Sunday, February 03, 2013

Radio Follies

This was going to be a Facebook status, but I figured it would be too long to post there. I reserve long winded statuses for my Cave Johnson storm rants.

The CRTC broadcast standards are funny, fickle things. In the case of music on the radio, it seems to apply to some songs but not others. Now I don't mean whether or not a song should be played, in this instance I mean what is and is not censored in songs for airplay.

CRTC Broadcast Regulations say;
 A licensee shall not broadcast
 (c) any obscene or profane language;

Basically that little rule censors any content that would be commonly thought of as a "swear" word. Unlike the FCC in the states, who originally had a list of words you couldn't say on TV or Radio, the CRTC just gives a blanket statement.

That's changed a bit over the years, now it's accepted that different rules apply for different times of the day. These days you can pretty much get away with anything after 9pm short of racial slurs and the word fuck. Poor little fuck will never be accepted it seems.

Now this rule, you would think, would apply to all songs played on the radio. Certainly there are a plethora of songs on the air these days that contain some gaps of inserted silence to remove the offending word(s). One though, seems to have slipped through the cracks.

On my way home from work, while listening to the radio, I heard two songs  that both contain the word Shit, or would in their uncensored forms at least.

According to Wiki;
Shit is an English word that is usually considered vulgar and profane in Modern English.

There's that word from the CRTC, profane. So technically it should be censored out in anything broadcast on the radio. But it's not. I'll elaborate with the two songs I heard that provide the example.

The first song I heard was "The Single Life" by Hey Bombshell. Multiple times in the song the same lyric is repeated; "Gotta get a ticket for the lottery, Cause this kinda shit don’t happen to me"

The second song I heard was "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" by Pink. That song has the lyric; "Just when it can't get worse, I've had a shit day. Have you had a shit day? We've had a shit day."

But Steve, I hear you say, what's the big deal. It's laid out right there. Both songs  have the word shit. However that's not entirely the case. Pinik's song, when it's played is the so called "radio edit." There is one of those wonderful (sarcasm) piece if silence inserted to blank out Shit, as if we didn't know it was there.

On the other hand, Single Life has the word shit completely uncensored. No silence, no blank, no bleep, no matter the time of day. Yup that's right, the time of day doesn't matter. Today I happened to hear it at around 7:30am but I have also heard it in the afternoon and evening. In each instance, shit, is clearly and plainly heard, there is no mistaking it for any other word. 

So I have to ask, what's with the double standard? Why does one song have to be a "radio edit" and the other not?

I'll leave you with those questions and a song that can't be played on the radio and probably never will be. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Frank Zappa singing Dinah Moe Humm.


Stylin' Steve

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