Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

Anyone who is still unconvinced with regards to the whole "Money for nothing" issue, I would invite to peruse this article from B.C about a man who was severely beaten while his partner hid nearby. The RCMP believe the act to be a hate crime, given that the man decided to "kill these guys" shortly after they vouchsafed their orientation after several hours worth of idle conversation. Worse, he was accompanied by two friends, who presumably sat by and watched this happen. The man is alleged to be a Calgarian, thus adding to Alberta's stereotype as the most bigoted province, and giving lie to the belief that "homophobia doesn't happen in Canada".

Anyway, the other new revelation about Canadians, or Edmontonians in specific, is that we can not be trusted with our own air quality. All this new talk about anti-idling bylaws is down to one reason; earlier they bantered around the idea of introducing anti-idling legislation, but abandoned it in favour of a public awareness initiative. They gambled on Edmontonians doing the right thing and switching our engines off because a happy little poster reminded us to, or the radio talked about it. They put their faith in us, and the reintroduction of legislation to ensure idling compliance is a sign of one thing; we failed. The government felt people were not complying enough so now they have to bring out the stick. We ignored the carrot of better air quality and health, so now we must bear the parental disapproval and shame. Either that or the government is getting broke again. Either way, suck it up, Edmonton. Besides, +10 degrees weather is such a blessing, we have better things to focus on.


Michael said...

Must disagree. Is there anything at all in the mentioned article that in any way links the song lyric to the deed? No. Then it is coincidental, not corroborative.

The song itself is an artistic work, which was relevant when it was produced. So notably relevant, that it was in fact the first song played on MTV. Censoring historical work because it no longer lines the sensitivity of today is foolish at best. Mein Kampf was in my high school library, unabridged. While I don't support its content, I support it's relevance to history and therefore it's presence.

Keeping people ignorant of prejudice and bigotry simply leaves them unequipped to handle it when it is encountered. Ignorance does not produce better people.

Beyond that, how much additional airplay has the song had since it became 'controversial'?

Certainly the deed in question is heinous, illegal and prejudice-driven. But it was not in any way connected to your previous post beyond loose coincidence of timing.

Miss Ernst said...

I think I am going to disagree with your disagreement. Although the article does not mention the song, I think the two are related by virtue of the earlier warning that it would cause violence against homosexuals, without the earlier hypothesis, it would be difficult to draw the connection.

Anyway, I completely agree with the notion that censoring historical works is a bag idea; I would argue the censorship of mein kampf, or the removal of the "n" word from Huckleberry Finn to agree with our sentiments, but to me these cases are different from the "money" issue.

The hate that is present in the song, directed towards homosexuals, is not an integral part of the song, it is coincidental. He was simply using an accepted medium ("fags are bad") to convey the hate, but worse, it inspires the idea that "that little faggot" does not deserve a better situation than "me" and that can lead to the notion that if one is not happy with one's lot, it is because a homosexual is "taking more than he has earned" which can lead to the idea that they are worth less, and promote the kind of senseless anger that causes random beatings.

I totally disagree with the notion that we should leave ignorance and bigotry in the public sphere to better equip people to handle it. Generalized hate is a far different animal from a directed hate, and there is no way to prepare someone for the first random time someone hates them.

If its playtime is increased, it would support the conclusion that the incident could be in part due to the aspect of the song that normalizes and provides permission for the hate directed at homosexuals. Also, it may not have been included in the original post, but these times are more sensitive to homosexuals, considering the recent string of suicides, I wonder if perhaps some compassion is required; this is children killing themselves we are talking about; is removing a short verse or even replacing the word with another insult, (why is it relevant that the man is a "faggot? would asshole work?)from a song worth lives?

Anyway, it is true, if one does not accept the premise that the song will promote hate,certainly the connection is unwarranted, but I maintain the belief. Really sucks still though.