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#13738 - 01/14/11 02:09 PM Money For Nothing
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Gosh we're lucky in Canada that we have the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to protect us from nasty people like Dire Straits. The CBSC has just banned Money For Nothing because it used the word faggot three times.

It's so reassuring that this group is always "on top of things". It only took them 26 years to notice.

And, it would have been nice if they had listened to the song first to get the context. This is not a slur against a sexual group - it's about a working stiff who is jealous of rock stars and is making derogatory comments against them.

I sure would like it better if my tax dollars could go to something useful - like providing shelter for the homeless or putting food into the mouths of kids under the poverty line.

Gads.

ryck


Edited by ryck (01/14/11 02:10 PM)
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#13739 - 01/14/11 02:50 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: ryck]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Don't tell the CBSC about Thomas Hardy. "Return of the Native" has several passages that refer to burning faggots. (For those who are not enlightened, "faggot" in England does not necessarily mean a homosexual man and Hardy certainly did not use it that way. You can look it up.)
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#13742 - 01/14/11 07:50 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: ryck]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
If I understand it correctly, the Council responded to a listener complaint filed last year. In its decision it states that it is aware of the fact that Dire Straits used the word sarcastically, yet still considers it 'improper'. Apparently K97 radio played MfN for one hour solid in protest earlier tonight.

As suggested elsewhere, the Council might want to take a look at Bob Dylan's Hurricane for an N-word, and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA for a 'yellow man' to mention just two other potential improprieties. It might just keep its members off the street in 2011... wink


Oops, only belatedly noticed the link to the relevant CBSC page...


Edited by alternaut (01/14/11 08:00 PM)
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#13744 - 01/14/11 08:13 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: ryck]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Canada?
confused
Who cares?
shocked

[KIDDING grin (you got some great bands up there).]

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#13746 - 01/14/11 08:36 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: Hal Itosis]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Where would the world be sans Neil and Joni?
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#13750 - 01/14/11 10:37 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: alternaut]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: alternaut
....t Bob Dylan's Hurricane for an N-word, and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA for a 'yellow man' to mention just two other potential improprieties...

Yes, and now there's even a move by an American publisher to sanitize Huckleberry Finn. Political Correctness runs amok.

ryck
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#13751 - 01/15/11 12:21 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: ryck]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: ryck
Originally Posted By: alternaut
....t Bob Dylan's Hurricane for an N-word, and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA for a 'yellow man' to mention just two other potential improprieties...

Yes, and now there's even a move by an American publisher to sanitize Huckleberry Finn. Political Correctness runs amok.

ryck


Well, to be fair, the motivation behind banning those songs and the motivation behind changing the "N-word" in Huckleberry Finn are very different.

First, there's the matter that the changes to Huckleberry Finn don't make the original version unavailable. The two would only really be comparable if a publisher changed Huckleberry Finn and then passed an ordinance banning people from buying or reading the original.

I thought the Huck Finn thing was PC gone mad until I actually listened to the publisher and understood what they were trying to do. Essentially, what they're trying to do is to allow modern readers to read it the way that it was written. When it was written, the "N-word" did not have the same explosively emotional, hurtful overtones that it has today. Modern readers can't really get a sense of the original, because the word's emotional connotations tend to overshadow everything else. For that reason, teachers are often forbidden from teaching it in school, and people who might otherwise be able to get a valuable lens on American history through the stories simply aren't given the chance to be exposed to someone who is arguably one of the greatest American writers.

If the goal was somehow to purge all the original books, or to ban the original versions, then I could see being upset by it. But that's not what's happening. The original and the modified versions are still being printed side by side; people have the choice which one they want to read. The modified version can be taught in school, with the idea that people who are then more familiar with Mark Twain's original intentions free to reread the original.

So I see a huge difference between that and a government agency banning something completely, telling its citizens "You are not allowed to hear this at all because we have determined that it contains words you should not see."
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#13752 - 01/15/11 01:08 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: tacit]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
1. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is not a government organization; it is a private one. Note the Prime Minister's commentary on same. Ergo, tax dollars shouldn't be an issue.

2. Huckleberry Finn revision by publisher, although well meaning (and they hope financially rewarding), is still revisionist history, with all its attendant downsides. Even some blacks (eg, Larry Wilmore of The Daily Show) point out how such revisionism denies them their history, which is even more offensive than the N-word.
And for some people the only books they'll ever read are in school where full historical context and meaning including current attitudes can be discussed in a nurturing, safe environment. (Oh, would that it were so!)

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#13753 - 01/15/11 04:33 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: grelber]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
I'm with tacit. no matter how many times I tell my students that "gay" means happy....
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#13754 - 01/15/11 04:53 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: roger]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
And, on the other hand, the "n-word" has almost (and almost is almost an understatement) fallen into the vernacular here in NYC where I hear it all day long on the streets, in the subways, in stores, you name it.

I've long been of the opinion that the use of a word considered a slur, in ordinary context, by the slurred, dignifies it and makes its use by everybody well... if not acceptable, less than intolerable.


Edited by artie505 (01/15/11 09:33 PM)
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#13755 - 01/15/11 05:09 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: tacit]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: tacit
I thought the Huck Finn thing was PC gone mad until I actually listened to the publisher and understood what they were trying to do. Essentially, what they're trying to do is to allow modern readers to read it the way that it was written.

Perhaps. However, I lean toward grelber on this one. The cynic in me wonders if the publisher's rationale is a little less noble than making sure kids get exposed to important literature and a little more about increasing sales.

However, conceding that their motivation may be good, I wonder if it doesn't actually dilute the book's lessons. This is probably more for a teacher to answer but it seems to me that modifying the original language reduces the impact of lessons like Finn's changing attitude toward Jim.

Originally Posted By: tacit
When it was written, the "N-word" did not have the same explosively emotional, hurtful overtones that it has today. Modern readers can't really get a sense of the original, because the word's emotional connotations tend to overshadow everything else.

But, isn't that why we have teachers? Isn't it better to have a teacher explain to a class ahead of the reading assignment that they are going to encounter this language, and put it into context? Isn't it better to have the kids talk about it?

If we don't allow the original language and context in the classroom, and open it to discussion among the kids, I think we miss a great opportunity to start getting rid of the word.

Originally Posted By: tacit
For that reason, teachers are often forbidden from teaching it in school, and people who might otherwise be able to get a valuable lens on American history through the stories simply aren't given the chance to be exposed to someone who is arguably one of the greatest American writers.

And that's really unfortunate. It also points out that it's the school administrations, not literary works, that need to be fixed. Instead of seizing an opportunity to do some good, by ensuring the curriculum adequately covers context, the administrations prefer to muzzle the teachers and put blinders on the kids.

ryck


Edited by ryck (01/15/11 05:22 AM)
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#13764 - 01/15/11 06:58 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: ryck]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: ryck

But, isn't that why we have teachers? Isn't it better to have a teacher explain to a class ahead of the reading assignment that they are going to encounter this language, and put it into context? Isn't it better to have the kids talk about it?


Ideally? Yep. You bet. In a perfect world, the book would stay the same, and teachers would use it as a catalyst to talk about American history and the volatile place that race has always had in it.

But given an imperfect world, if the choice is between "teaching a modified version of Mark Twain's books" and "not teaching Mark Twain's books at all," I think the former is probably preferable to the latter.
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#13765 - 01/15/11 10:55 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Do you know whether the "updated" version is annotated and, if so, how much information is included?
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#13766 - 01/16/11 12:46 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Not likely annotated. And even if it were, it would have none of the academic exegesis one finds, for example, in The Interpreter's Bible, and would require as hefty a tome as the latter to do the subject justice.

Let's consider the reverse situation too: the blackballing of writers such as Henry Miller, whose works were banned in the good ol' USofA for decades, although if one got them in translation, they were perfectly "importable" (most likely because the border watchdogs were unilingual). The coarse sex and sexual references became acceptable and great writers found their way back into the American consciousness, albeit through the back door, via foreign (then domestic) publishers such as the Olympia Press.

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#13767 - 01/16/11 03:39 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: grelber]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Lorrie Moore OP-ED in Jan 15 New York Times: Send Huck Finn to College
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#13768 - 01/16/11 05:04 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: Pendragon]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Methinks her commentary is chock-a-block with deflection and misdirection. But that's just my take.
The book belongs in high school and university. I read it before the age of 12 (ie, while in elementary school) and was still able to glean and appreciate the relevant meanings and implications, as well as enjoy it as fine literature. But then that's just me.
It's important to be littiate. 'Member how Mark Clemmens starts off Huck Sawyer's appraisal of the Civilian War:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way ...."

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#13825 - 01/21/11 02:06 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: grelber]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Even the Indians qua Native Americans/Canadians don't like revisionist history.
See storyteller Doug Cuthand's opinion, Revising offensive history is to deny reality.


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#13832 - 01/21/11 09:11 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
This discussion reminds me of a quote from George Santayana, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Revisionist history, no matter how well intended will inevitably contribute to forgetting the mistakes of the past and with equal inevitability lead to making the same mistake again in the future.

When well intentioned persons seek to remove offensive labels like "#$!&" or "faggot" they are denying today's children the opportunity to learn that critical lesson as anything other than a social should. Unless there has been "real" learning of the "why" behind the change, society will soon forget and new damaging labels will appear. We are not born knowing the why and each generation must learn the reasons anew, which is the real value of books like Huckleberry Finn in their unexpurgated form.
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#13834 - 01/21/11 09:54 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: joemikeb]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
and I refer everyone to tacit's reply on the 15th, which states the difference between these two cases quite clearly, and the reasons behind the Twain "revision".

while I agree that the Dire Straits ban is ridiculous, the Twain revision allows teachers to teach what Twain meant, as opposed to what we think of when we hear the word. there is a big difference.
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#13840 - 01/21/11 01:16 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: roger]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
And just on the CBC hourly radio news: After receiving more than 200 complaints regarding the private Canadian Broadcast Standards Council's "banning" of the unedited version of Money for Nothing, the federally mandated Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has requested the Council to "review" that decision (based on a single complaint out the Maritimes).

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#13841 - 01/21/11 02:02 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: grelber]
Dermot Trellis Offline


Registered: 09/27/09
Originally Posted By: grelber
(based on a single complaint out the Maritimes).


The original complaint was from St. John's, Newfoundland which is an Atlantic province, but is not one of the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

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#13843 - 01/21/11 02:12 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: roger]
dboh Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
…the Twain revision allows teachers to teach what Twain meant, as opposed to what we think of when we hear the word.

Roger, that word was just as much a slur back when Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn as it is today. Twain meant it that way. If you in fact want to teach what Twain meant, then you need to include the word. Substituting "slave" is pitiful.

What the publisher should have done was leave the text as is and include a forward that would explain the history of the word, the harm it's done, and why it's as horrible as it is.


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#13857 - 01/22/11 12:15 AM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: Dermot Trellis]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Merci for the correction. I hadn't heard what the exact source was other than it was from out east.
What do you expect from a place which is always a half hour off the hour? confused wink
Newfoundland (and maybe Labrador) are renowned for producing great comedians, such as Rick Mercer, (in)famous for his Taling to Americans, and CODCO (Cathy Jones, Tommy Sexton, Greg Malone, Mary Walsh, Dyan Olsen). Maybe it's all an elaborate hoax, given that several of the above-mentioned are (openly) gay. Ooo, the mind boggles ....

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#13874 - 01/22/11 12:51 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: dboh]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: dboh
…the Twain revision allows teachers to teach what Twain meant, as opposed to what we think of when we hear the word.

Roger, that word was just as much a slur back when Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn as it is today. Twain meant it that way. If you in fact want to teach what Twain meant, then you need to include the word. Substituting "slave" is pitiful.

What the publisher should have done was leave the text as is and include a forward that would explain the history of the word, the harm it's done, and why it's as horrible as it is.



thank you for your information; I was going by what tacit stated in his post. so I probably should look it up myself.
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#13882 - 01/22/11 03:00 PM Re: Money For Nothing [Re: roger]
dboh Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
A post from the author Michael Chabon on how he handled reading Twain to his kids.


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