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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 01.24.11
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Don't play that song for me, Canada

Dear Canadian Broadcast Standards Council,

On behalf of Canadians lacking appreciation for satire, I'd like to thank the CSBC for banning from the nation's wholesome airwaves the song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. It's high time someone took Mark Knopfler to task, and not just for his egregious wearing of headbands.

It is completely unacceptable in this day and age and time and space for a 25-year-old song to contain the F-word. No, not that F-word, the other one, the homosexual slur. I can't even bring myself to write it. I don't even like to think it. Oh gosh, I'm thinking it now! Stop, brain, stop! Quick, tell me, people at the CBSC, how do you turn your brain off?

Defenders of Dire Straits -- or as I like to call the band, "The Insultin's of Swing" -- point out that the word is uttered by a character in the song with an ultimately ironic effect. That's just so typical of defenders, always defending art and freedom of expression and ostentatious sideburns.

But do you know who really needs defending? People who don't get irony, that's who. Thank goodness you good folks at the CBSC are one of us.

I am so glad you took the single complaint about this song seriously. All complaints should be taken seriously at all times. I, for one, have been complaining to the Kellogg's cereal company for years that my Rice Krispies generally snap and crackle but have never once popped. Not once! And yet the company has not replied to any one of my 137 registered letters.

Which brings me to the purpose of this letter, namely to suggest to you that "Money for Nothing" is just the tip of the iceberg. If you look at other songs from 1985, you will find yourselves equally shocked and appalled and able to justify your existence with more lame-brained judgments.

Check, for instance, the horrifying lyrics of "I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen:

"Hey, little girl, is your daddy home.

Did he go away and leave you all alone?"

Stalker alert! I suggest -- nay, insist! -- that the lyrics be revised as follows:

"Hey, little girl, on your dad you can depend

Make sure that late at night you walk home with a friend."

And the title, "I'm on Fire"? That's just encouraging self-inflicted pyromania. Very dangerous. Change it to "I'm Really Quite Warm."

Next: Madonna's "Crazy for You." Insulting to people with mental illness. I suggest "Unstable for You" or perhaps "CBSC for You."

Much of what was socially acceptable in 1985 is no longer so in this enlightened frightened age -- smoking, paisley, Huey Lewis and the News. Once upon a time, we would entrust radio stations to make their own judgements regarding whether a song was suitable for airplay. Thank goodness now we have bureaucratic bodies to tell us what's good for us.

That's why you must amend the following lyrics to Don Henley's "Boys of Summer":

"I can see you,

Your brown skin shining in the sun"

Brown skin? Clearly the girl in the song has been exposing herself to dangerous UV rays. Let's make it "your pale skin hiding from the sun."

How about this from Lionel Ritchie's "Say You, Say Me":

"I had a dream, I had an awesome dream

People in the park playing games in the dark"

That's just dangerous.

Or this from Starship:

"We built this city on rock and roll"

Nope. No, you didn't. Impossible.

Also, listeners should be advised to don latex gloves before listening to the theme from "Miami Vice."

And the playing of any Phil Collins song should be banned because it could incite hatred against balding musicians. We can't have that. Except that Knopfler fellow; we don't like him.

In fact, why don't you just do away with the entire 1985 pop song canon? Then the CBSC would truly be doing Canadians a service. I for one look forward to living in a world without Wham!

Thank you. And God bless.

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through www.townships.ca. He can be reached at ross_murray@sympatico.ca.

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