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Happy Fourth of July (and some thoughts on censorship)

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It's the Fourth of July, time to celebrate our Independence with burgers and tasty beverages. In case you missed it, I wrote an article for Prosper's Blog about frugal Fourth of July activities.

I was listening to the radio yesterday and the 3 Days Grace song Never Too Late came on. It's a pretty popular song. I was singing along when suddenly I realized I was signing the wrong lyrics. The radio had changed the song and censored out "end your life" with "change your life." (It's a pretty bad voice-over.) It got me thinking, since when did "end your life" become a phrase that you can't say on the radio? What's next? Do we rewrite Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet so that they change their life at the end?

This reminds me a little of Semi-Charmed Kind of Life from Third Eye Blind. Apparently you can't say "crystal meth" on the radio either. I like to think this is a family website and keep an eye on my language. Still, I can't imagine censoring topics like drug use and suicide... it would feel to me like we are pretending that they don't exist.

Last updated on July 3, 2008.

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8 Responses to “Happy Fourth of July (and some thoughts on censorship)”

  1. Wow! THat is a crazy censorship choice…very bizarre? Happy 4th to you.

  2. Solomon says:

    In the UK, you can’t say “acid” (referring to the drug) on the radio. Because as everybody knows, hearing the word acid turns you into a drug user right away.

  3. Llama Money says:

    I can’t think of an example off the top of my head ( damned bad memory ), but oftentimes on the radio, I’ll notice drug or gun references censored, but traditional cuss words not censored. Strange what gets through and what doesn’t.

    BTW Third Eye Blind is great ( Semi charmed life is one of their best )

  4. mike says:

    Ever so slowly they take our rights away and in the most incidious ways. The government uses businesses now to control our thoughts and actions and then reinforces those controls through the courts. Welcome to the the new USSR

  5. Michael says:

    Last time I checked, we lived in a free country. As such, you are perfectly within your right to pop whatever CD into your car or home stereo (or double click your mp3s) to listen to whatever lyrics you’d like in the privacy of your car/home.

    Public broadcast radio is a privilege not a right. I’m not here to say it is a perfect system, but usually when there is a conflict between one person’s moral sensibilities and another, yes, the censors stay on the cautious side.

    The point is that you do have a choice. In fact lots of choices in how you listen to music.


  6. Lazy Man says:

    I’m just looking for a system that is at least consistent. Suicide can be taught in our schools via Shakespeare, but can’t be mentioned over our airwaves?

    I don’t hear Purple Haze pulled from the radio, but they change the lyrics of one line of one song?

    Who makes the decision what’s appropriate for the radio and what’s not? How is the decision made, a coin flip?

  7. Cameron C. says:

    I recently subscribed because I had been reading more and more of your posts. I usually retire my subscriptions pretty regularly (with a few exceptions). But after this post, I have put you on my ‘perma-subscription’ list.

    Thanks for posting your genuine thoughts. It’s refreshing to see honesty…

  8. jim says:

    Maybe it’s a product of our litigious society, someone in a bad state of mind hears the song, kills himself/herself and the family sues the radio station?

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