No offense. Oh….wait….

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.

Netflix anyone?

Nothing on Netflix is censored and I hear it’s a popular service[1].

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’.

violent tv kids

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.

blasphemy

 

[1] Sarcasm, in case you didn’t realise it.

Advertisements

Don’t ask…

My wife is ill.

Living in America I should really say ‘my wife is sick’, but I can’t use that sentence without wanting to add ‘and twisted’ on the end.

So….my wife is ill.

Very ill actually.

She has spent most of the day – and last night – coughing, sneezing, throwing up and sporting a high temperature.  What’s even worse is the fact I had to cancel our 6:20pm showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

It’s such an emotional time.

Unfortunately I couldn’t cancel the tickets online with the same ease I booked them, so I had to put on outside clothing and drive to the cinema.

Sorry, ‘Movie Theatre’.

Sorry, ‘Movie Theater

(rolls eyes)

After a 35 minute drive I arrived at the cinema and headed into the noisy, bustling foyer.  I navigated the slow, shuffling popcorn munching morons and made a beeline for the box office desk.

The young girl behind the (bulletproof?) glass called me over and I pushed my pre-printed ticket under the glass towards her.

“I need to cancel these tickets; my wife is sick (and twisted) and so we can’t make the 6:30 showing”.

She smiled, took my tickets and proceeded to scan stuff and type things on her tiny little keyboard.

After a few seconds she said, “So I have to ask, where are you from?”

Did you have to ask?

“From Vegas, born and bred” I replied, with a smile.

She looked at me blankly, an emotion came across her face (ooer!) which I can only describe as bemusement.  No, wait….confusion; the word is confusion.

I decided to help her out.

“Just kidding, I’m originally from the UK”.

She smiled (out of relief mostly) and what followed were the usual questions of “How do you like it here?” and “How is it different from the UK?” etc.

After a minute or so of “I don’t miss the clouds and rain” and “Well, the TV over here sucks” she smiled again at me and slipped me my refund receipt.

Before I could thank her and leave, she hit me with this one…

“Let me ask you one more question; since you’ve been here what stereotype of Americans have you found not to be true?”

Wow, this was an interesting one.  Where do I start?

Actually, where DO I start?  I couldn’t think of a single stereotype off the top of my head and here I had this young girl smiling at me, expecting an answer…..an honest answer.

Naturally.

So I went with the most common stereotype; the one that is synonymous with Americans, known the world over.

“Well, there’s the stereotype that Americans are stupid…” I began.

Her face dropped.

The foyer fell silent.

I felt like that out of town stranger who had walked into a saloon in the Old West.  Even the popcorn had stopped mid-pop.

She looked mortified and started spouting some bollocks about the revolutionary war and the fact that it was actually the English fighting the English or something.  I tuned out to be honest.

Hey, she asked the question.  Be prepared for the answer.  Well, half the answer in this case.

Before I could say that I found that stereotype to be (mostly) untrue, she looked behind me and said “Next please”.

Oh dear.  Touch a nerve did I?

As I got in my car I smiled to myself as I nearly said, ‘Americans are very easily offended’.

Cunt.

See?

ron offended

Wait, she DID ask for an American stereotype that I had found not to be true…right?

Right?