Don’t you just love censorship? I know I do. I don’t think there’s anything better than being told that even though I’m legally old enough to smoke, drink, rent a car, marry or die for my country I’m still not responsible enough to decide what goes into my ear holes. Seriously, I like a good ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’ or ‘cock knuckle’ as much as the next guy. So who does Walmart or the FCC think they are trying to hide all this shit from me? Are they trying to protect me? Or do they just want to not offend people?
I think the most common form of censorship is probably the BEEP! You know, the one you hear when Johnny Cash sings “I’m the BEEP! who named you Sue.” It was so popular that Queens of the Stone Age copied it on my copy of Songs For The Deaf. The crazy thing is how cool it sounds on the song “Six Shooter.” The tune starts out quiet and distant, but whenever Mark Lanegan says ‘fuck’ they cover it up with a BEEP! loud enough to cover up all the ‘fucks’ in the song.
I have a 20th Century Masters CD of Monster Magnet that does the same thing. I don’t understand why they BEEP! out the word ‘drug’ in “Tractor.” At first I thought he was driving a tractor on the goddamn farm, but according to google it’s a drug farm. I didn’t realize drug was a dirty word.
And while we’re on the subject of Monster Magnet, has anyone ever heard a version of “Space Lord” where he sings “Space Lord Motherfucker”? Or is it always “Mother Mother”?
According to the liner notes in the Ziggy Stardust movie when ABC aired the film as a movie of the week they put the annoying BEEP! over all of the mentions of death and suicide. I’m not sure how they managed to cover up the overall homo eroticism.
Then there’s censorship by omission. Sometimes instead of a BEEP! they just remove the offending word from the album. I was really surprised to hear how many times Corey Taylor says ‘motherfucker’ in the song “Get Inside” from Stone Sour’s debut five years after I first got my Walmart copy! Seriously, I had no idea there were so many mother f-bombs on that song. I was also always very confused by the line “So you fed me to digest” from “Bother.” Of course, add the word ‘shit’ and the line make sense.
I think the worst is when they sort of dodge or scrub the offending word out of the song. If you’ve ever heard the song “Everything Zen” on the radio you know Gavin Rossdale is thinking of flying to Los Angeles to find his Ershrole brother. Or have you ever heard the Stabbing Westward song “Save Yourself”? You have to save yourself because he is not your savior, he is just as fushshcked as you. Seriously censors, go with option 1 or 2. Door number 3 is just awful. At least NIN changed “Starfuckers, Inc.” to “Starsuckers, Inc.” it’s still a word. I’m not sure how the Rolling Stones got away with it.
I remember someone telling me that even after 400 years America still hasn’t shaken off the puritan mindset that originally brought the ultra religious to our shores. I know watching MuchMusic back in the day it was always cool to see the different Canadian videos. I remember Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” had some mermaid boobs that were covered in the US version.
So is censorship bad in other countries? Do any of my international readers have any idea what I’m writing about? Do they BEEP! ‘bloody hell’ and ‘bollocks’ in England?
We all know that the only things that really need to be censored are David Bowie’s crotch from the movie Labyrinth and the Adam Sandler song “Ode To My Car.”