Dear Sounds Like Canada

I sent the following letter to Sounds Like Canada in reaction to this morning’s broadcast:

Hello there.
I was very disappointed to hear, on this morning’s “50 Tracks” segment, your “bleeping out” of the word “fuck” in the Alanis Morisette song “You Oughta Know” (in the line “And are you thinking of me when you fuck her.”)
One expects this sort of gratuitous censorship from commercial radio stations; for the CBC to do so, especially in the context of a segment like “50 Tracks” that purports to be judging the “essential” quality of Canadian songs, it is unconscionable.
That line, it could be argued, is the emotional centre of the song; to lop off the word “fuck” is to rip out the song’s heart, and to neuter its power.
I think your listenership deserves to hear the song in its original glory.


al o'neill's picture
al o'neill on March 1, 2005 - 22:02 Permalink

It is funny, given the descriptiveness of some of the other lines in that song, that one little word doesn’t seem to stand out that much.

Nils's picture
Nils on March 1, 2005 - 22:37 Permalink

CBC Producer’s math: Alanis — “fuck” = one irate e-mail from PEI.
Alanis + “fuck” = eighty phone calls.

I predict you’ll get what CBC Producers call an F.O.A.D. letter. To break that code, here’s a clue — the “A.D.” stands for ” … and die.”

Dave's picture
Dave on March 1, 2005 - 23:11 Permalink

It’s entirely rare that I’ll defend censorship of this nature, but the song was popularized by the censored version on radio and television. The song’s emotion got through to fans without the profanity just fine.

oliver's picture
oliver on March 2, 2005 - 01:51 Permalink

Good one, Peter, and good for making public what you did.

Chris's picture
Chris on March 2, 2005 - 12:32 Permalink

I agree with Nils, besides, most people, I think can fill in the blank, right? (Then why censor it?)

Sandy's picture
Sandy on March 7, 2005 - 19:45 Permalink

I heard a rebroadcast of 50tracks on Saturday night and they did not beep out fuck. Maybe someone listened to you (or maybe they have different rules for after 8pm).