Author Topic: Censoring  (Read 789 times)

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Offline Chronos

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Censoring
« on: October 22, 2013, 06:29:59 PM »
I was watching Comcast 200 (Movies) while Walking Tall Part 2 was playing. There are various cut-outs to sensor language like bitch, fuck, shit, damn and hell, but what stunned me was that a character said "honest to god" and god was censored.

Somehow saying honest to god is blasphemy?      Really?    If you swear on a bible, aren't you being honest to god?

Please tell me that Christians haven't become as sensitive as Muslims for mentioning god/allah.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 06:36:02 PM »
I haven't. You can be as honest to God as you like with me and express it freely.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 06:36:20 PM »
This probably isn't normal. My guess would be that there was an anal atheist doing the censoring. You get what you pay for.

Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Benny

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 06:41:13 PM »
I imagine if they'd cut out damn and hell, they'd cut out honest-to-god.  What time was the movie playing?

(And why can't we have cursing on TV?  Cursing is the best thing to ever happen to vocabulary!  ;))
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 06:41:48 PM »
Maybe they were using this guy:

The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline Chronos

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 06:42:39 PM »
Movie started 5:40pm EDT, still playing, finishes at 8pm.
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 03:08:38 PM »
Watching a censored version of "Dogma" is always fun :)

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 04:52:29 AM »
Watching a censored version of "Dogma" is always fun :)

Must be a good way to spend a couple of minutes

Offline Jag

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 09:29:50 AM »
^^^Taking Jay out of the movie entirely changes the plot line a little, and some of the jokes suddenly don't make much sense, but yeah, it's a great 3 or 4 minutes  ;)
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Offline Dr H

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 04:32:51 PM »
I can answer this; I have a brother who, in addition to being an engineer, also spent a couple of decades working in radio, both professionally and non-professionally.

Once upon a time, when the FCC reigned supreme over all broadcast media in the US, they had rather specific and pointed rules about what could and could not be said on the air, and pretty much brooked no argument, under pain of severe fines.  See George Carlin's famous "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV" skit for a taste of what this regulation was like.

A number of things worked to undermine that authority over the years, from the Supreme Court's redefinition of "obscenity" to tie it to community standards, to corporate desire to possess more of the public airwaves, to the FCC itself being used as a political football in congressional disputes and disputes between the legislative versus the executive branches of government.

A lot of things resulted (the disappearance of the "Fairness Doctrine" being but one of them), but the overall effect was a more or less simultaneous blurring of the rules and an increase in the penalties for transgressing them.  The FCC no longer maintains a list of prohibited words or phrases, but instead couches its regulation behind vague phrases like "offensive to community standards".  However, the changing face of communications has made determining what, exactly, constitutes "the community" more and more difficult, as things like satellite radio and streaming internet feeds can send virtually any broadcast anywhere in the world -- including places in which the community standards may be very different from those of the community in which the broadcast actually originates.

This caused radio and TV stations to scramble to enact self-regulation, first to avoid hefty fines due to enforcement of ambiguous laws, and second, in the theory that if they sufficiently self-policed then they government wouldn't step in with even more draconian regulations than the old ones.  Some have taken reasonable steps, such as making sexual and excretory references verboten during certain hours (typically prior to 10pm), and forbidden after those hours only if someone actually contacts the station to complain.  This is really more or less the way the old regs were usually enforced, anyway.

Other stations have bent over backwards in an attempt to avoid even the appearance of offense to [i[anyone[/i] who might be listening or watching, which has -- predictably -- created an asinine situation.  Teen listeners in NYC or East LA might be just fine with language or images that a minister listening in Muskogee might think is vile.  11pm on the east coast is still the middle of prime time on the west coast; etc.

In keeping with this insane attempt at absolute PC, many stations decided that, in addition to the traditional F-bomb and S-bomb, and similar sentiments, taking the Lord's name in vain would be offensive to many Americans, and was thus to be avoided with the same diligence as references to unprotected 4n4l sex during prime time.  But not all stations chose to enact such a regulation -- the FCC certainly doesn't require it -- and those that did didn't all enact it in the same way.

The classic example for me, was when Obama's opponents discovered the Rev. Wright, and stations began playing the now infamous excerpt from Wright's sermon in which he says, "Not God bless America; God DAMN America!"

Initially, many stations aired the excerpt unexpurgated -- probably for the shock value -- and even in the good old days "goddamn" wasn't a forbidden work on radio and TV, except withing a very narrow prime time window.  But then, as the excerpt was repeated endlessly over days and weeks, some stations began to worry that they might be offending some people, and thus transgressing the vague FCC rules, each transgression of which could cost them $50K or more, in each market they reached.

So on some stations, "God DAMN America!" became "[bleep] America!".

Other stations felt that this was counterproductive:  by bleeping the entire "God DAMN", they might be encouraging listeners to think that an even more offensive term had been deleted.  Horrors!  So they deleted the 'cuss word' part of the phrase, and came up with "God [bleep] America!"

Other stations felt that the real offense here was taking the Lord's name in vain, and reasoned that, even back in the 60s, and even during prime time, you could get away with saying "damn" now and they.  So on their stations the comment was rendered as "[bleep] DAMN America!"  And this is the approach still employed by some networks and stations.

So if George Carlin were doing his routine today, his "seven words you can't say" would be something like "shit, fuck, cock, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and God."  A bit ironic, that.

The vagueness of the FCC combined with heavy-handed enforcement has had other odd effects.  For example, there is a fair amount of Spanish language programming locally.  One station which would even consider allowing the English equivalents to air, has no problem with broadcasting "¡chingada!" or "tu puta madre".  And I've heard more than one program in French liberally salted through with exclamations of "merde!". 

Apparently the assumption is that native Spanish and French speakers are not offended by the same things as native English speakers, and those who are multilingual are not offended by non-English renditions of words and phrases which would offend them if uttered in English.  But mostly, it's probably due to ignorance.

As far as I'm concerned, it's all a bunch of gówno prawda. ;)
Dr H

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Online wright

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 08:15:16 PM »
Nice bit of recent history, Doc. Thanks for that and the language lesson  ;D.
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Offline Willie

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 10:33:02 PM »
One of my favorite examples of foreign language contraband slipping past the censors is this song about marijuana that appeared multiple times in a popular 1950's / 60's kids show:



Offline Nam

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 10:44:15 PM »
I miss the Hays code. Married couples sleeping in separate beds (at one point separate rooms). Oh...the good ol' days.

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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 08:19:27 PM »
Great thread - definitely eyebrow raising! Censorship issues always rile me up, lol.

I went to a wedding reception once with my husband and we about died laughing when the DJ played "Play that Funky Music White Boy" and censored/bleeped out the word "white."  WTF?
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Offline rev45

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 08:59:45 AM »
^A radio station I listen to censors Katy Perry's song "California Gurls" by removing the word sex in the line "sex on the beach."  It leaves in the phrase "we freak in my jeep" which I'm fairly certain means sex in a car.  Just use a slang word and you'll be alright.
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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2013, 03:39:44 PM »
good grief (about the Katy Perry song).  I remember in the 70s that the local radio station censored the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by changing "I told you once you son of a bitch" to "I told you once you son of a gun."

On the other hand, it was perfectly OK to keep the lyrics "the chicks will cream" and "we'll be getting lots of tit" in the song Greased Lightning. I guess they didn't get it?  :laugh:
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Offline Nam

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2013, 03:43:28 PM »
I heard a Ke$ha song on the radio recently where they edited out almost all the sexual phrases except in the chorus where she talks about having orgasms. (The word used was "cum", they left that in).

I found that humorous, at the time.

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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2013, 03:56:44 PM »
^absolutely NO rhyme or reason.

Back to the 70s (I am really dating myself) they'd play Donna Summer's "Love to Love Ya Baby" which was essentially just one very, very, very long orgasm.  Are we as a society actually going backwards? Or are the powers-that-be just censoring randomly?

I remember when Tipper Gore went on a war against explicit lyrics, successfully getting them to put "warning labels" on explicit albums, and inadvertently then caused sales of said dirty songs to skyrocket....that was hilarious.

"Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. "
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Offline Nam

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2013, 04:18:02 PM »
Wal-Mart, Target, etc., where they only sell edited CD's (but not movies?) I recently saw Live's[1] second album on sell there with "Shit Town" written on the back. I almost bought it to see if it was edited in the song but didn't because I already have that CD (unedited).

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 1. damn autocorrect
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 04:20:12 PM by Nam »
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Offline Dr H

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2013, 05:35:01 PM »
I miss the Hays code. Married couples sleeping in separate beds (at one point separate rooms). Oh...the good ol' days.

-Nam

The Hays Code was a form of industry self-regulation.  Most of what was in it was never required (or at least never specified) by the FCC.  Interestingly, a great deal of what was in the code had to do, not with sex, but with either promoting -- or at least with not undermining -- respect for the law.

As with FCC regs, various parts of the industry interpretes the Hays Code in their own way.  The Code itself says nothing about separate beds for married couples; the closest it comes is, "The treatment of bedrooms must be governed by good taste and delicacy."

It's rather like the old UL that the FCC prohibited the drinking of alcoholic beverages or the advertisement of hard liquor on TV.  They never did either, but an industry reeling from the witch-hunts of the McCarthy era imposed their own code on these things which amounted to a de facto ban.  I have a collection of hundreds of TV beer commercials from the 50s and 60s.   In none of the American commercials will you see anyone in the comercial actually taking a sip from a glass, bottle, or can of beer.  You'll see the glass filled; you'll see it lifted; you'll see it set down empty.  But you will never see it touch the actor's lips.  In Brit commercials from the same era, people sip beer on camera all the time. 

Dr H

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Offline Nam

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2013, 05:46:20 PM »
I always felt (not really) the cigarette industry ran Hollywood. Everyone always had a cigarette.

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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2013, 05:48:41 PM »
On a slight tangent here, I remember the Radiohead song "Creep" was released in two versions in Australia, one had the line, presumedly the original lyric, "You're so fucking special". This song was played on the non-commercial broadcaster, who rarely censor anything. The other version had that lyric as "You're so very special" and was played by most other radio stations.

A year or so later I remember reading an interview with singer Thom Yorke in which he stated that Radiohead had absolutely no regard at all for commercial success and wrote its music purely as artistic expression. I remember thinking that didn't excatly gel with its decision to censor its song. Its possible they had no choice under its record contract, but then again, why even have a record contract if you don't aim for commercial success? I guess theyt need to pay the bills.
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Offline Dr H

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2013, 05:55:16 PM »
^absolutely NO rhyme or reason.

Back to the 70s (I am really dating myself) they'd play Donna Summer's "Love to Love Ya Baby" which was essentially just one very, very, very long orgasm.  Are we as a society actually going backwards? Or are the powers-that-be just censoring randomly?

I remember when Tipper Gore went on a war against explicit lyrics, successfully getting them to put "warning labels" on explicit albums, and inadvertently then caused sales of said dirty songs to skyrocket....that was hilarious.

Frank Zappa testified before Congress during that brouhaha.  Among a number of memorable thing he said at the time were:

"It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation ... The establishment of a rating system, voluntary or otherwise, opens the door to an endless parade of moral quality control programs based on 'Things Certain Christians Don't Like'."

(Frank Zappa, testimony from HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION; Unitd States Senate; 99th Congress; Sept. 19, 1985; pp. 61-63)
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Offline Nam

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2013, 06:16:26 PM »
On a slight tangent here, I remember the Radiohead song "Creep" was released in two versions in Australia, one had the line, presumedly the original lyric, "You're so fucking special". This song was played on the non-commercial broadcaster, who rarely censor anything. The other version had that lyric as "You're so very special" and was played by most other radio stations.

A year or so later I remember reading an interview with singer Thom Yorke in which he stated that Radiohead had absolutely no regard at all for commercial success and wrote its music purely as artistic expression. I remember thinking that didn't excatly gel with its decision to censor its song. Its possible they had no choice under its record contract, but then again, why even have a record contract if you don't aim for commercial success? I guess theyt need to pay the bills.

STP's "creep" is better. My brother disagrees with me, as I am sure everyone else does. Sort of like STP's "Art School Girl" similar to Tripping Daisy's "I Got a Girl", which I like the latter better.

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Offline RubyLeo

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2013, 06:50:12 PM »

STP's "creep" is better.

-Nam

YES!!! Almost as good as "dead and bloated"  8)

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Offline Jag

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2013, 09:58:21 PM »
On a slight tangent here, I remember the Radiohead song "Creep" was released in two versions in Australia, one had the line, presumedly the original lyric, "You're so fucking special". This song was played on the non-commercial broadcaster, who rarely censor anything. The other version had that lyric as "You're so very special" and was played by most other radio stations.

A year or so later I remember reading an interview with singer Thom Yorke in which he stated that Radiohead had absolutely no regard at all for commercial success and wrote its music purely as artistic expression. I remember thinking that didn't excatly gel with its decision to censor its song. Its possible they had no choice under its record contract, but then again, why even have a record contract if you don't aim for commercial success? I guess theyt need to pay the bills.

I think it can be explained thus: it's not exactly that they don't care about commercial success exactly, as it is that Radiohead wants to get their music to their fans. The dismissal of "commercial success" is in line with my understanding of their objection to the music industry and the way music is distributed, more or less. I think they even released an album online as a "pay what you choose" release, to prove that it could be done at a profit? They're mostly off my radar, for no particular reason - this is one of those things I "know" without having any basis for knowing it though so I may be mixing them up with a different band? <--- This is entirely possible.

I really ought to play more music.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2013, 10:25:06 PM »
That's a reasonable explanation. And yes it was Radiohead that released an album online for fans to buy for whatever price they chose.

Have a listen to the last song I posted in the music thread, great little tune.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Censoring
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2013, 11:42:10 PM »
"If you are offended by any word in any language,it's probably because your parents were unfit to raise a child"

 Comedian Doug Stanhope
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)