As some of you will know, the over-censorship of media and entertainment in America really pisses me off.
I’m not a child. I can handle the word ‘fuck’ in a movie filled with uncensored (and apparently child friendly) blood, gore, guts and violence.
Well, this morning as I drove into work I heard censorship on the radio that pushed censorship (and me) to the next level.
It happened during the song, ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ by Panic At The Disco; it’s a great song with an incredibly catchy chorus.
The beginning of that chorus goes:
‘I chime in with a “Haven’t you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door?!”
No, it’s much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality’.
Guess which word was censored?
Yep, that’s right, the word ‘Goddamn’ was censored. The irony of that second line of lyrics was most definitely lost here.
I love this song, but the joy of singing along was ruined.
You see, in America religion is a big deal and it’s so easy to offend people. I knew this was the case before coming in, but I had no idea it was this bad. The phrase “went to church” comes up in more conversations than I’m comfortable with and a lot of my new friends here in the States are very religious.
This is something I have tended to find out when they casually mention going to church or they post something ‘God-ish’ on Facebook. When this happens I get a real sense of dread because I have to think back over every conversation we’ve ever had.
Did I say something blasphemous or offensive?
Have I made jokes about God or Jesus?
Did I sacrifice that goat in front of them?
In fact, not 10 minutes ago, this very subject came up at work (not instigated by me, I hasten to add) and one of my colleagues said, “I swear a lot. I use ‘Fuck’, ‘Shit’, ‘Asshole’ and all that, but if I use GD or JC, then you KNOW I’m pissed!”.
It took me a moment to figure out what she meant by GD and JC. She couldn’t even bring herself to say the words.
To her, saying ‘God Damn’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ is worse than saying ‘Fuck’.
What the Goddamn?
Is it me, or does that seem a bit fucked…er, I mean, ‘Jesus-Christed’ up? This would go some way towards explaining why the word ‘Goddamn’ was edited out of the song this morning.
A few months ago I said ‘Goddamn it’ at work and got told to watch my language. I couldn’t believe it. I was being scolded like a 7 year old by a woman I have heard swear numerous times.
I’ve even started to replace “Oh my God” with “Oh my goodness”. I hate that I’ve started doing this.
But people here are way too sensitive, and the entertainment business knows this. Out of fear of being sued,they’re pandering to the masses by censoring the shit out of television.
Unless the customer is paying for it of course.
Nothing on Netflix is censored and I hear it’s a popular service.
So, is America OK with bad language, blasphemy and sexual content when they’re charged a premium? Apparently so.
My wife pays a yearly subscription for something called XM radio in her car. It’s pricey, but there’s little to no censorship. It really expands the selection of music they play as they can air otherwise unplayable tracks and, being a premium service, there are no Goddamn, Jesus Christing commercials.
When it comes to TV, the UK have it right with censorship. Everything is the same as the US until 9pm. Well, I SAY it’s the same, but that’s not strictly true; they don’t play violent action movies on a Sunday afternoon when kids can see it. But apparently it’s OK for kids to see heads being chopped off and people being riddled with bullets, as long as there’s no sign of a nipple or someone saying ‘Goddamn it’.
At 9pm (or the ‘watershed’ as it’s called) it is assumed that your delicate little snowflakes are all tucked up in bed. After that, it’s the parents’ responsibility to manage what their kids watch.
At 9pm, all bets are off. The only word that is bleeped out is the word ‘Cunt’.
Sorry; ‘the C word’.
After 9pm, TV is for adults and if you’re easily offended, change the channel.
 Sarcasm, in case you didn’t realise it.