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Rene Hales | all galleries >> Former PaD Gallery >> August 2005 > WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE
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Writer's Almanac has been taken off of our local NPR station because of offensive language.

This is the stanza that caused the problem.

We smoke from your well-seasoned pipe, nervous as new
lovers. Those last months I refused to get high with you; we
always fought afterward. I remember why I loved you and why,
after ten years, I left. The reasons blend together, rise with the
smoke and dissipate. You ask me to tell you why, once again.

"Oblique references" to getting high and sex are the offenders. Of course the person in the poem is REFUSING to get high, but that must still be a PROBLEM for some folks. I wrote in and you see a bit of the reply from the station manager.

This is my Friday SP as that is my picture in the upper left corner.

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Barri Olson16-Jul-2007 00:15
I wished Lenny Bruce was still alive. Well I guess we've got George Carlin. Glad this program is back on at any rate, Our leaders can go to war for oblique reasons and say they are defending our freedoms, they can allow people (some of them combat veterans)to live on the street with no medical attention (or psychiatric ) Yet mention the word "pot" or sex,,,or...and you get banned from speaking in a public forum or on a public medium...even temporarily. What a joke. Thanks Rene.
Guest 20-Aug-2005 18:16
What we censor and don't censor in the US always amazes me. The movie ratings board gives a film an 'R' rating if a woman's breast is shown, chop off her head and it is PG-13. It seems that we have become paranoid about sex but violence is fine.
grafix7214-Aug-2005 16:05
I'm sorry to hear it's back on., we really must think about the children. After all these sorts of obvious refrences to Sex and Drugs will only corrupt our poor defenseless children.

Was the sarcasm a little too strong? :) I am very glad to here at least in this instance censorship did not prevail.
René13-Aug-2005 22:53
nice image...
Linda Alstead13-Aug-2005 17:08
Rene - continue to fight this stupidity - how anyone could find that rather sweet piece 'offensive' is quite beyond me. - Make a stand!
Guest 13-Aug-2005 01:23
Good to hear that it is back on air. very nice image!!
Rene Hales13-Aug-2005 00:35
Writer's Almanac BACK on the air. The station received so many calls that they have put the program back on the air at a different time. Sometimes it pays to make phone calls and write letters.--Rene
Pepe Zyman12-Aug-2005 23:26
You have to be kidding!
Rene Hales12-Aug-2005 19:52
Oops!!! UK in this instance is the University of Kentucky, USA. There were 3 items that supposedly brought about the cancellation of the program on the local station.

"Curse of the Cat Woman" by Edward Field, which contains violent themes and the word "breast"; "Thinking About the Past" by Donal Justice, which also used the word"breast"; and Reunion by Amber Coverdale, which contained the phrase "get high."

I guess in Kentucky we eat fried chicken CHEST not the infamous and inflaming chicken breast.
Marisa Livet12-Aug-2005 19:38
Did I understand right? is it possible? I have doubts about my capacity to understand English...Does it really mean that in UK someone was censored because of that totally comon sentence, nowadays? With all what we are used to hear and see?I'm puzzled...
Anyway thank you for the information,,,
I suppose also Dylan Thomas and James Joyce are censored in that radio program, just to mention two of the first names coming to my mind...
Dennis Steinauer12-Aug-2005 19:22
And, I thought it was only in the US that gutless (or self-righteous) self-censorship was growing, even in public broadcasting.
jypsee12-Aug-2005 18:43
I'm glad to see another activist PADer amongst us....