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Old 09-18-2001, 12:28 PM   #1
vsp
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When defining "appropriate"... isn't

One of the recurring sentiments in America right now (that's driving me NUTS) is that our thought police seem to be working overtime to spin their moral cocoon around Americans. It seems that while it's okay to broadcast the footage of the WTC attack 24 hours a day, stick microphones in the faces of those searching for loved ones and ask "How do you feel?", rev the nation up for bombings and warfare and have competitions to see who can wave the most American flags, there are lots of other things that are suddenly NOT okay. Why? They're..."inappropriate."

Who says so?

Two hundred and seventy million Americans are going to have two hundred and seventy million individual ways of dealing with this and other tragedies. What's a painful reminder to one will be a welcome distraction to another; while some choose to reflect further on the death toll, others will desire to move on and focus on what's to come next. Some feel that the nation should do nothing but mourn and prepare for war; others feel that the exhaustive multimedia coverage of the assault is an assault in and of itself.

However, it seems some are unflagging in their efforts to shield all of America from what some few might find offensive. The FCC and their ilk use this as their rationale for existence, but it's kicked into high gear lately:

* A small handful of movies, TV programs and computer wargames with terrorist-related themes (such as Arnie's "Collateral Damage") are being postponed. That, I can understand. However, several other movies -- including movies as ridiculously inoffensive as "Zoolander", a host of video games (from Microsoft's Flight Simulator series to Spider-Man 2), TV programs and other media are being postponed and put under the digital-editing knife. Why? They depict the New York skyline -- or, in some cases, a skyline that loosely resembles New York's -- and the WTC buildings are visible.

It's fine to broadcast their collapse over and over, but showing footage from when they were still standing that's COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO EITHER THE PLOT OR TO THE TERRORIST ATTACKS is "inappropriate." Flight Simulator, I can understand (they're editing the WTC out of the New York skyline -- though you're free to practice your aim on whatever landmarks you designate as 'next' for terrorist attack) -- but are we supposed to pretend that the WTC destruction was retroactive, and pre-September footage of the buildings should be stricken from the record?

* One of the higher-ups at Clear Channel (the megacorp with a stranglehold on a large percentage of America's radio stations) whipped up a list of songs that are "inappropriate" for this situation and are being pulled from radio playlists nationwide. The list is interestingly idiosyncratic; along with the usual suspects like Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Judas Priest, dozens of completely inoffensive songs are blacklisted simply because they contain a word, a phrase or an association with some "disturbing" concept. Tell me, do you think these songs [among many others, mostly selected because they refer to fire, guns, flying or death] will warp the fabric of America and hamstring the war effort?

Jimi Hendrix - "Hey Joe"
Steam - "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey [Goodbye]"
Elton John - "Benny & The Jets", "Daniel", "Rocket Man"
Jackson Browne - "Doctor My Eyes"
Louis Armstrong - "What A Wonderful World"
Santana - "Evil Ways"
Simon & Garfunkel - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Happenings - "See You In September"
Hollies - "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
John Lennon - "Imagine"
Bobby Darin - "Mack The Knife"
Surfaris - "Wipeout"
Frank Sinatra - "New York, New York"
Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Travelin' Band"
Alien Ant Farm - "Smooth Criminal"
Neil Diamond - "America"
Youngbloods - "Get Together"
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - "Devil With A Blue Dress On"
James Taylor - "Fire And Rain"
Nena - "99 Luftballoons"
Beatles - "Obladi, Oblada", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
John Parr - "[Theme From] St. Elmo's Fire"
Bangles - "Walk Like An Egyptian"
Pat Benatar - "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", "Love Is A Battlefield"
REM - "It's The End Of The World As We Know It"

and, curiously, "ALL Rage Against The Machine songs." Not that I particularly care for their music, but this isn't a little bit politically biased, now, is it?

Interestingly, the Cure's "Killing an Arab" didn't make the list. Must've been an oversight.

Do we truly live in an America now where there's a NEIL DIAMOND song that's too controversial for airplay, or where songs that merely contain the word "fire" threaten the national psyche?

* And then there's the endless media-pundit yammering about whether sporting events, movie openings, plays, concerts, or returning to normal radio or TV programming (as compared to being all-WTC, all-the-time) are "appropriate" at this time.

Let the participants decide, and let the PUBLIC decide. If players on a sports team don't wish to fly (as the New York Jets didn't, and I can't blame them one bit), then postpone their games by all means. If an event takes place and the majority of the spectators feel it's too soon, they'll stay home. But I'm hearing too many condemnations in the press of those who chose to move on sooner than others, and too many people saying things like "[X] performed on Friday, so I'll never [watch/listen to/patronize] him again."

Maybe I'm just oversensitive on the opposite end of this spectrum. Maybe I itch any time that elected officials and prominent individuals take it upon themselves to play mommy and daddy and become guardians of the public morality, doing their best to keep "inappropriate" materials out of the hands of even consenting adults.

This is a major event in American history. We can't push a button (not even a bombs-away button or a nuclear button) and make it all go away, or fix what's already happened. Extremists hate Americans in part because they enjoy so many freedoms, and can express themselves in so many ways -- and these knee-jerk attempts to channel Americans in one direction aren't the answer.
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Old 09-18-2001, 01:56 PM   #2
tattooedmind
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wut about some others

hey i wonder about jimi hendrix 'fire' or mudvayne's 'death blooms' or 'dig' or manson, or POD's 'alive', disturbed's 'violence fetish' and wut about michael jackson's 'smooth criminal'...or is it just alien ant farm? many others as well.

i think the whole thing is a crock of shit! lol.
ok dats about it...time to go post my answer to everyones critisizin me while i was gone lol...not to make it sound unfair though.

tatooedmind
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Old 09-18-2001, 02:15 PM   #3
lisa
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Quote:
Originally posted by vsp
One of the higher-ups at Clear Channel (the megacorp with a stranglehold on a large percentage of America's radio stations) whipped up a list of songs that are "inappropriate" for this situation and are being pulled from radio playlists nationwide. The list is interestingly idiosyncratic; along with the usual suspects like Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Judas Priest, dozens of completely inoffensive songs are blacklisted simply because they contain a word, a phrase or an association with some "disturbing" concept.
Funny thing is that I saw that list on f**kedcompany.com and was curious enough abou why some of them were banned that I immediately went out and started trying to download some of them to see if I could find a reason.

With some, it is quite obvious, but others seem to be omitted just because they are "tear-jerkers" about death ("Dead Man's Curve" and "Last Kiss", both of which deal with car crashes, immediatly jumped out at me).

I suppose that we, as a society, are supposed to AVOID having songs bring out our sorrow of death and loss? Any pshrink'll tell you that that is one of the WORST ways to deal with pain. Sweeping it under the rug seldom helps.
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Old 09-18-2001, 02:58 PM   #4
russotto
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Re: When defining "appropriate"... isn't

Quote:
Originally posted by vsp


ridiculously inoffensive as "Zoolander", a host of video games (from Microsoft's Flight Simulator series to Spider-Man 2), TV programs and other media are being postponed and put under the digital-editing knife. Why? They depict the New York skyline -- or, in some cases, a skyline that loosely resembles New York's -- and the WTC buildings are visible.

Take a look at the beginning to "Sesame Street", assuming they haven't censored it yet...
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Old 09-18-2001, 03:01 PM   #5
vsp
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Upon further review, Clear Channel appears to be backing off, claiming that the list was the handiwork of a program director at one of their stations, meant only as a memo/suggestion instead of as a mandate.

Uh-HUH.

Even if that's true, there are stations complying with at least sections of this, often ignoring song context in doing so. (For example, Drowning Pool's "Bodies" isn't about massacre -- it's about a MOSH PIT, fer cryin' out loud.)

Know what I'd ban in these instances? Forget the rock, rap and metal -- those supersensitive to those songs would probably never turn on the kind of stations that'd PLAY them in the first place. But get rid of the sappy songs that have been remixed so that every fourth bar has quotes from a news report about a tragedy wedged into it! It sucked when they did it with movie quotes for Jerry Maguire and Titanic, it REALLY sucks when they "honor" some event like Columbine or the WTC with it, and it doesn't make ANYONE feel any better about the situation.
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Old 09-18-2001, 04:45 PM   #6
mbpark
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Now I remember the Titanic song from Howard!

That was a complete riot.

Some fat, disgusting, slobby DJ somewhere decided to mix in songs on their console and release it.

Not to mention that that was the most overplayed song I have ever heard (My Heart Will Go On).

My memory of that song was Howard Stern playing it over and over, and making his own lyrics, and making fun of the DJs for doing so. Howard said it best when he spent 1/2 an hour comparing those kooks to Scott the Engineer. When Gary Dell'Abate joins in and busts on people, and Howard doesn't rip on Gary for any of the usual reasons, you know it's bad.

I am so glad I do not listen to the radio anymore, especially stations that would play that. At least WKDU would have the common decency to burn the CD or damage it in a fun form.

It is at times like this I value my CD, Vinyl, and Tape collection and the raw honesty of real DJs who don't get sucked into this tripe. Also WKDU, and Kevin Smith, for providing the movies I have watched instead of the news. Especially Mallrats.

Just being myself,

Mitch
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Old 09-18-2001, 10:08 PM   #7
elSicomoro
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Re: Now I remember the Titanic song from Howard!

WYSP here in Philadelphia has been playing a "remix" of "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed. I guess it's noble and all, but it's overfilled with news snippets. Not to mention, I don't think the song really fits the situation.

Joe Lieberman has been leading a mini-crusade against movies and television for a while now. Everyone has laughed at him, including me. Now someone bad happens, and they decide to start a form of what I consider to be censorship. I can understand that this situation is of an extremely sensitive nature to countless people. But a point was made by vsp--270 million...for that matter, 6 BILLION different reactions. We can't please all the people all the time. If we are to resume "normal" lives again, then why try so hard to change things?

I was watching Access Hollywood tonight after getting home from the hospital (more on that later). I believe they mentioned that Blockbuster's stock has actually risen over the past 2 days. One of the more popular videos to rent--"Die Hard."

On a side note, they showed a preview for Spider Man when I went to see "J&SBSB" 2 weeks ago. I thought the web-spinning between the WTC towers was neat myself.
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Old 09-19-2001, 10:14 AM   #8
vsp
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Yeah, it's a song about pregnancy, with the fourth line referring to "tears of joy." THAT'LL work well as a poignant tragedy anthem!

The South Park remix of "My Heart Will Go On" was hysterical. THAT, at least, was meant as a parody of the original, deliberately undermining it -- these tragedy remixes merely hijack the song's original intent to push an unrelated cause or a desired emotional reaction. What must the original composer/writer think of this?

Don't get me STARTED on Lieberman. His "Columbine was caused by the evil influence of hip-hop music" rants would be a lot funnier if he had less political influence, and if fewer people bought into the "We MUST protect the CHILDREN!" smokescreen that covers these ban-the-"immorality" crusades.

I will _not_ turn this into a political rant -- I've worn myself out arguing these issues on another website -- but suffice it to say that certain politicians' track records on this issue influenced my vote in November. Gore's record speaks (badly) for itself, Lieberman outed himself as a narrow-minded, self-righteous evangelist buffoon long ago, Bush pushed (and continues to push) the same "family values" and "morality" and "protect the children" claptrap as the Democrats, and McCain cosponsored one of the most heinous labeling bills of the last ten years (which failed, thankfully). Not many candidates were left! (It's far from the only issue that influenced my vote, but I'll drop that here and pick it up on the Politics board if it's utterly necessary.)
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