Monday, March 17, 2014
BBC bans Jesus from Radio 2: Pop star Eliza Doolittle and DJ baffled over order to change 'innocent' lyric
She's a squeaky-clean pop star who sings about young love and yearning. But when Eliza Doolittle wanted to sing about Jesus she joined the ranks of artists such as the Sex Pistols and Frankie Goes To Hollywood by being censored by the BBC.
Eliza was asked to re-word her gentle love song Walking On Water for an appearance on the Chris Evans Show on Radio 2. It refers to putting on Air Max trainers to run across the water to a yearned-for love.
The 25-year-old singer-songwriter said: ‘I had to change the lyrics from “Sometimes I wish I was Jesus, I’d get my Air Max on and run across the sea for you” to “Sometimes I wish it was easy to get my Air Max on and run across the sea for you”.
‘It was weird because I’m not being blasphemous, I just meant “I wish I could run across water and see you”, but maybe wishing for the power of God was blasphemous enough for them.’
The decision left Evans mystifed, given some of the songs he is allowed to play on his show. He said last night: ‘Lyrics and the Beeb have always bamboozled me. We often play Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side. Check out the lyrics in that song.’ The 1972 track touches on transexuality, drug use, and mentions a lewd sex act.
The censorship of Eliza’s song angered former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who said: ‘I am totally appalled. I’m not surprised the BBC is behind this because their attitude tends to be to dumb down the Christian message.
‘I am sorry the lady agreed to this because the sense of the song is lost. Walking on water and Jesus go together.’
The BBC’s decision is the latest in a series of PC judgments affecting artists and even the Corporation’s own broadcasters.
In 2011 there was uproar over reports that Jeremy Paxman had been asked to use obscure terms like ‘Common Era’ and ‘Before Common Era’, rather than AD and BC, so as not to offend non-Christians.
At the time commentators pointed out that in 2,000 years the use of AD and BC had never caused offence.
Last week the BBC was forced to defend a decision by the makers of the BBC Three show Free Speech to postpone a discussion about being gay and Muslim after concerns were expressed by community leaders at the Birmingham mosque the show was being broadcast from.
The Sex Pistols’ single God Save The Queen was banned completely from airplay in 1977 – the Silver Jubilee year – while gay anthem Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was banned in 1984.
Eliza added: ‘I think people are a bit touchy, but it’s not a big deal. I don’t take that stuff seriously.’
A BBC spokesman refused to shed any light on the incident, saying: ‘We never ask any artist to change the lyrics to their songs.
‘It’s the decision of the record company and the artist. We have clear editorial guidelines in place to deal with religious or contentious issues and to avoid causing offence to our audiences regardless of their faith.’
When family is forgotten
Sometimes someone else’s column just smacks you up against the head trying to understand what they are thinking. Mitch Albom, the sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press and author of Tuesdays with Morrie among other books, wrote such a column which in many ways defines what is wrong with America today.
Albom’s column centered on the challenges of Texana Hollis, who had lived to be over 100 years old. He starts by telling how she had lived in her home for over 60 years. Then at the age of 101 years old, as Albom states “she was thrown out into the street.” He does state that her son took out a reverse mortgage, and then failed to make payments at some point or to pay the property taxes.
That is the final mention of her family in the column. He tells nothing of what her family did to help her with her problem. This is a woman that one could presume had at least great grandchildren if not great, great grandchildren. There was no one to help her keep her house in these three-plus generations of descendants? The house she lived in was in Detroit. They are giving away houses in Detroit. How much would it have taken to straighten out this situation? But her family just apparently disappeared.
To Mr. Albom’s credit he never mentions who evicted her from her home, but he makes clear that the payments had not been made for her mortgage or her property taxes. Then he states “They say the mark of a society is how they treat its oldest citizens.” It is not clear who “they” are that says that, but we can all agree that it is not nice to throw a 100-year-old widow out on the street. But is it an implied responsibility of the lender that did their job or the government who has not received their tax payments? One might again think where was her family?
Here is where the good happens. Mr. Albom finds out about the plight of this grand old lady and intercedes. Through a foundation he operates he purchased the house back for her. He talks about the struggle of working through the paperwork to regain the title to the house for Ms. Hollis, but the charity did just that.
Then he speaks of how the community pulled together to help repair the house. He states, “Many Detroit volunteers helped clean her rooms, paint them, refurnish them.” Then they all gathered to celebrate her 102nd birthday. She thanked everyone for coming to her rescue.
Then again Albom bemoans, “That’s how it feels getting old in this country. You need someone to come to your rescue. If not, you are left to go broke from doctor bills, or to be tossed from your home, or to die alone, unattended.”
First, no one would want to be in Ms. Hollis’s position. Even if you do the most careful retirement planning, we can guarantee most likely you will outlive your resources if you live to be over 100 years old. Whose responsibility does that become? Mr. Albom never points to her family, but just the possible culprits of why she lost her house. What he does not ever point out is that the families of senior citizens, as they age into their 80’s and 90’s, are responsible for them.
But this is a joyous story and one we should all celebrate. In the face of an irresponsible family, in steps the next level of support that America was built on – a charity. How delightful! And then as the story of her dilemma spread, who stepped in next – members of the community. How wonderful! This is what America is all about. First it is the responsibility of the family, then friends, then charity and then community. This could not have been a better story in that regard. The only small downer here is Ms. Hollis died just short of being 105 years old. But wouldn’t most of us wish to have had this experience of dying in our long-time home that was wonderfully improved by a loving community?
Mr. Albom is so confused about responsibility in this country today. People look to the government or big corporations instead of what they should rely on first and foremost: family, church, charity and community. That is the sad part of this story. Even a smart man like Albom has become so confused about lines of responsibility in America today he cannot celebrate the beauty of the story he was intimately involved in creating.
Most Americans 'Beaten Into Submission' by Political Correctness, Ben Carson Says
The Left's focus on "political correctness" prevents Americans from speaking common sense about political issues, Dr. Ben Carson, former pediatric neurosurgery director at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center who shot to fame last year when he gave a politically incorrect speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, declared In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"It's time for people to stand up and proclaim what they believe and stop being bullied!" Carson said in his Saturday speech recalling attacks by people intentionally misrepresenting his views. "I'll let you know why I'm not a fan of political correctness, I hate political correctness, I will continue to defy the PC police who have tried in many cases to shut me up," Carson said.
The former doctor attacked left-leaning media for misquoting a statement he made last year at the Values Voter Summit about the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." "I said that Obamacare was the worst thing since slavery," Carson recalled. The media misreported him as saying Obamacare is the same thing as slavery, he alleged. "Of course they're not the same thing. Slavery is much worse," but he argued that this falsehood reveals the strategy behind political correctness.
Carson referred to Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," explaining that the author advised political activists to "never have a conversation with your adversary, because that will humanize them and you need to demonize them."
"I still believe marriage is between one man and one woman," Carson declared, mentioning a central issue where people are kept silent by "political correctness." He championed gay rights, but held short on marriage. "Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don't get extra rights," he declared.
The former neurosurgeon recalled that a member of the media warned people against the "poison" of his influence. "Would it be the poison of putting what God says in front of anything man says?" Carson wondered.
Carson attributed his career successes to his mother and his faith. "I had a mother who accepted no excuses and I believed in God," he explained. Referring to former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's famous flub, he admitted "I used to belong to the 47 percent" who are dependent on government.
"There are a lot of people in that 47 percent who are decent, hard-working Americans who want to realize the American dream and we're going to make sure that they do it!" Carson declared. He argued that Americans want to control their own lives and earn their success, which is the Republican platform.
Carson also attacked Obama for the $17.5 trillion national debt. "If you paid ten million dollars a day, it would take 4,700 years to pay that off," he explained.
The former neurosurgeon announced a new black conservative magazine backed by The Washington Times which will launch next week. "It's going to be about how we use our collective intellect and our resources to move up" the economic ladder, Carson said. He contrasted this to the Democrat message to African Americans. Contrary to their message, he explained, this new magazine will focus "not on how to keep people down and keep a voting bloc, but how to rise up."
Social class in Australia
As a retired sociologist, perhaps I should say something about this. Barnaby Joyce in correct in saying that in matters of dress, the different classes in Australia are not readily distinguished. You get sloppy dressing rich people and similar dressing among the poor.
But different occupations do have quite different levels of prestige -- as both Athol Congalton and Anne Daniel have shown.
Income is also not closely tied to status or dress. "Blue collar" workers such as plumbers can be very high income earners.
"Bogans" are similar to "chavs" in Britain -- young people of low intelligence from generally poor backgrounds
FEDERAL Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has spoken out in support of “bogans”, saying he sees the term as a “consumer choice” and part of Australian culture.
Mr Joyce called in to a talkback program on ABC Radio National about whether Australia had a class system to mount a defence of “bogans”.
Introducing himself as “Barnaby from New South Wales”, he argued there was no class system in Australia and said he was not sure whether “bogan” was “a pejorative or an accolade”.
“If people honestly believed there was a class system (in Australia) then it would be clearly identifiable as you walk down the street,” he said.
“And I think even the discussion today between, these pejorative or an accolade – bogan and what would otherwise be middle class – and I think in many instances that’s just a consumer choice.
“We can have people who are obviously vastly wealthier who are so-called bogans than other people in the middle class.”
One member of the radio talkback panel, academic Christopher Scanlon, suggested there was a visible class system in Australia because tradespeople were easily identified because of there high-vis work gear.
But Mr Joyce hit back: “They probably earn more than you.”
Mr Joyce took a swing at the station, saying it attracted “elitist” listeners and wouldn’t be popular on building sites.
“I would presume that on many worksites at the moment that people with tool-bags are probably unlikely to be listening to this program, even though it’s a great program,” he said.
The background of the former Queensland senator who now holds the NSW seat of New England appeared to go unnoticed by the radio station.
Several minutes after Mr Joyce hung up, presenter Natasha Mitchell said some people on Twitter were suggesting “Barnaby” was actually the Agriculture Minister but she did not think that was true.
Mr Joyce later told The Courier-Mail the fact that he was not recognised when he called in to the program proved Australia was a classless society.
He said politicians should embrace “bogans” as “part of Australian culture”.
“A lot of people in my office call themselves upper-middle bogans,” he said. “I don’t think of it as something pejorative.”
“It’s a term of endearment.”
Bogans became a hot topic last December when leaked emails revealed Palmer United Party boss Alex Douglas disparaging constituents as bogans.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.