Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Whole Thing's Offensive

Good Lord, there's a nasty word in that song, said BBC Radio. Must censor. Must not offend.

It took them all of a day to realize that every lyric in the Pogues' Fairytale of New York is offensive. The song isn't exactly a sweet little ditty filled with holiday cheer. Not familiar with it? You can watch the music video here.

So the word 'faggot' is in the song. 'Merry Christmas your arse' isn't exactly inoffensive, if you think about it. Even UCD professor Terry Dolan thinks 'faggot' was not put into the song to cause offense to those of the gay persuasion. The word is slang, an insult to be flung at someone, and the word is used properly in the song.

While merrily censoring the song, BBC 1 also removed 'slut', although 'arse' was completely all right to keep in because it refers to a part of the body and has nothing to do with sex.

As singer Kirsty MacColl's mother said, it was pathetic on the part of the BBC to try to sanitize a song that tells a depressing story. There's no happy ending; the song isn't trying to tell a cheery tale in the mold of Charles Dickens. Removing words that might offend someone is an exercise in political correctness run wild.

Worried that the kiddies might hear a naughty word? If someone at BBC 1 had taken the time to listen to the song, they'd realize that Fairytale of New York isn't exactly Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. After a day of careful deliberation and a great deal of flack, they've reversed course and deleted the bleeps.

Christmas misery for adults has been restored to its rightful place.

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