06 March 2007

"Fuckin A"

Maybe it is just me, but it seems that a publication aspiring to cover popular culture - and perhaps even more so, popular music - would need to have a policy that allowed young "potty mouths" to speak their minds.

Today I was reading a copy of The New York Times that a student left in my office (thanks Caroline!). It contains a review of a recent show by an indie band called the Thermals. The band seems mildly interesting in a punkish sort of way. You can find them here. What I think is worth noticing is that the reporter from The Times (Kelefa Sanneh) for some reason was not allowed to actually print the name of the band's second album. Here is what the paper printed:

"The Thermals evolved out of a gentle indie-rock band from Portland, Ore., called Hutch and Kathy. Kathy Foster, a bassist, and Hutch Harris, a singer and guitarist, recruited a drummer and recorded a loud demo tape that became the Thermals’ debut album, “More Parts per Million.” After an exuberant 2004 follow-up with an exuberantly unprintable title, they lost their drummer but kept going ..." (emphasis added).

Is The Times kidding? Is the paper too prudish to print the words "Fuckin A"? Who are the editors worried about offending? How many people my age read this review? And, of those, how many would be shocked by such language? This is pathetic self-censorship.
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PS: I now notice that the Amazon link for the album carries the warning [EXPLICIT LYRICS] - you better watch out!

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