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'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada

Related threads:
Origins: Brothers in Arms (Knopfler/Dire Straits) (8)
Mark Knopfler documentary BBC4 (35)
Lyr Req: Money for Nothing (Dire Straits/Knopfler) (17)
Lyr Add: The Fizzy and the Still (Knopfler) (2)
Review: Mark Knopfler: Shangri-La (20)
Mark Knopfler's motorcycle wreck (18)
Tune Req: Ragpicker's Dream (Mark Knopfler) (4)
Review: Mark Knopfler, 'Ragpicker's Dream' (24)


3refs 13 Jan 11 - 07:24 PM
bobad 13 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,number 6 13 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM
Slag 13 Jan 11 - 09:11 PM
Little Hawk 13 Jan 11 - 09:29 PM
J-boy 13 Jan 11 - 09:55 PM
Beer 13 Jan 11 - 10:05 PM
J-boy 13 Jan 11 - 10:20 PM
Beer 13 Jan 11 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 13 Jan 11 - 11:16 PM
J-boy 13 Jan 11 - 11:46 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Jan 11 - 01:08 AM
michaelr 14 Jan 11 - 01:18 AM
Michael 14 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM
Bonzo3legs 14 Jan 11 - 05:11 AM
Ed T 14 Jan 11 - 07:32 AM
number 6 14 Jan 11 - 07:40 AM
Beer 14 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM
bobad 14 Jan 11 - 08:02 AM
Ed T 14 Jan 11 - 08:06 AM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jan 11 - 08:28 AM
Ed T 14 Jan 11 - 08:30 AM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM
Jeri 14 Jan 11 - 11:34 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Jan 11 - 11:39 AM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 11 - 12:05 PM
Charmion 14 Jan 11 - 12:09 PM
Charmion 14 Jan 11 - 12:10 PM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 11 - 12:18 PM
Beer 14 Jan 11 - 12:29 PM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 11 - 12:40 PM
Bob the Postman 14 Jan 11 - 01:48 PM
Ed T 14 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jan 11 - 02:01 PM
pdq 14 Jan 11 - 03:16 PM
gnu 14 Jan 11 - 03:37 PM
3refs 14 Jan 11 - 03:44 PM
bobad 14 Jan 11 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,bankley 14 Jan 11 - 05:38 PM
Brian May 14 Jan 11 - 05:46 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jan 11 - 05:48 PM
gnu 14 Jan 11 - 06:00 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jan 11 - 06:36 PM
Jeri 14 Jan 11 - 06:37 PM
Gurney 14 Jan 11 - 06:39 PM
Crowhugger 14 Jan 11 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Rose 14 Jan 11 - 08:23 PM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 11 - 08:29 PM
Wesley S 14 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM
mousethief 14 Jan 11 - 08:47 PM
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Subject: BS: Banned in Canada
From: 3refs
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 07:24 PM

I know this kind of fits in with the "political correctness" thread but this is new up here!
The C.R.T.C. has banned Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" from the air waves because it contains the word "Faggot" on a couple occasions.

Only in Canada!


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: bobad
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM

Sigh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 07:55 PM

yup ... it has .... fer chissakes.

What a crazy week .... crazies all over the media, crazies all over the blogs and crazies at the CRTC.

I've been shaking my head with disbelief all week now my neck is starting to hurt.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Slag
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 09:11 PM

We should hold a faggot ceremony for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 09:29 PM

Un-fucking-believable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: J-boy
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 09:55 PM

Smoking fags is very bad for your health.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Beer
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 10:05 PM

Let me ask a "Straight" question. If you were a "Faggot" would you disagree with the ruling? Just thinking out loud. BTW, this should bring up sales again to one of Dire Straits great recordings. Unbelievable. Anyone remember if this has happened before in Canada?
ad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: J-boy
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 10:20 PM

I don't know about Canada but I think the BBC once banned "Fairytale of New York" because of the F-word. The six letter one, I mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Beer
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 10:31 PM

I think that the U.S. has banned lots of songs. Or maybe I should say "States' I seem to remember that "Harper Valley P.T.A." was banned as well as some song/"s of Iris DeMent's, but I could be wrong. Wonder if there has been a thread on the subject of banned songs. Must try and find out.
ad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 11:16 PM

At the risk of being known as clueless what do you mean by faggot?
Since I don't know the song are we talking about a homosexual or a bundle of wood for burning? I don't know any Dire Straits music.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: J-boy
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 11:46 PM

"Money for Nothing" was a very popular song(circa 1985) from Dire Straits in which the singer mentions "a little faggot with earrings and make-up." Implying that the subject is indeed homosexual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:08 AM

Ah well, the BBC banned "Je t'aime" (Birkin & Gainsbourg) and Tony Blackburn refused to play "Relax" (Frankie goes to Hollywood).


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:18 AM

The little faggot with the earrings and the makeup
Yeah buddy, that's his own hair
The little faggot got his own jet airplane
The little faggot he's a millionaire


Story goes that Knopfler was in a department store when he overheard a salesman and an appliance installer commenting on someone they saw on MTV. I've always suspected it must have been Prince.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Michael
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM

So The C.R.T.C hopes that by banning a song we will faggot about the existence of homosexuals? That's a load of bollocks.

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 05:11 AM

Did Canada ban Elvis Costello in 1979 for what he said after Stills and Bramlet wound him up in an arguement?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 07:32 AM

An isolated case, or something broader?
Let's see where this goes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: number 6
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 07:40 AM

Good question Ed .... I've been wondering about that also.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Beer
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM

Very strange after all these years. biLL, Ed could be on to something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: bobad
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:02 AM

The CBSC was acting on a complaint from a listener:

"In a ruling released Wednesday, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council says the song contravenes the human rights clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.

The council is an independent, non-governmental group created to administer standards established by its members, Canada's private broadcasters. Its membership includes more than 700 private radio and TV stations across the country.

Last year, a listener to radio station CHOZ-FM in St. John's complained that the '80s rock song includes the word "faggot" in its lyrics and is discriminatory to gays.

The broadcaster argued that the song had been played countless times since its release decades ago and has won music industry awards.

A CBSC panel concluded that the word "faggot," even if once acceptable, has evolved to become unacceptable in most circumstances.

The panel noted that Money for Nothing would be acceptable for broadcast if suitably edited."

Source: CBC


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:06 AM

The decision:CANADIAN BROADCAST STANDARDS COUNCIL


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:28 AM

The word itself shouldn't be a problem. As an earlier poster pointed out, it can mean a bundle of firewood. It can also be something you might eat, resembling a small haggis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:30 AM

I suspect the use of the word is clear in the song, not to be haggis or firewood.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:35 AM

So is it the meaning that is the problem? Would the song have been banned if a different word had been used?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 11:34 AM

It's a song from the viewpoint of cranky old fart who thinks musicians get "money for nothing." Pretty stupid to ban what is essentially making fun of the sort of person who would use the word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 11:39 AM

The lunatics are taking over the asylum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:05 PM

The people at the CRTC are clearly incapable of understanding context. ;-) And so is the person who sent them the letter of complaint. It's just another sad case of someone's kneejerk reaction to a trigger word with no comprehension of what is being conveyed or intended in the lyrics of the song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:09 PM

It's the CRTC, specialists in literal thinking and spasmodic reaction to the most recent unpleasant stimulus. This branch of the mandarinate has never been known to assess a complaint on its merits (or lack of same) or to evaluate a work of art (drama, music, what have you) in its cultural context.

In short, they never bothered to listen to the song, and they wouldn't care what point it makes if they did. It gave rise to a complaint and, consequently, must go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:10 PM

Snap, LH. Like you said ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:18 PM

Pity that a letter of complaint from someone couldn't shut down the CRTC in a similar fashion, isn't it? ;-) They could be allowed to resume operations after taking (and passing) a 3 month course on grasping context in popular literary works...


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Beer
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:29 PM

Interesting article in today Montreal Gazette.
ad.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Canadian+censors+Dire+Straits+themselves/4106399/story.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:40 PM

LOL!!! Pretty good article.

It's amazing, isn't it, that one complainer who writes one letter can deny 32 million people the right to listen to a specific song on the radio?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:48 PM

In his opening monologue on Q today, Gian Ghomessi points out that the track in question is the original album version of "Money For Nothing" and that the objectionable verse does not appear on the "radio" version, an abridgement which was included on the Dire Straits' "Greatest Hits" album. He suggests that if the original artists practised discretion in putting the word "faggot" out there, then it behooves the rest of us to chill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:50 PM

"Would the song have been banned if a different word had been used?"

I find haggis obscene. Maybe I will lodge a complaint. Surely there is a song with haggis in it...though likely not listened to much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 02:01 PM

Has anyone set Burns's poem to music?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: pdq
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 03:16 PM

The concept of "free speech" as found in the U. S. Constitution allows people to say what they want, even it offends someone else.

If potentially offensive speech is banned, you don't have "free speech", you have "controlled speech".

The ban on yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater is one of safety, not one of speech.

Canadians do not really have private ownership of property either, not as U. S. citizens do, since all land ultimately belongs to "the crown" and you folks are allowed to act as though you own it.

If the Canadian government owns the broadcast system or is in control of the "air waves" in general, their folks can ban anything they want. That doesn't make a given decision right or even reasonable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 03:37 PM

I am just happy that Mark, one of the greatest guitarists and songwriters of all time will make some coin from this. As for banning the song from Canuck radio, the CRTC has done done more damage to thier reputation than they have to Mark's.... and so has the faggot that complained. Oops... I meant to say idiot faggot.

Before anyone jumps on me ( >;-) ) I'd like to point out that sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will not reign/rain down intolerance if people are reasonably educated and intelligent. Which brings us to selection of the CRTC executive... ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: 3refs
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 03:44 PM

Try this one on for size!

Apparently, the reference made about the "F" person by the song writer, was in reference to Michael Jackson!
I wonder if that has anything to do with the banning?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: bobad
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 03:56 PM

NB. It is NOT the CRTC which made this ruling, it was the CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council), two separate bodies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 05:38 PM

exactly... the censors have had a busy month on both sides of the border
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is having the n-word taken out plus Injun Joe is not correct either... Carlin died too soon... so fuck 'em


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Brian May
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 05:46 PM

When I have faggots, I like lots of gravy, mashed potato and peas . . .

Only in England


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 05:48 PM

I haven't thought of listening to "Money for Nothing" for quite a while. It runs a delicious 8 minutes and 24 seconds on the Brothers in Arms album. It's much shorter on Sultans of Swing, but still good. I'm glad my wife is out on snowshoes, so I can turn the volume up.

-Joe-

Here's the full text of the Montreal Gazette article:

    Canadian censors are in Dire Straits themselves
    By MARK LEPAGE, The Gazette January 14, 2011

    Read more: (click)

    Congratulations, Mark Knopfler. You are the new Eminem.

    You, balding Glaswegian fingerpicker, headbanded Stratmaster from another age, have been retrofitted as the scourge of the Canadian airwaves.

    When you heard that the Canadian Broadcast Standards Commission had censored the song Money for Nothing for containing the word "faggot," I'm sure you experienced the same fuddled reaction -people listen to radio? The CBSC ruled on Wednesday in response to a written complaint from a listener to CHOZ-FM in St. John's, Nfld., who either doesn't have iTunes or whose parents had no CD collection.

    The suddenly-discovered lyric was deemed "extremely offensive" to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Canadians, falling afoul of the Canadian Association of Broadcaster's Code of Ethics: "broadcasters shall ensure that their programming contains no abusive or unduly discriminatory material or comment which is based on matters of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or physical or mental disability."

    Marital status? This may draw Beyonce's Single Ladies into the crosshairs. But it also sparks an idea -rather than the entirely plausible outrage and anarchy we can expect in the wake of this ruling. (They've banned Knopfler, let's hit the #!!*@& streets!) let's help the CBSC with this BS. Round up the usual suspects.)

    For space purposes, we'd leave aside the global library of songs with foul language -including Who Are You, Working Class Hero (F-word), Pink Floyd's Money (b. s.) - and concentrate on those that violate the CBSC code.

    Line up Dylan's Hurricane, who "to the black folks was just a crazy nigger" and Walk on the Wild Side's "coloured girls." Add the Rolling Stones in Miss You, grading the ladies by ethnicity. In Every Picture Tells a Story, Rod Stewart is taken with his "slit eyed lady." Born in the USA - the "yellow man," that could cause problems. Michael Jackson? "Jew me, sue me / Kick me, kike me." Oliver's Army mentions the n-word. Woman is the Nigger of the World would be self-explanatory, Mr. Lennon, as would the Stones' Bitch, in their very titles. As is Lennon's Crippled Inside, of issue to the handicapped, and Aqualung, for its ageist portrait, and 19th Nervous Breakdown and Brain Damage, for mocking mental instability. And we'll leave aside Short People.

    But no, let's be "fag"-specific here. The Stones' are reliably back again with When the Whip Comes Down and the "fag in L.A.", The Who's Helpless Dancer calls out "the lesbians and queers." There was once a rumour that the Beatles sang "baby you're a rich fag Jew" ... but we digress. Green Day's Holiday may be a little obscure, but the Tom Robbins anthem Glad to Be Gay mentions "queer." And Merry Christmas: Fairytale of New York runs "You scumbag, you maggot / You cheap lousy faggot / Happy Christmas your arse I pray god it's our last."

    You can add American Triangle and its "God hates fags where we come from." That was written by Elton John in the wake of Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming.

    One would like to point out to the CBSC that the vexation took fully 25 years to register, as Money for Nothing has been floating around appalling the airwaves offensively since 1985. In any case, even back then, the song was committing something more dangerous than a purported anti-gay slur. It was almost committing satire.

    At the time, I remember being annoyed on behalf of the group actually targeted by the song -blue-collar workers, the kind who would supposedly mock rock stars with that Other F Word while humping your new fridge up a flight of stairs -and who were apparently being lampooned for their envy and lowbrow prejudice. Was this homophobia ... or was it classism? Or was it simply "quotation in character"? Either way, I was pissed.

    But let's "get real." The genuine fear isn't of a country becoming the Ministry Of Managing Permanently Offended People (MOMPOP), but that this tempest calls into question the meaning and intent of words themselves.

    Words -they're problematic. So many interpretations! And so many opportunities to leave in a huff. One man's "I love the dead before they're cold" is another's "lady is a tramp." The censoring of Money For Nothing for its use of a slur for gays, despite the obvious absence of any real attempt to injure that group, calls into question the meaning of another word: standard.

    A standard would imply a judgment based on a set of feelings and opinions and moral codes, the latter two themselves based on consideration, understanding of context, and something we might call "wisdom." The CBSC would respond that they were responding to a complaint -so let's get it right, and rename them the Canadian Broadcast Reflex Council. One complaint by one person in Newfoundland, and someone in Victoria 7,300 kilometres away can't hear a song on the radio. One letter, and one new judgment for 32 million people.

    There are no real "standards" there at all -certainly none that are consistent, balanced or sensible. Both Gord Downie and Eazy-E have been censored in the past, and one of those guys might receive the Order of Canada one day. And if we have regulatory bodies, why is radio favoured with so much attention? Never mind films, which in theory have age ratings, whereas radio offends across the very air we breathe, passing its filth into every innocent passing ear. What about newspapers? Absent wise decisions on context, we will need a stronger body to censor articles like this one, in which you will now have read the word "faggot" a half-dozen times.

    Now, while you watch Frank Zappa own James Lofton in this 25-year-old 1986 Crossfire debate www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISil7IHzxc), and while Mark Knopfler laughs and laughs on his way to the Bank of Scotland, let's get back to considering that Old Woman who lived in a shoe, whipping her starving children.

    markjlepage@yahoo.com



I moved the thread to the Music Section. Seems to belong there, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Banned in Canada
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 06:00 PM

Indeed... it is to laugh... or to cry.

In any case, the song-video was ground breaking at the time of the song-video explosion. Not to mention the chops in the composition and execution of both. Dire Straights has always been one of my favs. Some of their songs define moments in my life besides being just amazing pieces.


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 06:36 PM

Note to unnamed Guests: I deleted your post. If have something to say, use a consistent name.

-Joe Offer, Moderator-


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 06:37 PM

I first heard "Sultans of Swing" on an Austin, TX radio station as I was drifting off to sleep, and it became one of those half-memory/half-dream songs that haunts you until you hear them in the daylight and pin down who the band is. The song still feels a bit mythical to me. Then, on a New Year's Eve maybe 8 years later, a friend played me "Money for Nothing" before we headed out for First Night. It was the guitar into that he loved--the rest of the song was "ok", and we listened to that guitar cranked WAY up.

The whole point of snark is that it often feels like an "in" joke that mostly everyone gets. I guess the government of anywhere getting anything is iffy.


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 06:39 PM

A lesson for all songsmiths. Might try rissole next time. That should confuse censors.


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: Crowhugger
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 06:50 PM

For better or for worse, Canada's constitution, statutes and common law lean toward (someone's definition of) protection of group and community rights, not like the US which leans toward individual protections. I still haven't figured out which suits me better.

Anyway coverage of the CSBC decision makes for a nice bit of free publicity for Dire Straits, and probably some sales will result from the press coverage--a few people will probably now go out and update their vinyl to some digital medium since they've been reminded of it.

If the the CBSC continues to make foolish decisions like this (i.e. decisions that prohibit satire), perhaps its members will eventually become obsolete. Some would say this already well under way because of the changes in how music is marketed and sold.

Back to the original complaint, to me it really begs the question: Why wouldn't an unhappy listener simply change the station and inform the station that they did so and the reason? And I wonder: Who gains from the CSBC decision, besides Dire Straits?


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: GUEST,Rose
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:23 PM

AFter 25 yrs of listening to this song, I can't believe the CRTC is banning it. It's all I can talk about and think about. There are so many songs out there, ex. RAP, that is way way worse than this. And it seemed Michael Jackson didn't take it personally. Why now? That's all I want to know. I am totally flaberghasted!


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:29 PM

Does this mean I can get Rap music taken off Canadian radio stations by writing a letter of complaint? ;-D Wow. I had no idea I had such power at my fingertips.

I would too...but I never listen to the radio, so why bother? ;-D


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM

As noted before - a 25 year old song and Canada is just getting around to banning it? I knew things moved a little more slowly up there in the frozen north - but really - how silly is that? They've closed the barn door a little late. The horse is already dead.


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Subject: RE: 'Money for Nothing' Banned in Canada
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 08:47 PM

I prefer the other song made from the same melodic riff in the lyrics: "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by the Police. MFN is just tooooo long. Only song on the album I routinely skipped.


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