Music Choice Censors "Money For Nothing"! Where Does It End?!



Not one to listen to the radio much, I found myself embroiled in a home project and since I was craving some music in the background and found myself to be closer to the TV than stereo, I figured I'd simply turn to Music Choice's '80s station.  Never mind that MC's treatment of said genre has often been brutally inept in its earnestness.  For example, they have no problem playing Gary Numan's "Cars" and The Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl" on the '80s station despite the fact that both tunes came out in 1978.

In other words, I clicked on the station before realizing that doing so would completely derail my current project's forward momentum once they do something that gets under my skin and I am forced to "send somebody a letter".

Within three seconds, I recognized the song-in-progress as Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" and noticed a still from the video in the corner.  I had no sooner begun to ask out loud why Music Choice doesn't just air music videos instead of the black screen and occasional trivia factoids when I heard them commit complete musical sacrilege:

"See the little FIGMMPH with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That little FIGMMPH got his own jet airplane
That little FIGMMPH, he's a millionaire!"

I understand today's sippy-cup mindset where certain powers-that-be attempt to round off all the edges so that everything sucks equally, but is it really necessary to censor a song after playing it in its original form for over 25 years?

See, back in the '80s, we didn't sweat shit.  I mean, we sweat a lot of shit, but the use of the word "faggot" (ah, crap, I think I set off an alarm at Tipper Gore's house) in a Dire Straits song wasn't one of them.

Obviously, when the tune came out, we recognized Knopfler was taking a bit of a chance, but we understood it as a necessary aspect of his biting indictment of MTV and rampant commercialism.  In hindsight, if anyone had a right to censor the tune, it would have been MTV.  They responded by playing the video in heavy rotation.

If anything, I would have thought back then that we'd be a lot further along as people than we are and that words used artfully serve a purpose.  Maybe the microscopic shards of positive change that have managed to take place amid the ugly seas of regression succeeded because of the foundation that was set back in the '80s, when you could play a song like "Money For Nothing" on the radio unedited.

For crying out loud, the song was played ten times an hour on MTV for about three years straight, or so it seemed, and has been in constant rotation on radio stations for 25+ years in its unedited form.  So, why is it that we now feel the need to edit the song?

In our attempt to show off how intelligent we are, we've become so incredibly dumb in our ability to comprehend context.  We just hear a word we've been taught not to like and respond like monkeys throwing their own poop. We don't stop to question the motives of those who make a career of outrage, we just listen and nod.  It's almost subliminal at this point, eating at you without you able to fight it off.  The commercials, the public service announcements, media regurgitating any press release with a check attached.

This isn't a gay issue, this is a censorship issue.

The powers behind such "advances" would like you to believe that we've been dumb for the past 25+ years and that we've only just now come to our senses when, in fact, the exact opposite is true.  These, days, we're too busy staring into our phones to see what they're doing and by the time they've finished, we just click the "like" button on our way to the next kitten meme.

How is it that the more "civilized" we become, the fewer words we can say, regardless of context?  And is it merely a coincidence that modern culture's preferred method of interaction is limited to 140 characters or less?  Where does it stop?  Am I gonna hear a Meredith Brooks tune on the radio soon and wonder why she just called herself a "MMMfff"?

In all seriousness, is this the generation that finally succeeds in white-washing "Tom Sawyer" under the guise of "making it safe for elementary school children" (who, ironically, can't read for shit) and the original version simply fades into the grey, each generation more unaware of its existence than the next?

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

2 comments:

  1. The song was banned in Canada first because of the lyric. Might have been soon after its release. It was scrubbed for the greatest hits collection and on most jukebox versions, too. Haven't checked Karaoke versions, though

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  2. Just noticed the same with the word 'queers' in Marilyn Manson's "The Dope Show". Funny how they don't censor 'f*ck' or 'motherf*cker', just anything that might be offensive to the LGBT community apparently. Political correctness run amok!

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