How many f-bombs, s-bombs, a-bombs, d-bombs, l,m,n,o, p-bombs can you hear in a song lyric before wanting to tear your ears off? Some of you may not share my sentiment, but this is how I feel every time I watch an awards show these days.
It is nearly impossible to hear an artist perform without being subjected to a tidal wave of expletives and vulgarities. Naturally, the television networks that host these shows, broadcast on an 8-second delay with their itchy fingers ready to put the “bleep machine” into high gear. This was the case on Sunday at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. The “victim”: none other than, Mr. Kanye West.
Kanye has long been an advocate of un-censorship. Yet, large portions of his songs were muted, leading the television audience to believe that there was an issue with their TV audio. Kanye was upset and felt “serious[ly] misrepresented”. He states that “it is ridiculous that in 2015, unwarranted censorship is something that artists still have to fight against.”
Kanye has a point, but what kind of censorship is he alluding to? I believe that artists should be able to express their truest feelings and deepest thoughts (even discussing controversial ones), but couldn’t they still accomplish this without swearing and being vulgar!
Here are some reasons why we still need censorship:
1) CHILDREN! Yes, children. Did we forget about them? They watch awards shows, which usually broadcast at 8pm, still in the “safe zone” of appropriate times for kids to view television.
2) ADULTS! Yes, adults. Even though grown ups are exposed to swearing all the time, it does not mean we actually WANT to hear it.
3) Profanity is not a necessary condition of authentic artistry. Why is swearing a requisite to being taken seriously as a musician? There is a paradox that exists here. It seems unoriginal and inauthentic to use profanity if so many artists are doing it. Does today’s artist have difficulty expressing true feelings without the fillers and distracting words? Makes me wonder! There was a time – not long ago- when musicians were able to convey passion and deep emotion without expletives or vulgar language. And we loved it!
4) Swearing is marketing kryptonite. People tune in to award shows to get a feel of an artist’s stage persona. Most of us only experience our fave musicians on the radio or on our iPods. The award shows are sometimes the only opportunities where you can get a glimpse into their creativity and passion, if you are not able to afford $300 concert tickets. Sometimes the vulgarities are so off-putting that you rather not hear them or see them, ergo, one less fan.
5) Am I going deaf or what? 4-second intervals of bleeping makes you want to schedule an appointment to visit an otologist………..IMMEDIATELY. Or call your cable provider screaming that they need to fix the sound. It’s unnerving!
My opinion on censorship remains: No profanity. It just isn’t necessary…………even if Kanye disagrees!