Thursday, December 20, 2007

What do you mean, I can't say 'Merry ****'?

Kathy Shaidle has a link to this story about the BBC censoring a Christmas song. It's not the annual censorship we've become used to, where the words "Christmas" and "Jesus" are expunged from the children's choir repertoire at the Christmas concert because some non-Christian may be offended. This time, the song was something I've never heard of (but then I don't live in the Benighted Kingdom) called "Fairytale of New York".
The emotionally gritty song boils over as the late Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues' Shane MacGowan engage in a vocal domestic that rings bells in households across the world every year.

But to chiefs at BBC Radio 1, the duet has suddenly posed an embarrassing problem thanks to two words they initially deemed offensive, but have since changed their minds about. Earlier this week, for the first time since its 1987 release, managers at the radio station decided to fade out the words "faggot" and "slut" in order not to offend listeners.

I can see their point. Imagine how you would feel if you were a non-faggot or a non-slut, being pointedly excluded from the holiday season in this way? I think it's absolutely terrible to think of all those people who can't participate in things like 'Shane MacGowan's character call[ing] MacColl "an old slut on junk" to which she memorably replies: "You scumbag, you maggot you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it's our last."' In Canada, this would be worth a trip to a Human Rights Commission.


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