and zero talent.

  • ||

    beat me to it. i had to explain what the rabbit test was to somebody who was asking about the aerosmith line where you "can't catch me cause the rabbit done died".

    aerosmith has good lyrics, in a ramones sort of way

  • ||

    Don't forget the classic "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin" by Mojo Nixon.

  • ||

    Don't forget the classic "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin" by Mojo Nixon.

  • Or this one||

    Peach's "There's only one Peach with a Hole in the Middle"

    Nasty, nasty stuff.

  • Diddle my skiddle, baby||

  • Diddle my Skittle||

    uhhg

  • ||

    You actually expect us to believe they played a video on MTV?

  • BoscoH||

    Next, they'll ban "Oh, Canada" for inciting violence in the hockey rink.

  • flye||

    "My home and native land" is offensive to immigrants.

  • Censorship is gay||

    Most US radio stations have been playing an edited version of "Money For Nothing" for decades (partly because they don't want to play 8 minutes of anything except commercials, but even the stations that used to play the long version now play the shorter version). The Dire Straits "best of" releases have always had the edited version of it without the "faggot" verse. And Knopfler leaves out the entire "faggot" verse when he plays it live.

    So it's stupid, but it started happening a long time ago.

  • ||

    I also talked about this in reply to a comment somewhere back up the thread.

    The distressing thing for me is that the inclusion of truncated or censored versions in "greatest hits" compilations practically guarantees that future generations will never even know what the original versions were like. Cost-conscious consumers and radio broadcasters have tended to backfill their music libraries with GH compilations. So they may not even have the albums that included the original versions, and they'll never know the difference. History is subtly "rewritten" by GH albums: abridged and censored versions of songs become the "official versions," and songs that never were hits at initial release become "old classics" by virtue of being assumed (by future, ignorant consumers) to have been hits because they were collected together with bona fide "greatest hits." In the meantime, original versions, or many songs that were much more popular and valuable to audiences in their own day are forgotten, because they didn't have the good fortune to make it into the "Greatest Hits" time-capsule/lifeboat.

    Oh well.

  • Robert||

    I'm still wondering which is the official version of The Producers (movie): the one with the passage involving setting off the charge with electricity, or the one without?

  • Robert||

    That does contain dialog that says, "With electricity, it is strange: the male goes with the male."

  • ||

    While I disagree with this decision, I'm pretty sure that the last time I saw the "Money for Nothing" video on TV (can't recall if it was VH-1, MTV, Fuse, or what) they blanked out the word - "f****t."

  • sevo||

    What's they do about "Alice's Restaurant"?

  • ||

    Only play it once a year on Thanksgiving when the back-up to the back-up DJ is getting a BJ from his girlfriend in the studio (provided it isn't a computer, I don;t know why a computer would play a 21 minute song).

  • ||

    Even when that song is played on the airways in the US, the sanitized version is played. I'm gay and I find this "sanitation" of the song offensive.

  • Billy Beck||

    Well, you're homosexual, whether you're happy or not.

    I want that word back.

  • ||

    After nearly 25 years they decide that "faggot" might offend someone. I wonder how long it will take them to decide that "banging on the bongoes like a chimpanzee" might have racial undertones?

  • Stingy||

    Before you know it "millionaire" will mean "underpriveleged individual".

  • ||

    Just let inflation go on a little bit longer...

  • Inherit The Wind||

    Radio is a barren source of amusement.

  • ||

    As a Canadian, I can only wonder what all the censorship is aboot, eh?

  • DDavis||

    I'm getting increasingly disturbed by other Western nations talking up censorship, particularly for hate speech.

    I keep waiting for some enterprising atheist somewhere to turn that hate speech arguments against the "holy" books. Whatever is a multiculturist to do?

  • SxCx||

    I'd be more outraged if people still needed radio to hear music.

  • SxCx||

    Does the CBSC reveal a crucial problem with industry self-regulation? Or are they just reacting this way because they know the state will otherwise do it for them?

    Meaning if there were no possibility of state censorship (because the state would have hypothetically withdrawn from that role), would industries self-censor at all? What would be their incentive? "Customer Satisfaction"?

    It's almost like the CBSC was created to deflect attention from the actual regulator, that being the CRTC...

  • SxCx||

    Basically: why would a group of private companies willingly consort to limit freedom?

  • ||

    You mean, like Hollywood did with its movie code for decades?

  • MPAA/RIAA||

    What DRM?

  • SxCx||

    Good point! You think they were motivated by the same fear? Or maybe the blunt pressure of bureaucrats calling them up and saying "either you do it or we will"?

    I'm very curious what would happen if that bureaucrat didn't exist...

  • SxCx||

    Following up on that: are libertarians bothered by private censorship? Judging from the reaction of Matt and others, I suppose some are.

    Like I understand this scenario is complicated by the looming influence of an existing state (with a clear record of regulating), but say the state had nothing to do with it at all. Is that okay?

    As I hinted, I know there are many alternate sources out there, and no one is being imprisoned for wanting the song, but still: can you be truly libertarian and think this is bullshit? Even if it's a completely private decision...

  • DDavis||

    "Following up on that: are libertarians bothered by private censorship? Judging from the reaction of Matt and others, I suppose some are."

    I think what libertarians object to is caving in to violent threats more than caving in to peaceful boycotts or the like. Threatening violence in response to speech is a no no, as is institutionally caving in to that violence.

  • ||

    You betcha libertarians can be bothered by private censorship. Unfortunately libertarians cannot use the power of the state to stop private censorship but they can be bothered by it. Of course there are many things which bother libertarians which they fell people ought not to do, however people also should be free to them anyway. Nothing wrong with being bothered by what someone else does just as long as you don't try to use force to stop them from doing it. Just because a libertarian thinks something is a bad idea doesn't mean they also think it should be illegal.

  • ||

    I'm guessing this isn't our normal Max. Welcome, Max II.

  • max||

    I prefer small "m" max. I don't need a welcome as I've been around for years, maybe even before big 'M' Max. I so infrequently know in advance if I will have enough time with access to a real keyboard and the internet to hold an internet discussion that I rarely post. Thanks for the welcome anyway.

  • max||

    I prefer small "m" max. I don't need a welcome as I've been around for years, maybe even before big 'M' Max. I so infrequently know in advance if I will have enough time with access to a real keyboard and the internet to hold an internet discussion that I rarely post. Thanks for the welcome anyway.

  • Amakudari||

    It's more dangerous when governments do it, but libertarians can oppose private censorship for many of the same reasons (prevents the airing of opposing views, caves in to the demands of a hypersensitive minority). The organization is well within their rights to censor, but that doesn't mean you have to support their choice.

    And censorship is a spectrum. It's one thing to put a rating on a movie and quite another to prevent the movie from being shown. Radio's no longer the gatekeeper it once was, but blanket bans on songs defeat the point of radio. Imagine if a consortium of bookstores and online retailers got together to prevent customers from being able to purchase certain books.

    Another example of self-censorship is the Comics Code.

  • Amakudari||

    Note: I'm aware the Canucks are probably just mandating the use of the censored version.

  • Number 2||

    "By the Great White North's ape-like logic, there is no end to songs that Canadians should be protected from."

    Don't forget the "Twelve Days of Christmas" by Bob and Doug MacKensie. "On the first day of Xmas, my true love gave to me...a beer." Encourages underage drinking and drunk driving.

  • TheBitterEnd||

    Canadians found out we're re-writing Huck Finn to be a fairy tail and they feel left out. Next, they're going to want handguns.

  • ||

    The funny thing is, back in the 80s that word was censored because they didn't want little kids asking their parents what a fag was, lest they find out about the sinful practices to which it referred.

    Now it's censored because the practicioners might be offended. Plus ca change...

  • Ministry of Speech||

    Banning it for the former reason: Bad
    Banning it for the latter reason: Good

  • Freddie||

    This is a non-story. The misleading headline suggests that the nation of Canada actually banned a song. Then we find out merely that Canadian over-the-air radio stations are required -- by a private-industry group -- to blank out the word "faggot" for broadcast, just as U.S. radio stations do all of the time with pop and rap songs, none of which are "banned" in any meaningful sense of the word. (You can still buy the unaltered CDs and downloads, and hear the songs uncut on XM or internet radio.)

    A more accurate headline: "Canada Limits Profanity on the Public Airwaves, Just Like the United States." No, I'm not kidding.

    It's sad when Reason plays to its ideological rubes just like HuffPo and Glenn Beck do with theirs, taking something innocuous and re-packaging it as exactly the kind of scandal libertarians want to believe. Isn't there supposed to be something different about this publication?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Ah. So a ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council means absolutely nothing at all, has no power, indicates nothing about the state of the culture, or, well, anything.
    Nothing to see here, folks.
    Carry on, Canadian radio stations! Freddie says it's cool.

  • Freddie||

    "So a ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council means absolutely nothing at all, has no power, indicates nothing about the state of the culture, or, well, anything."

    This ruling certainly means little, and it means a lot less than the headline on this article claims.

    This article is "Dog Bites Man. No, I'm Not Kidding."

    And, yes, "Carry on, Canadian radio stations!" Who cares if over-the-air broadcast radio is limited to PG-level language, as it pretty much always has been? This mode of information transmission gets less important by the day. There is no shortage of outlets to say the word "faggot" to a mass audience if that's what you want to say.

    No significant freedom is being infringed by limiting profanity on the public airwaves. It's not a new thing at all, it doesn't constitute the "banning" of a song in any meaningful way, and this kind of profanity filter has less of an effect on our free speech today than it ever has.

    There's no story here. This article is standard-issue ginning-up of a controversy for the rubes, provoking an emotional reaction by misrepresenting the facts. That's not an unusual tactic for an ideological publication, but it's still a shitty one that deserves to be called out.

    Personally, I'm calling it out because Hit & Run is one of my favorite political blogs. I want it to be above this kind of bullshit. More quality control, please, Matt Welch.

  • ||

    Amen, bro.

  • Paul||

    No significant freedom is being infringed by limiting profanity on the public airwaves.

    Except that the same argument is made about the internet, which is why we get very nervous anytime a regulating body wants to take a "light touch" to regulating the internet.

    Besides which, you've missed the point spectacularly. If we were talking about bleeping out one profane word from a song, your point might hold more water.

    However, according to my reading of the issue, the song has been banned from airplay.

    In addition, you've also overlooked the larger issue of the fact that Canadian regulatory agencies can ban material from the airwaves on very vague and flimsy ground.

    Perhaps you're too young, or don't remember, but this country went through a similar debate almost 20 years ago with a group called 2 Live Crew. Democrats and liberals made the very correct case that it didn't matter that this song was offensive, what mattered was that giving authority to ban even the offensive stuff would lead down a slippery slope of banning anything deemed by a small body as "offensive" and eventually, valuable, political speech could be swept up.

    The resulting effect of one song containing an icky word being banned "meaning little" provides little consolation when you're trying to maintain a free society.

  • Freddie||

    Use your head. It seems highly unlikely that a "radio safe" version of the song would break the rule. They were going after the word "faggot," not the song.

    "Radio safe" versions of singles are common in the music industry. There's nothing new here.

    And requiring "radio safe" versions of songs for over-the-air broadcast isn't even close to banning the songs from the country. Broadcast outlets have always had language codes. Both songs and DJs have to conform to those codes. But those codes don't apply to record stores, iTunes, your house, etc.

    It's just a "seven dirty words" rule. The sky is not falling.

  • Paul||

    No, the sky isn't falling in Canada regarding freedom of speech. It fell a long time ago, and this is just more of the status quo.

    Use your head. It seems highly unlikely that a "radio safe" version of the song would break the rule. They were going after the word "faggot," not the song.

    I applied a quiet disclaimer "from my reading". That's because official news sources on this story are slim, and the only other article that talked about this issue that I found on a quick google search backed the 'banning' of the song.

    Will they create a 'radio-safe' version? Probably. But that still flies over the point at 30,000 feet. You were the one that brought up the famous Canadian tolerance as a framework to your point.

    Canada isn't a tolerant society, they are a very intolerant society-- and it's their famous politness which seems to spawn that intolerance.

    Don't speak ill of others, don't deny the holocaust, don't say "faggot", don't offend others, when in Quebec, post any signs in french... because if you don't obey these rules, you'll hurt someone's feelings and it's mean.

    That's not tolerance, that's forced politeness at the end of a gun.

  • ||

    Not a great day to be a Canadian but...

    ... as far as I know the rulings by CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council that decreed this piece of excrement) are not binding.

    In fact there is a station in Edmonton that plans to play "Money for Nothing" non-stop for an hour tomorrow and are urging Canadians to write to the CBSC over this fiasco.

    Link

    Cheers,

  • Lesbian Folk Artiste||

    I thank the government of Canada every day for requiring stations to broadcast native Canadian and diversity quota fills, otherwise, my wailing would never make it on the radio!

  • Freddie||

    I don't know about these quotas, so I won't comment.

    But I will say, as an American, that visiting Canada is like going to another world when it comes to tolerance of difference in the social realm. Gay people hang out with straights, black people hang out with whites, and there's none of the awkwardness that these situations often elicit in the U.S.

    In other words, the average Canadian feels more freedom to relax and be himself around people who are different; he's not constraining himself with a PC social mask, and his mind is not preoccupied with not saying the wrong thing. Racism isn't a subtext in mixed social situations in Canada -- it is assumed to be absent, if it is thought about at all.

    Tolerance isn't a goal for Canadians -- it just is. They don't appear to me to be trying to create a society in which people treat each other with respect -- they already have one.

    Barring the word "faggot" from the public airwaves is likely an expression of their actual culture -- both gays and straights consider the word to be profanity (probably worse than the word "fuck," since "fuck" doesn't target people by their group), and the will of the majority is being truly expressed by putting that insult in the "profanity" category.

    We often see moves like this as a leftist nanny government trying to force the citizens to behave in ways that the leftists have determined to be "good." But this is Canada we're talking about. They're already not so big on calling gay people "faggots." They think it's rude. And what are broadcast language standards but rules for being polite?

  • Paul||

    But I will say, as an American, that visiting Canada is like going to another world when it comes to tolerance of difference in the social realm. Gay people hang out with straights, black people hang out with whites, and there's none of the awkwardness that these situations often elicit in the U.S.

    As an American that lives in America, I'm going to suggest you amend that statement to clarify that it depends largely on where you live.

    Because I'm not sure where you live, but what you describe above is pretty much how it is where I live.

    Tolerance isn't a goal for Canadians -- it just is. They don't appear to me to be trying to create a society in which people treat each other with respect -- they already have one.

    Which is demonstrably not true with its mishmash of tolerance laws and committees which can fine you if you "offend" someone, plus other bizarre arbitration rules which almost create separate (but equal?!) laws for racial, religious or ethnic subgroups.

    We often see moves like this as a leftist nanny government trying to force the citizens to behave in ways that the leftists have determined to be "good." But this is Canada we're talking about. They're already not so big on calling gay people "faggots." They think it's rude. And what are broadcast language standards but rules for being polite?

    Strange, you're simultaneously making, and refuting your own argument. Canadians don't need rules for being tolerant, they just are. But no wait, these rules for being tolerant and polite are needed... nothing to see here, move along.

    Which is it? Are these laws necessary to keep Canadians polite? Or are these laws essentially ineffectual because Canadians are already polite and tolerant?

  • Freddie||

    "Which is it? Are these laws necessary to keep Canadians polite? Or are these laws essentially ineffectual because Canadians are already polite and tolerant?"

    Canadians are indeed relatively polite and tolerant. The placement of the word "faggot" into the category "profanity" is a true and natural reflection of the Canadian attitude toward intolerance. They think it's rude. Their rules for over-the-air broadcast language reflect this attitude.

    It's not a scandal. And it's not leftism run amok.

    "Because I'm not sure where you live, but what you describe above is pretty much how it is where I live."

    I move a lot. I have lived in big cities, suburbs and small towns in the United States. Canada is a different place socially. There's nothing like it in the U.S.

    A black man walking up and entering a conversation at a bar among four white people causes no change in behavior in Canada. It just isn't that way in the U.S.

    This isn't a unique observation. Just talk to any black American who has visited Canada for a significant length of time. "It's like they didn't even notice I was black!" is a universal sentiment in my experience.

  • Paul||

    A black man walking up and entering a conversation at a bar among four white people causes no change in behavior in Canada. It just isn't that way in the U.S.

    Yes it is. It might not be that way in your circle of friends, but it's that way in mine. Again, context, context context.

    I'd never suggest there's less racism in this country than Canada, of that I'm pretty sure there's more here. But you're cutting far too wide a swath of so-called American behavior.

    The larger point is that Canada is so fixated on tolerance, that they have no tolerance for diversity of speech, or any speech which makes Canadians uncomfortable. This is a bug in a free democracy, not a feature.

  • Cyto||

    I have to back Paul on this. By far the majority of the US doesn't fit your stereotype. Having spent a long time in an interracial relationship while living in the deep south, I can confirm that even in the worst case scenarios (wife and I walk in to a redneck bar, for instance), nobody cares. Nobody will really even look twice.

    I've been line dancing in small-town Alabama with mixed race and same gender couples and not even a sideways glance came our way. In my experience you are more likely to encounter these attitudes in areas that are less heterogeneous in population - like the upper Midwest and Canada. Places where the only "minority" is Native American. Places like that have definite attitudes about black or gay people - even though they have often never knowingly met one. The other exception would be on black college campuses. You tend to run into a disproportionate number of Farrakhan types there.

  • SxCx||

    San Francisco is less racist than most of Ontario. And possibly all of Quebec.

    Granted it's a big place...

  • ||

    canada CRIMINALIZES holocaust denial. and if anybody wants a good example of their criminal assmunchery on censoring people, look at the rushton trial.

    canada also criminalizes "hate speech" over the telephone even if nobody is offended. and truth is no defense.

    one of my favorite triumph the comic insult dog routines is where he goes to french quebec and refuses ot talk "en francais".

    and gets finger wagged by self-righteous french canadians.

  • Robert||

    canada also criminalizes "hate speech" over the telephone even if nobody is offended.


    How would they know? Do they have a tap on everybody's phone, like TPC?

    and truth is no defense.


    Huh?! You're saying that even if you prove you didn't say what you were alleged to have said, the mere accusation carries the proceeding? I guess that answers the question, "How would they know?" They don't have to!

  • ||

    truth of the underlying statement is no defense is the point.

  • SxCx||

    Flattering, but inaccurate.

  • Paul||

    I don't know about these quotas, so I won't comment.

    Oh, and on the quotas, they have them:

    Canadian content (abbreviated CanCon, cancon or can-con) refers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requirements that radio and television broadcasters (including cable and satellite specialty channels) must air a certain percentage of content that was at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from Canada. It also refers to that content itself, and, more generally, to cultural and creative content that is Canadian in nature.

    This is not the mark of a "tolerant" society. This is the mark of a scared, nervous society which suffers from an enormous identity crisis so it legally attempts to instill a fierce sense of localism in its own culture.

  • Freddie||

    Seriously? A rule that comes down to, "In Canada, some broadcast content must be at least partly Canadian" surprises and offends you?

    There is a predictable amount of resentment of U.S. influence in Canada, and Canadians do show a typical degree of national pride. But they also love U.S. TV shows (randomly flip through the Canadian channels at any given time and you'll run across several U.S.-originated shows -- there's no blockade).

    Your over-the-top description of Canada as "a scared, nervous society which suffers from an enormous identity crisis so it legally attempts to instill a fierce sense of localism in its own culture" does not resemble Canada in any way. But you do resemble a stock character in Canadian jokes and skits: The ignorant American who has no realistic conception of Canada, but pontificates as if he does. They often cast actual Americans in this role:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhTZ_tgMUdo

    I mean, do you really think it's like North Korea up there?

  • Cyto||

    I like the Red Green show. That's Canadian.

  • SxCx||

    Uh...I wouldn't say any way...

  • ||

    it's like the french & their ministry of culture. they can fine businesses for using americanisms. seriously

  • Jmack||

    I couldn't have said it better myself. These laws don't exist for our countries paranoia. Due to being geographically situated right above the U.S.A. we are inundated with American culture. America produces so much more general media than Canada it's not impossible to imagine the struggle of some Canadian artists to compete so it kind of levels the playing field. Too bad a lot of the time it's wasted on Nickleback, Celine Dione, and Justin Beiver -_-

    We aren't paranoid, just proud. Something I'm sure Americans can identify with. You rarely see a country so instilled with nationalistic fervour as the U.S.

  • Robert||

    That's silly. If Canadian artists have to struggle so mightily to compete with American artists because there are so many of them so near by, imagine how hard American artists have to struggle -- they're surrounded by loads of other American artists!

  • ||

    HaHa! Amen to that brother. I'm Canadian, and despite the 24 hour a day identity neuroses is country has, I for one have never fell for the big bad American influence drum beat on public TV.

    Some loyalists can't let go of 1776...

  • ||

    omg, you are inundated with american culture?

    well, here's a fucking hint. if you have to make LAWS to get your "culture" to be able to compete with our culture, then maybe your flappy headed culture needs some work, molson commercials aside.

    here's another hint. we may have "nationalistic fervor" but we don't need LAWS to set equal time requirements for our culture.

    we let the marketplace decide.

    give it a try

  • Paul||

    it's not impossible to imagine the struggle of some Canadian artists to compete so it kind of levels the playing field. Too bad a lot of the time it's wasted on Nickleback, Celine Dione, and Justin Beiver -_-

    I suppose Canadians take what they can get.

  • ||

    Has it occurred to you that Canadians may not be able to compete with American content because Canadian content SUCKS?

    It is truly hilarious that people defend the imposition of Canadian content, when freedom would have people freely choose American content, and yet still they proclaim to know what "tolerance" is.

    Canada is so "tolerant" is refuses to tolerate the word "faggot" in songs, and it refuses to allow Canadians to freely choose to consume American content over Canadian.

    When Canadians are this Orwellian in their logic, Canada may as well be like North Korea.

  • Paul||

    Seriously? A rule that comes down to, "In Canada, some broadcast content must be at least partly Canadian" surprises and offends you?

    Offends is too strong a word. "Makes me laugh" would be more accurate to describe my emotional reaction.

    There is a predictable amount of resentment of U.S. influence in Canada, and Canadians do show a typical degree of national pride. But they also love U.S. TV shows (randomly flip through the Canadian channels at any given time and you'll run across several U.S.-originated shows -- there's no blockade).

    Who said anything about a blockade? Quite the opposite, it was the fact that Canadians loved them some American TV, and this got Canadian cultural scolds offended, thus passing this rule. You do get that, right?

    The ignorant American who has no realistic conception of Canada, but pontificates as if he does. They often cast actual Americans in this role:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhTZ_tgMUdo

    I mean, do you really think it's like North Korea up there?

    Your arguments are falling apart, and so you're trying to pidgeon-hole me.

    I live a couple of hundred miles from the Canadian border, my mother lives in a place where back in the day, all she could get was Canadian TV, and I travel to Canada about twice a year. I'll be there tomorrow in fact.

    I may know more about Canada than you do.

    I love Canadians and their politeness, even if they're being so because the law says they have to. Why, I've even extoll the virtue of the Canadian border officials, who are far more polite than their American counterparts.

    You're missing the big picture. And now aggressively so.

    Imagine if you will, the FCC demanding that a portion of all content on TV had to be "American".

    How sick would that make you feel?

  • ||

    Merci beaucoup pour votre texte qui résume vraiment bien le besoin de tolérance qu'éprouve les gens d'ici.

    Thank you for these word of wisdom !
    It was a pleasure reading you text sir.

  • ||

    "...and the will of the majority is being truly expressed by putting that insult in the "profanity" category."

    The will of the majority is intolerant toward the will of the minority.
    People always mistake democracy for liberty and "tolerance".

    What you're essentially saying is "Fuck what the minority (i.e. individuals) thinks or wants. The majority decides what is liberty, what is tolerance, what is profanity, what is censorship, what is reasonable, what is justice...(and the list goes on).

    Force is force, and intolerance is intolerance. The will of the majority is no more a justification for anything, than the will of two wolves is a justification for the devouring of the one sheep.

  • ||

    Not to mention "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl with the lines:
    "You're a bum you're a punk /
    You're an old slut on junk /
    Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed /
    You scumbag you maggot /
    You cheap lousy faggot /
    Happy christmas your arse I pray god it's our last.

  • Joe West||

    They subbed faggot for f*cker back in the day so it could be played on the radio.

  • Robert||

    So what was maggot, "mugger"?

  • Robert||

    The music I set it to in my head was the refrain from "Situation Hopeless But Not Serious".

  • Paul||

    Who cares, they have free healthcare.

  • ||

    Really now...Seriously? After 25 years they find this offensive? Pullease!

    And folks in the US want to pattern our health care after a country with such idiotic tendencies?

    Here's a thought: maybe Canada should pull it's head out from you-know-where and let capitalism save their country. Funny thing about capitalism, if you do not FORCE people to buy a product, then if they are offended...they won't. What a concept! How about all the people offended by those lyrics change radio stations and thus hear from different sponsors, and reward those sponsors with their business?

    Anyway the original TV Guide article indicated that 'a listener' called in to say s/he was offended. REALLY? A SINGLE LISTENER gets to tell all of Candada what they can and can't listen to?

    I hope every Northern USA station plays this song a lot so that Canadian listeners close to the border can have a choice.

  • Cera||

    I'm tempted not to even reply to you because your post is so goddamn stupid that it makes me look stupid to even talk to you.

    But hey, I'll bite.

    Canada IS capitalist. Perhaps you've never been. The censorship is a recommendation. In addition, it's not like every station is following it. My local station is playing the uncensored version repeatedly for one hour in protest (See here: http://www.k97.ca/indexwhite.a.....5&cc=1).

    No, a listener CANNOT tell the entire country what to listen to.

    Perhaps you Americans should pull your own heads out of your asses. And no, I'm not going to censor that.

  • Hacha Cha||

    The video that was posted is the censored version lol here is the uncensored version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsnA0ix9hZU

  • Robert||

    Still censored. At about 3:09, mention of a body part was blanked. I don't know what she had stuck in the camera, but it's not said.

  • SxCx||

    Just want to make one thing clear:

    I've lived in Canada my entire life. Toronto, its biggest city.

    CanCon is bullshit.

    And even those who like it admit it should be changed.

    Let the stereotyping continue.

  • Paul||

    CanCon is bullshit.

    And even those who like it admit it should be changed.

    Let the stereotyping continue.

    So why don't they change it? Is there no democratic process which can get that changed in Canada?

  • SxCx||

    One would think? These pronouncements usually take place in bars...

  • CJ||

    I wonder what they'd do if shrike or Max ever tried to move there.

  • Jmack||

    It's not like all of Canada is offended by the song. I'm sure the VAST majority could really care less. I don't know who theses ultra conservative people that complained are, but it's not like America doesn't have people who get offended at nothing just as easily. I just wish I knew why they caved so easily.

  • Cera||

    It's the CBSC who made the ruling, not the CRTC, so it really isn't a big deal.

    My fiancée is the music director at a radio station and he played the song this afternoon to no repercussions.

    Settle down, people. There was a major complaint to a station, so the station has to apologize. That's it.

    PS: @ SxCx CanCon is not bullshit, CanCon has a very important role.

  • Paul||

    Settle down, people. There was a major complaint to a station, so the station has to apologize. That's it.

    What if the station doesn't apologize?

  • SxCx||

    Care to expand on that?

  • jay bee||

    got a problem with the dire straights ban-well take it out on these idiots
    http://www.cbsc.ca/english/about/contact.php

  • Paul||

    I give to the group, Canada's famous niceness: http://reason.com/archives/200.....y-niceness

  • ||

    Do you think any developed nation would allow the word "niggar" on national radio broadcast? Well, the word faggot is just as offensive. Dickheads.

  • ||

    Do you think any developed nation would allow the word "niggar" on national radio broadcast? Well, the word faggot is just as offensive. Dickheads.

  • ||

    dumba$$ faggots.

  • ||

    I think the Monty Python song Lumberjack should also be banned.

    Also, for mg above, the word is "nigger", not "niggar" and yes it is highly offensive.

  • ||

    If they want to sing a song like that, let them. But I'd rather have a Bowdlerized version if one were available.

  • Mikal Desette||

    How dare the nation, of the most fascist and backward broadcasting standards, dare even begin to point fingers at a nation that will respect the rights of there gay and lesbian community!

  • ||

    I'm as gay-friendly as anyone, but how does a single word violate the rights of the gay and lesbian community? Those who use the word (in the case of this song, a fictional character) usually end up looking far worse than the people they're referring to.

    a.) freedom of speech
    b.) right not to be offended

    Pick one of the two because they can't coexist. The latter requires only one person to be offended for it to be an enforceable crime, so very few words are safe. Goodbye satire, risque comedy, fictional bigoted characters; hello snitching and Orwellian fun police.

  • ||

    Who knew that Oceana was actually Canada?

  • ||

    Eat yummy dog crap Canadian censors.

  • Tom Hawthorn||

    Matt Welch has his facts wrong.

    *Canada* has banned nothing. A voluntary, non-governmental — repeat, non-governmental — standards council set up by private radio broadcasters told its members not to play the song. That's an idiot decision. But it is not a government decision.

    The publicly funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) does not have anything to do with this standards council. Nor college radio stations. Nor community radio.

    You can see FAQs for the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council here:
    www.cbsc.ca/english/faqs/index.php

    You can read their ridiculous decision here:
    www.cbsc.ca/english/index.php

    To call this decision Canadian censorship is like saying an NHL disciplinary ruling is a government diktat. (Hat tip to media lawyer Bob Tarantino for the analogy.)

  • MMM||

    It is sad to see that a small group of people apparently have nothing better to do then waste other people time with idiotic bans. A stupid, gay thing to do :)

  • ||

    I remember the first time I saw the Money for Nothing video (first time I heard the song as well). I almost split a gut laughing. The lines in question are:
    The little faggot with the earring and the makeup
    Look at that buddy, that's his own hair.
    The little faggot got his own jet airplane.
    the little faggot is a millionaire.

    They're spoken by the computer animation of some dumb appliance/furniture mover, bitching about how the acts on MTV (in the video, the acts are made up, not real performers) maybe get a blister on they're little fingers, bang their bongos like a chimpanzee, get their money for nothing and their chicks for free. etc.

    To say this is a bash against homosexuals is hilarious. It was a bash against the people who hated MTV (when it played music videos) and rock 'n roll in the 80s, to whom all those long-haired guys with gorgeous, big-haired groupies hanging over them were 'fags.' Knopfler says he actually heard a burly worker stare at MTV and say the 'money for nothing/chicks etc.' line and thought it perfect.

    The song and the video capture a time in music (and TV) very nicely.

    Sorry, I still laugh at it. I know Knopfler doesn't use that word when he performs it live. His song, he can do what he wants with it. But for anyone who saw the original in its time and thought it brilliant and hilarious, were we wrong to laugh? Or just wrong now?

    Oh, btw, the 'n' word is throughout certain types of music. Only some people are forbidden to say it.

  • ||

    This song came out when I was a kid and I always wondered why it was played on television and I'm pretty sure it was on the radio with that word in it.

    I liked the video because it had those computer generated guys on it. A couple years ago they were playing it at the store where I worked. I bet it was the same I don't remember.

  • Coral Weaver||

    Canada has been limiting freedom of speech for years now. It began as a legislative process and has infected formal organizations since then. As in most cases of limiting freedom...it begins with just a few things and then moves to more things, it begins in the government and then on to public entities. Freedom of choice should only be curtailed when it infringes on the life and liberty of another.

  • Forty four Fifty or Fight||

    You DBs have no idea. The difference between Canada and the US is like the difference between the US and California or the US and Alabama or the US and North Dakota. In other words regional differences across English speaking North America are much greater than "national" differences. And if you don't agree I'm gonna manifest my fuckin' destiny and invade all the border states---they already talk a lot like us anyway---and I know from experience that American girls are all sluts.

  • ||

    They'd have to be sluts to fuck you? Is that what you're saying?

  • Forty four Fifty or Fight||

    They'd fuck my dog if he bought 'em a drink, the skanks.

  • Rocketman||

    The song was banned in San Francisco when it was released.
    Now that we're up to speed, the censorious types completely missed the point of the song lyrics.
    (sigh)

    ~(Ä)~

  • ||

    Thanks Canada. Until you pointed it out, I hadn't even noticed that the word was in the song. While you're at it, there are some early Beatles song's that you might want to also put on your banned list -- like Lennon's "wife beater" song ("I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man") Certainly an incitement to violence -- not to mention demeaning to women.

    Come on Canada, there are zillions of songs out there you need to be vetting for us. Start with the Rap stuff first, please.

  • ||

    I have long found it offensive that perverts refer to themselves as "gay" a word which used to mean "happy" gay people are for the most part a miserable lot. I also find it offensive that they use a rainbow, God's symbol of his promise, as their symbol; once again, a perversion of something good. Who protects my positions against these perverts?

  • Forty four Fifty or Fight||

    Probably Satan Gary. He's the only fucking hope ya got left.

  • ||

    This ruling doesn't take context into account.

    The singer/writer does not himself refer to homosexuals as 'faggots.' It is the subject of the song who uses the term 'faggot' to deride musicians, and the song is making fun of him for doing this.

    The CBSC should take the time to investigate the song's background. They would have found out that Knopfler was actually quoting from a real-life subject :

    " I wrote the song when I was actually in the store. I borrowed a bit of paper and started to write the song down in the store." (wiki)

    The song is actually directed against ignorant people who mock rock musicians for "doing nothing".

    It has NOTHING to do with homosexuality.

  • ||

    Yeah it sucks sometimes to be deal with the bullshit that the Nannies put us through up here. But having just been through one of your airports, it sucks way harder down south right now.

  • ||

    I remember when the music critic Robert Christgau considered this song offensive when it first came out.

    I think it was one of my first revelations of "Wow -- people really don't understand context".

  • ||

    1) The song is really a slam against the white working class, portraying them as resentful dolts.

    2) If the worker/persona was refering to George Michael or Boy George he wouldn't be saying the rockstar gets 'chicks for free'. Dicks maybe, chicks no.

  • ||

    "The ruling, released Wednesday, was in response to a complaint against St. John's radio station CHOZ-FM."
    Another Canadian, Mark Steyn coined a beautiful phrase for this reaction - "Pre-emptive Cringing" - an accurate redefinition of the "PC" term.

    "The listener complained that the word faggot – which appears three times in the song is "extremely offensive" to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people."
    I've always wondered what happens to people when they are offended - do they break out in a rash, grow warts, or another head? It's time these outfits should ask that question, and when they get the "deer-in-the-headlight" look, yell out "NEXT!"

  • ||

    "the U. S. and A."?? The article writer sounds Canadian, eh.

  • ||

    The problem is that in Money for Nothing, the offensive word is not used to describe a homosexual, but simply a man who wears earing and make-up, quite fashionable among brit pop artists at the time. The song finds them ridiculous, that's all, and protests against image-driven pop music. There's no homophobia.

  • ||

    Next time make the distinction between "Canadians" and "The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council", which is not a group of elected representatives of the Canadian people.
    The title of your article is misleading along with a number of statements that you wrote in it because you do not make this distinction, and then you seemingly have the gall to pass judgement on Canadians and Canada as a country by a decision that was made by an independent, non-governmental organization with members from PRIVATE broadcasters.
    Have some integrity Mr. Welch.

  • the right does it too||

    Apparently our shit-faced friends to the north aren't aware of the fact that the word "faggot" also means a lazy person, or someone who is aimless and shiftless. From the lyrics, that meaning would certainly be just as valid as the homosexual reference (a person who got rich from minimal effort).

    Grow up, you faggot Canucks!

  • ||

    Don't worry Canadians, us Americans will rescue you from this fascist government, and protect that shale oil from invasion by evil Icelanders.

    Well it sounds as good as the bullshit we used in Iraq..

  • Hoddo||

    It's amazing that one whiny lesbian here in Newfoundland caused all this. What a joke! The context is clear, and if you find it offensive, you're an idiot, with too much time or your hands.

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