Sunday, 20 December 2009

Warning: The following article contains lots of unBleeped Bleeps.

I like the fact that Rage Against The Machine's single Killing in the Name is number one this Christmas. It illustrates some of the things I learned during the Games and Animation Studies module regarding the fact that [THIS IS NOT A PIPE].

Sometime in the past week, I saw what I thought was a silly but well written article that claimed that the Rage Campaign means nothing [unfortunately, I've totally forgotten who's FB profile I saw the link on, and I can't find it again]. I can't remember the logic behind it. It could have been the thing about both tracks being done by Sony, as opposed to an indie band being chosen instead of RATM, or about no one caring about Christmas No.1 one anymore, or something...

If I could have been bothered to register to the site to state what I thought [and I rarely am, this seems to happen a lot], I would have told him that people will attach meanings to anything they want to, regardless of whether he, the article writer, thinks it means anything or not. We can't help it. Take the word "FUCK", for example.

Warning: The following video contains the word "FUCK".

Some people are offended by the word "FUCK" - but why? "FUCK" by itself is not offensive. It's just four letters of the alphabet arranged in a certain way, representing the sound someone makes when they say "Fuck." At some point, people decided that "FUCK" means.. well, all of the things it means in the video above, amongst other things. You could switch the word "FUCK" around with the word "PIPE", and all that would change fundamentally is the word used to represent the things that "FUCK" and "PIPE" represent. And what thing or meaning does the word "FUCK" even represent? It means many things... which means whether the word "FUCK" is offensive or not depends entirely on the context.

The only time people should be offended by the word "FUCK" is when it is used in a context where offense is intended towards them. However, if they are aware that the word "FUCK" is sometimes used to offend, they can get offended whether they were supposed to or not.

The BBC had to apologise after RATM started swearing at the end of a live performance of KitN on Radio 5.

The general public shouldn't be offended by the word "FUCK" in the line "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me," because taken in context, it's not even aimed at them. They are not the "you" in "Fuck you", and in the same way, pissing Simon Cowell off or bullying Joe McElderry was not the reason I bought a copy of KitN. But some people do get offended because they may feel the rebellious energy behind the statement, and feel it is directed at them [okay, I'll acknowledge the fact that pissing off Cowell or taking the piss out of McElderry was on some people's minds, but those people were not representative of the whole campaign].

Now that I've been thinking about it, it seems kinda odd that to make a statement with a swearword in it less offensive, we would Bleep out the swearword. How does replacing an expletive with a bleep make the statement any less offensive? Is it to make the listener feel like they have someone on their side, if they are of the offend-able persuasion?

Hey, we're going to to play you a song with swearwords in, but we know you might not like them, so we've Bleeped them out for you. What's that? Why not remove them entirely instead of Bleeping over what must clearly be something offensive enough to be Bleeped over? Oh.. I dunno.. But I don't fancy the artist coming round to the studio, and Bleeping me up the Bleeping Bleep for messing with their message.

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