Monday, February 06, 2006

Meanwhile, at the Superbowl...

Skipping briefly to the other side of the pond, America has been having its own freedom-of-expression issues to deal with lately, but perhaps none quite so bizarre as during last night's Superbowl half-time show. The Rolling Stones were the main attraction this year, and their three-song set boasted Start Me Up, Rough Justice and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. A thrilling and unforgettable experience for all those who attended, to say the least.

However, two of those three songs were censored! At the request of NFL management, presumably still all hot and bothered after Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" two years ago, Start Me Up and Rough Justice each had one verse blanked out by broadcasters, thanks to a five-second time delay. And the offending verses were?

From Start Me Up: "You'd make a dead man cum."

Okay, I guess I can see the logic to bleeping that during primetime. I mean this is a continent (Canada is no better, unfortunately) where even words like "gun" or "ass" are dubbed over on the radio.

But for Rough Justice? Get this: "Once upon a time I was your little red rooster, now I'm just one of your cocks."

Um... hello? Are the Americans really so terrified of any hint of sexuality that they'll wipe out clever wordplay like this, which probably passed over the heads of 95% of the stadium audience anyway? This is paranoia taken to new heights, surely. Has the NFL board of directors been taking a cue from Mary Whitehouse? Hell, while we're at it, why not censor the equally (in my opinion) suggestive lyric from the same song: "So put your lips to my hips baby, and tell me what's on your mind." But was that one blanked out? Nope. Even though it screams BLOW JOB, the fact that it didn't include the word "cocks" made it acceptable.



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