Wednesday, September 06, 2006

DAH da da da da duh (HEY!)

During a recent NFL game, the announcers made mention of the fact that Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" would no longer be played at any NFL games because of Glitter's conviction of molesting two 12 year- old girls in Viet Nam. This troubled me.

Not because I disagree with the verdict but because it seems highly unlikely that most people would be able to make a connection between the song and it's performer. Most sports fans would immediately recognize the tune and many could even da-da-da along with it (it's an instrumental in case you didn't know) but ask them to "Name that Tune" you'd probably get a lot of blank stares. Ask them who performed it - more, blanker stares.

So what's the deal anyway? This has the malodorous quality of censorship about it and just a touch of ├╝ber political correctness too. (The sort of issue that our friend Katherine Harris might run on.) Of course, to be fair to the NFL, they were paying Glitter some serious money to use "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" during NFL broadcasts, and that money probably enabled Glitter to pursue his perverted lifestyle and travel to Viet Nam (probably not for the first time) where his perversions caught up with him.

I guess what troubles me most is the question: "WHEN is it OK to censor?" Sort of like "When is it OK to wiretap American citizens?" Granted, in this case, it's not the government doing the censoring. The NFL is a private corporation that can do pretty much what it wants - for whatever reason (within reason). But I wonder, if Glitter had been convicted of something like multiple murder would anyone have cared? Beats me. But sex crimes? A no-brainer -- just like National Security. (OK, it's a stretch)

This will probably swim into focus for me one of these days. Maybe I'm just too wary of anything that hints of oppression - justified or not. In the meantime, there are a bunch of new tunes to learn when your team scores a touchdown. Here's a list


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