Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Toes in the Water...

I am writing in a conflicted state right now. I want to feel strongly one way, but I can see the arguments another way. I'll start out with my gut but then play Devil's advocate.

There is a song on the radio right now by the Zac Brown band. The main verse contains the lyrics: "Toes in the water, ass in the sand." The "a" word said clearly and strongly during daytime hours.

I have a problem with this. There are kids out there, already exposed to way too much language and violence on TV, who might hear this. I certainly don't want my kids listening to the song and singing it. I used to be able to have no fear turning on a country music station while driving with my kids in the car. No longer I guess.

I can think of several other alterate lyrics that Mr. Brown could have used in place of "ass." Furthermore, why can't there be an alterante "radio edit" that uses a different word or mutes it out like many other songs? I distinctly recall Taylor Swift's album version of "Teardrops on My Guitar" featuring the line "because it's so damn funny." But if you listen on the radio, she says "it's just so funny." A different version of the same song was created for the radio.

Why couldn't this be done for the "Toes" song? Especially since the Toes song features an "adult" word more prominantly? I am very surprised that this song is played on the radio during peak hours. After 8pm, fine. But not when most kids are awake and could hear it.

But now the other side. I look at other countries where censorship is not as strict as the United States. You never really hear about problems with children hearing or seeing offensive material. Maybe, since it is such commonplace, parents can monitor what their children see and hear more easily.

Secondly, I believe an artist should be able to creat his/her work as he/she sees fit. If it has violence, fine. IF it has nudity, fine. Bad language, fine. No problem. That is their creation and they should be able to make it as they want and express themselves as they want to. So if they want their creations played on the radio, on TV, or on display in a museum...they should be allowed to. It's the radio station that chooses to play it and the customer (or in my case, driver) that chooses to turn on the radio to hear it.

So it's a tough call for me. Despite my feelings about censorship, I still find myself upset. I guess I'm mostly upset with the radio station for choosing to play the song during daytime hours and not muting that one word. It can be dones. Just ask Taylor Swift.

1 comment:

  1. 5/30/10 My wife told me that there is in fact an alternate version of the song playing on some stations. Yay.