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Find out why Canadians can't listen to Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing'




In case you missed it, last week the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council decided that Dire Straits' 1985 hit song Money for Nothing is too offensive for Canadian airwaves. Why? Because of "the repeated use of an anti-gay slur." More precisely, the F-word for a homosexual. (Listen to the full song here.)

Personally, I could never understand half of what lead singer Mark Knopfler was singing about; I just really enjoyed the song and the music video. But here's the offensive passage, slightly edited so that those crazy Canadians don't ban my blog too:

The little f----t with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy, that's his own hair
That little f----t got his own jet airplane
That little f----t he's a millionaire

One member of Dire Straits has already gone on the record with a reaction that's predictably a little salty. Keyboardist Guy Fletcher, on his personal website, said, "It's odd that this should occur 25 years after its release but it seems that a single complaint of this nature in Canada can have amazing reverberations."

In the New York Times, Fletcher added, "Like most people, my immediate reaction was one of amusement, then disbelief, especially considering the context of the song. We recorded Money For Nothing in the mid '80s, and on its release, there was some controversy over Mark's lyrics but for this to come to light today, 25 years later, is slightly unnerving. All artists and writers (including Mark Twain) should have the right to freedom of expression and as a songwriter myself, I'm surprised by the decision. I am however glad to hear that so many radio stations are ignoring the ban. It's surprising that the CBSC haven't backed down on this in light of the public reaction."

Other websites are quoting Fletcher as saying that Knopfler will  instead now sing the word "fudger" instead for use on Canadian airwaves. I'm pretty sure that's not going to fly either.

[Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011 9:35am]


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