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Music

In Dire Need of Context

The CBSC Censors “Money for Nothing”

Dire Straits 2011 is beginning to feel like 1991 all over again, as political correctness and censorship are once again front-page news. Last week, we learned that in Alabama, the NewSouth edition of Mark Twain’s 1884 novel Huckleberry Finn will replace the word “nigger” with the word “slave.” On Wednesday, the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council moved to censure St. John’s radio station CHOZ-FM for playing Dire Straits’ 1985 song Money for Nothing because of its use of the word “faggot.”

Both works have a vexed and controversial history, complicated by the fact that they’re both written in the first person. The n-word and the f-word are used, respectively, by Twain’s hero Huck (a boy who escapes his abusive father and meets the escaped slave he calls “Nigger Jim”) and by the character from whose point of view Knopfler sings – a grumpy appliance-store delivery man who covets the life of an earring-wearing MTV star, whom he slurs as a “little faggot.”

— Story continues at The National Post

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