Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bad Language

Apathy Jack writes:

Alright, I'm getting progressively more confused with censorship.

Being trapped on the couch for a fortnight, I've seen Pink's new video (the absolutely marvellous 'Stupid Girls') several dozen times on C4.

As I'm sure you know, there are a couple of arguably questionable lyrics in the song; firstly when Pink asks "will it fuck up my hair?"; then when she describes herself as a "pretty will-you-fuck-me girl, stupid I'm-so-lucky girl, pull-my-hair-I'll-suck-it girl".

None of these lines were edited out when the song first started being played - not even during pre-seven hours (both C4 and Juice often play unedited versions of videos after the kids have gone to bed).

However, after a week or so, they started blanking a word out.

That word was "suck".

There were still two fucks in there for all the kids to hear.

At first I thought that they may have edited it thusly because "suck" in this context is explicitly sexual, and sexual content is less acceptable than swearing (hell, even the Transformers movie had swearing in it, but you can't tell kids about storks donkey-punching birds and bees, or whatever the process is). For example; despite the fact that "fuck" denotes sex, "pull my hair I'll suck it" is more sexual than "fuck you".

However, "will-you-fuck-me" has a certain sexual overtone, if you care to look at it that way...

Anyhoo, I've just now seen the newly re-edited version, where they've edited "fuck" out of the song.

The first time its used.

Pink may be now asking "will it .... up my hair", but she's still the "pretty will-you-fuck-me girl".

I'm wondering if there's some method to this, or if they just haven't noticed...


RSJS said...

I checked an online lyric site which tells me the lyrics are:

"Pretty will you **** me girl, silly as a lucky girl
Pull my head and suck it girl, stupid girl!"

suggesting at least in written form, "fuck" is worse. Guess it clogs mail marshal filters or somesuch.

Editing is pretty tricky with swear words - sometimes I'm surprised to find words were cut out as it's done pretty seamlessly(Ben Folds Five's "Battle of who could care less", Tenacious D's "Tribute" and Death in Vegas's "Dirt" all surprised me with swearing only heard on albums) and other times they get left in as editing them out is too tricky ("Spacelord" by Monster Magnet has motherfucker editing issues when the chorus swells). Then you get rap songs which are basically made into instrumentals by removing all sex, violence and brand names from ditties about men with guns boffing ladies in the back of their Lexuses.

I'm imagining a panel of little old ladies are played songs and the naughty words they identify get cut, bleeped, played backwards or whatever. Those they miss go to air.

I'm not sure about the context idea - the fact a show called "Dirty Sanchez" can be advertised suggests people don't look too closely at meaning. I hope.

Wonder what happens if they try to play "Louie, Louie" on telly these days?

Josh said...

Hearing the unedited version of the Snoop Dogg/Justin Timberlake number "Signs" was an eye-opener -- realisng that wee Justin was saying "fuck" in his dainty little falsetto. The lad just can't pull it off.

TomV said...

I saw Pink do a live version of "mr president" the other day.

looks like the protest song is making a comeback. Joan Baez would be comin in her pants. Well with the monkey in the house I suppose it was only a matter of time

Psycho Milt said...

I ripped the copy of "America's Sweetheart" by Courtney Love (yes it is complete crap, but then so are the Cult and I have a soft spot for them too) at the US Army library I was working for in Kuwait. Being an Army copy, it was the sanitised version, and I can only feel sympathy for the poor sod asked to clean up Ms Love's "singing". There were so many words silenced the vocals had a weird kind of stacatto effect - but after all, we can't have soldiers learning swear words from Courtney Love, can we? Another vital part of Operation Enduring Freedom successfully completed.