Naked Self Promotion

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Another singer from the "where are they now" vault is seeking exposure via exposure—this time Alanis Morissette, stripping down to a fleshtone bodysuit at the Canadian equivalent of the Grammies. Cute stunt, but if you're going to strip naked to protest or mock U.S. censorship, doesn't it sort of undermine your point if you're not actually willing to really take it off? Not that I'm sure I want to see that either.

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  1. Good point Overlord. I would bet Alanis, like most politically active figures, doesn’t mind a little censorship as long as it’s someone she disagres with.

  2. Cultural free expression?

    Amazing to me what is important to some people. Long as I can show my boobie on national TV I don’t care if the government takes half my money or tosses my kids in jail for smoking dope.

    This is nothing but Crocodile Nudity, plain and simple.

    And the horse Alanis came to to town on.

  3. “Well, she was kind of cute in a hippie-chick sort of way back in the mid-90s”

    All due respect, Mark, she was ugly when she was an 80s teeny-bopper, she was ugly in the grungy 90s, and now she’s over-the-hill, double-bag coyote ugly. With that short hair-do, she looks like that screaming hag-mom on “Malcolm in the Middle”.

  4. Seems to me the only point she made was that her understanding of “hypocrisy” is about as deep as her understanding of “irony.” I mean, she did change that lyric when asked to — apparently she was unwilling to risk losing radio play and album sales for her principles. Isn’t it hypocritical – don’t you think?

  5. None of us really takes pop singers seriously, do we?

  6. Dink:

    Only Michael Hutchison. Any guy willing to risk killing himself over pounding the pastrami is a real man.

  7. Jarod:

    Yeah, well, perhaps she’d be better off trying to call attention to the FCC’s “double standards” rather than their hypocrisy. But my main point was that the stunt involved more than just (faux) disrobing (as Julian suggested in his blogging). He left out the “punchline” of the stunt, I was pointing that out. I’m not necessarily saying that I was cheering her on, but in the interest of fairness, I thought it better to discuss the issue with the full story on the table, rather than a fraction of it.

    Yes, sacrificing the lyric “asshole” to make sure her song got radio play is slightly hypocritical. At the same time, that threat/request to amend her song was at the request of the radio industry, not the FCC, nor was it backed by legal repurcussions. They simply said, “we own the radio stations, and if you want us to play your song, then you gotta amend it”. Seems less like hypocrisy than it does free market supply & demand economics. Same deal with WallyWorld refusing to sell certain magazines, books and CD’s. It’s their right, and if their refusal to sell the products is enough of a market force to actually make someone change their product, then it is nothing more than free market economics. But if a magazine tidies up the skin exposure on their cover to pander to WalMart, then speaks out against WalMart for demanding such things, well, I guess, in a way, it’s hypocrisy, but…not really.

    Surely, the optimal protest would be to give the market the finger and tell the radio stations to go screw themselves. But money talks…and if Alanis changes her song, gets radio play, then stages a protest against what they did to her, then it seems like a pretty good “hedge your bets” strategy, wouldn’t you say?

  8. Jarod, I guess you’ve never been in a position where you grumble and go ahead with what someone else wants despite misgivings. We’re talking about changing one word in a pop song lyric in exchange for far greater exposure. I don’t see how that’s something to get terribly excited about. It does seem to be true, however, that Canada is very sensitive to political speech. My favorite radio show, Loveline, was bounced in Canada because of a segment that some ultra-PC types thought made light of the Nazi holocaust but in actuality was funny because their caller had no idea what the holocaust was.

  9. Her mouth is too big.
    And she sticks out her tongue in a wierd way when she sings.
    And when I hear her voice I want to cover my balls with my hands.
    Is that the effect she is after?

  10. Mr. Nice, do you mean Michael Hutchence of INXS?

  11. Ooooops. sorry. Hutchence it is. Was popular around the same time as Boner from U2.

  12. I posted a picture to my blog yesterday. It was of Alanis from the back. As I said, I’m pretty sure Janet would have looked better from that angle. I saw Poetic Justice and, while I realize that was a few years ago, Janet got back. She got booty in abundance.

    As far as the ripping off of the nipples is concerned, Richard Pryor did that on his TV show several years ago.

  13. “With that short hair-do, she looks like that screaming hag-mom on “Malcolm in the Middle”.”

    I’d certainly rather see her nipple than Janet Jackson’s.

  14. “With that short hair-do, she looks like that screaming hag-mom on ‘Malcolm in the Middle’.”

    I’d rather see Alanis Morissette’s nipple than Janet Jackson’s, or any other member of the Jackson family, for that matter. To me, it wasn’t the nipple anyway. Having lived in Europe, I’m used to the nudity. It was the lack of class with a ridiculous publicity stunt.

  15. Sorry about the double post. I thought you’d all think I meant the “Malcolm in the Middle” mom. Ha!

  16. Alanis got naked for a video several years ago, so she’s certainly no prude. The short hair does make her look old though. And she still sags a bit too much for my tastes, but so what? I’m married anyway.

  17. Could it be that many of us, used to living in freedom unafraid of persecution for opening our mouths, have a sense that the only valid protest is one in which the protester sacrifices herself?
    After all, isn’t the true protest one which, with much wit and sublety, makes the point, while the-powers-that-be find themselves unable to do anything about it? I used to admire some short films poduced in the old communist Czechoslovakia, can’t recall any titles so much later.
    Everybody knew what was meant, but nothing actionable was said or shown. Truly brilliant and quite possibly only understood where life and liberty are on the line.

  18. I agree with you whole heartily that my fellow countrymen are a bunch of anal-retentive prudes who freak out at the site of a nipple

    Would those be the same fellow countrymen who spend billions every year on pornography?

    See, I don’t have any problem at all with nudity. Quite fond of it, actually. I do think that Janet Jackson’s little self-glorifying stunt was highly inappropriate, and there is nothing wrong with the social condemnation she has reaped. Whether the FCC should be involved is another issue, of course, but with the FCC we are talking about a handful of folks in DC, not the entire mass of “fellow countrymen.”

    And when you get right down to it, the kind of censorship practiced by the cultural protectionists and the politically correct in Canada is far more damaging than the FCC’s occassional limp forays.

  19. Well, Julian…

    It’d make a bit more sense, I suppose, if you didn’t edit out the “punchline” of the stunt:

    In an attempt to satirize the hypocrisy of the “no explicit body parts” censorship, Morissette made the nipples and the vagina of the body suit removeable; after she “stripped”, one of the show’s producers says, “sorry, we can’t show those body parts on the air”, at which time Morissette rips the vagina and nipples off the suit, thus making it “acceptable” to the subjective censorship of the FCC. Get it? Not exactly a grade-A, top-notch zinger, but, nonetheless, it does make plenty of sense.

    No offense, but try reading the entire article next time.

  20. Julian, Not only that, but she made the protest from the safety and security of Canada. Alanis, dear, I agree with you whole heartily that my fellow countrymen are a bunch of anal-retentive prudes who freak out at the site of a nipple, but your protest seems a little hollow. Take off your clothes–for real–at the American Grammys and THEN you’ve got a protest with teeth.

    As for the question of whether or not Alanis is worth seeing nude… Well, she was kind of cute in a hippie-chick sort of way back in the mid-90s, but these days…? I guess I must be getting old.

  21. Julian, Not only that, but she made the protest from the safety and security of Canada. Alanis, dear, I agree with you whole heartily that my fellow countrymen are a bunch of anal-retentive prudes who freak out at the sight of a nipple, but your protest seems a little hollow. Take off your clothes–for real–at the American Grammys and THEN you’ve got a protest with teeth.

    As for the question of whether or not Alanis is worth seeing nude… Well, she was kind of cute in a hippie-chick sort of way back in the mid-90s, but these days…? I guess I must be getting old.

  22. Ah, so that’s why I’m getting all those hits from Googlers with the search terms “Alanis naked and crying.”

  23. Sorry the the double post, my coumpter at work is NOT suitable for blogging.

  24. Mark S.:

    Read my post above. I don’t think that it was a simple protest. It was a stunt designed to call attention to the hypocrisy and subjectivity inherent in the censorship of certain bodyparts on certain sexes (aka, viewers can swim in male nipples, but a .75-second glance at a female nipple brings the nation to its knees). Simply taking her clothes off, as you suggest, even at the grammies, wouldn’t exactly drive this point home. It’d just be making the statement that the FCC is stupid and/or wrong. I think she was going for a little more than that.

  25. Who are the Canadians to talk about censorship?
    There may be more censorship of nudity and sex in the United States but there is more PC mandated censorship of political speech in Canada.

  26. Overlord,

    Tom Leykis would probably agree with you there. His show got booted in Vancouver some months ago, apparently due to protests from some hyper-PC individuals.

  27. Pictures, please.

  28. Pictures, please.—Posted by Swamp Justice

    Amen…this piece with the WRONG picture
    was like a gun without bullets.

  29. The real punchline here is that she got bleeped on Canadian TV when she quoted the word that she wasn’t allowed to say on the air in the US.

    She may not know the meaning of the word ‘ironic’, but she lives it.

  30. The only good thing about Alanis Morissette was that she inspired a Wesley Willis song.

    http://www.monzy.org/wesley/

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