Friday, January 14, 2011

Canada Bans Dire Straits' Money For Nothing


26 years after the song Money For Nothing was released, Canada has decided to ban it. The song, which was written by Sting and Mark Knopfler, was deemed offensive because it contains the word f*****t. At the time it was written, the word was not offensive as it is now. I mean I would hardly call Sting a homophobe or someone who would say something derogatory about homosexuals.

The ruling by the Canadian Broadcast Council says the song can no longer be played without being edited for broadcast. I understand what they were trying to accomplish here, but it seems like their time could have been put to better use doing something else. They probably had studioes on this and had hearings and spent a lot of money to decide the fate of a song that probably is played on the radio in Canada a few times a year. I hear Macarena more often than I hear Money For Nothing. Mark Knopfler says he has received complaints before, but said that it was not coming from his point of view, but the character in the song. What do you think? Would you have banned it?

37 comments:

sunnyside1213 said...

It took me awhile to figure out what f****t meant.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I think the lone person in PEI that complained about it looks like they have too much time on their hands.

I love the CRTC.

/eyeroll

MISCH said...

Idiots..

Merlin D. Bear said...

Speaking as one of the potentially offended class:
1) it's a 20 year old video
2) context, people, context
3) it's a 20 year old video, what are you doing about homophobia in rap/hip hop?
4) it's a freaking 20 year old video, people!

So, no, censorship at this late stage is like rewriting "Huck Finn".
Oh wait. They're doing that too.
Political correctness can go too far, y'know.

Patty said...

Go Merlin!

Actually, I never liked that song.

Lisa (not original) said...

The only thing I would ban is censorship

hunter said...

God, this is where government intervention in art becomes ridiculous.

The song is IRONIC. It is an ironic look at working class (but more importantly) small minded people who resent rock stars because they see them as folks who did nothing to get their success - not real work.

"Faggots" is what the "speakers" in the song - the moving men - call the rock stars.

It's part of the whole conceit of the lyric, which is wonderful.

People are stupid sometimes when they are trying to be PC.

Jeannies Bottle said...

Our tax dollars being squandered yet again on stupid stuff. I take offense to the word 'bitch'. How do I get all rap songs banned?

Jen said...

I am more offended by the fact that the song implies that MTV plays videos.

JoElla said...

Jen! LOL!
How does one know that they are now old.. they remember videos on MTV :(

Genericuserprofile said...

I don't have a lot of patience with censorship but on this Canada makes me laugh. Remember how self righteous they were with the whole Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction? Canadian celebs like Alanis Morrisette marching around in her naked fake suit (which BTW if Canada was all that tolerant and Alanis really down for her stuff she would have marched out in her own birthday suit). Now they have their undies in a bundle over a 30 year old song.

Consistency thou art a gem!

timebob said...

*eyeroll* makes me miss the 80's.

mikey said...

^^ especially when we remember the very first video.... Ah, the good old days. I even miss pop-up video.

Sorka8 said...

Yeah this is true eye-rolling worthy of contempt..tsk,tsk Canada!

But one question: Why are there complaints about the Macarena other than its just freaking annoying? I haven't a clue what the song is about.

jess said...

What? It's unbelievable this whole topic, I was already amazed by the stupidity of rewritting Huckleberry Finn and now this? Worry about today's problems, the lack of tolerance and respect that people have with each other not some song from 20 years ago or an emblematic book.

Mr Pink said...

Oh, Canada...

Wil said...

As a huge Dire Straits/Mark Knoplfer fan, I would not have banned it. And .. as numerous folks about have pointed out .. it is from the point of view of the guy in the song .. not Marks'. Further .. most of the lyrics of the song come from guy Mark and Lourdes heard spouting off in a Sears or something as they were looking for appliances for their place in Manhattan. So .. I agree with Merlin .. it's a 20 year old song .. Hell Mark has been married twice since Lourdes! .. and sometimes PC can go way too far.

shiny_special_one said...

Sigh. A complete waste of time and resources. A superficial, knee-jerk reaction. Yes, the word "faggot" is used. The song is written from the pov of a cranky, ignorant blue-collar guy. To ignore that and focus just on the word is to miss the entire point of the song. Plus, it was written 20 YEARS AGO. As Merlin d. Bear said: Context, people, context. It matters.

jen said...

Genericuserprofile said...
I don't have a lot of patience with censorship but on this Canada makes me laugh. Remember how self righteous they were with the whole Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction?


What the hell are you talking about? How on earth was Canada "self righteous" about the Janet Jackson thing? As I recall there were millions upon millions of AMERICANS screeching "think of the children!!!", yet except for gossip purposes it had f*ck all to do with us so why would we care?

And if you want to throw around the Alanis Morrissette thing, which once again as far as I know no one here gave a f*ck about, I suugest you include America's reaction to Erikah Badu.

Talk about self righteous...jesus christ...

MommaBear said...

I liken it to closing the barn door, 26 years after the horse got out.

From what I've heard, it was one single, solitary complaint originating in Ontario that started this whole debacle. Had I known that one complaint to Broadcasting Council could illicit such swift, fevered reaction, I would have complained years ago.

Almost daily, I can turn on my TV during primetime viewing, and see the most inappropriate, and in some cases downright explicit filth imaginable, available without censorship. I'm quick to change the channel before my kids notice, but I can't help but wonder where the Council stands on monitoring TV broadcasting.

Tempestuous Grape said...

My mother liked them and they were all over MTV during my youth. I absolutely hated them and still do. I say ban them all together in all states!

jax said...

Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater,people!

the context aside, what Canada is trying to do is eradicate an offensive word on the radio. it's not a piece of history like the n-word,it's a song lyric,so comparing to Huck Finn is like apples and oranges imo. They banned the original,not the whole song. Much like the n-word and fck,it will be bleeped or what have you.But apparently that's only acceptable for rap music and not our precious classic rock.

And what about the Pogues? "you cheap,lousy faggot" appears in their song. I'm no prude,but was sorda shocked to hear it played in it's entirety on the radio over Xmas in 2010. I'm sure if Dire Straights wrote it today it would be banned as well. I'm not sure where you all grew up but the word f-ggot has always been offensive.

oh SHAME ON THEM.

amoteafloat said...

Seriously. What a fucking waste of time. I wish the FCC and the CBC would examine the misogyny and homophobic belligerence present in most rap or country lyrics these days.

Now, I don't think they should CENSOR these songs -- but they should at *least* acknowledge the fact that lyrics nowadays are a billion times more incendiary and offensive.

Isn't it just a bleeped-out word in the song, though? Who cares? Happens alllllll the time.

shakey said...

^Very true, amoteafloat. Anyone know the song Forever by Papa Roach? The line where he sings "You're my heroin"? The alternative music station in Vermont bleeps even that out. They bleep EVERYTHING out. Drives me nuts. I don't agree with the censorship of certain words in songs.

We're dealing with Ontario here. There was a big brouhaha in the 70s about how they wanted to censor certain films or ban them altogether. Caligula was banned in Ontario. They wanted to ban The Barenaked Ladies because of their name. I think they were supposed to play for the Queen but I can't remember if saner heads prevailed and let them or if they were taken off the bill.

It's a rather conservative province.

Basil said...

If you read the ruling closely, the song itself isn't banned, just the version of the song that uses the term faggot. I have heard other versions of the song where the term is "queeny" instead of faggot. Also, it is only "banned" on the radio. You can still buy the song.

The CRTC has also bleeped out words from Rough Trades "High School Confidential" and Alanis' "You Outta Know". This is nothing new and not a big deal

Casey said...

You can still hear/listen to someone sing about going down on someone in the theatre here in Canada though.

Also, there is a difference between leagues of people freaking out because they saw a minuscule flash of breast on television, and people being offended by the word faggot.

ardleigh said...

An African American friend hates a lyric by Lou Reed --- "And the colored girls go..."

Is she getting it banned ---NO. She just changes the freaking channel.

Maja. With a J. said...

The worst part is that Nickelback is still allowed.

Mooshki said...

LOL, Maja!

I don't get the fuss over bleeping it or blanking it out - the radio station I listen to has at least one song an hour with words bleeped out, isn't it standard practice? It also seems weird that this one song was singled out - don't they have a list of words that get bleeped in all songs? Or is this song the example that got the "other f-word" banned? If that's the case, I'd say they should be proud to inspire progress!

Jasmine said...

second the lol Maja :))

Jasmine said...

Oh, and second Jax too.
Along with bleeping the N-word, bitch and drug references I do think Faggot should be included with the mindset that it should be in the category of these things its just not okay to say in a public setting. I am not a censorship person, dont get me wrong here I just think that fag is a shitty word and even if the writer's are coming from a whole perspective of an ignorant person angle it doesnt really matter. Thats like saying it would be okay to allow the word nigger to be unbleeped if the lyrics were about something justifying the context in which the n-word was used. Long story short- bleeping the word but not banning the song doesnt seem so harsh to me. Yes the song is 26 yrs old but the word can hurt people just as easily now, old song or context of lyrics or not.

Ms. said...

@ Shakey
the Barenaked Ladies were not included in a Canada Day concert at city hall's Nathan Phillip's Square because of Dawna Proudman's complaint. She was on the Special Events team at city hall at the time. I was in a meeting with her once and she stopped it cold by correcting me when I said, "who's going to man this area?" She informed me that I should have said "staffed". She was correct, but I'm fairly PC, and there's better ways to enlighten people to non-sexist language. Dawna was the queen of overkill...

Anyway - Dire Straits. The CRTC has to respond to complaints - that is part of their mandate. Someone complained and they had to make a ruling. Simple as that. The other songs mentioned here have not had a formal complaint filed against them. Simple as that. The word faggot is unacceptable. That's why Mark substitutes it when singing it in concert now. That said, the east coast person who filed the complaint should have taken on a bigger fish.

shakey said...

Ah Ms., that's for correcting me. I remember the concert taking place at Nathan Phillips Square. I was probably mishmashing two recollections.

Mina said...

What I find interesting here is that the consensus seems to be against censorship and that it's all about context and yet nobody dares to write the word nigger and uses the pc description 'n-word' instead, although it's not used as a slur.

Also, the reasoning that it's not the artist's own pov that's presented in a song is used by many homophobic and misogynistic rappers for ages. It's not me who wants to kill the fags and show a bitch her place, it's my alter ego which I've created to show people in what a hostile world we're living in. Yadda, yadda, yadda...
Not to say that Mark Knopfler is a homophobe in reality, but I think that using that alter ego/different persona excuse as a justification for degrading people in songs is not always valid.

kathrynnova said...
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kathrynnova said...

did anyone know that 'faggot' means a bundle of sticks? did anyone know that a 'faggot' is part of the pictorial symbol of fascism?

words are just words. somehow in this country - or continent - we make them more so. we make everything a calamity and a sensitive issue. it's like we view everything under a microscope. yikes.

kathrynnova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.