Dire Straits?


Lots of controversy about the loss of “Money For Nothing” on Canadian Radio.

I could have cared less, until it raised so much *hoopla* from my friends.

So, should I re-evaluate the morals of my friends? Perhaps I have not chosen them wisely, as they seem to hold some real or social discrimination issues:

In 1972, I knew nothing of the (whatever it is called) GLBT movement. I probably made *slurs* myself that I would never do today. Of course, I have been better educated since and now have the power to make informed decisions, like:

Women are not *CHICKS* and chicken is not FREE (at least not at KFC). Why did the women’s movement not jump on the Dire Straits song for portraying them as *meat* long before the gay community had to do it for them? Oh, that’s right, we only *say* we support equal rights, we don’t really mean it.

I saw hatred posters in Halifax in 1972 on light poles around town (Nova Scotia, Canada), with homophobic rhetoric about hunting out *homos* in the workplace, and in our neighborhoods, I mean, they must all be pedophiles too, right? And if we continue saying it enough, perhaps we can send another generation back in time, to the *neverland* of bigotry and hatred.

I never noticed it before, the lyrics I mean. It was just a so-so song for me anyway, as there was lots of good music out there to listen to, and choose from. I didn’t know Johnny Horton was an extreme bigot, or I would have lobbied to have him sent “North to Alaska” with Sarah Palin.

So, before we defend our *rights* to hear this song, which portrays gays as *faggots* and women as *chicks*, should we have the right to possess a 4G phone? If you want to live in the past, give up the advances we made in the last 25 years. When Dire Straits were busy influencing North America with UK songs, I had no cordless phone, no cell phone, and who could afford a “shop vac”? Yeah, great times they were, the world was simple back then, like some people today.

At first I would have ignored the removal of “Money For Nothing”: should our day not be better spent doing something more productive than worrying about the loss of *one in a gazillion* songs from our charts (we can’t even get a good variety of new music in the Maritimes). But with each mention by my Tweeter and Facebook friends I realize that the world has not advanced. Some (even my closest friends) are still living the illusion that they do not discriminate.

Like that Full Metal Jacket quote by ‘Gunnery Sgt. Hartman:’ “There is no racial bigotry here! I do not look down on n##ers, k#kes, w#ps or gre$sers! Here you are ALL equally worthless!” The very mention of those words spews volumes of the real meaning of the words: HATRED! A gaming server I play on, has that sound clip recorded and I find it so offensive that I have to leave the game out of shame, for what our *human race* still perceives as *acceptable*.

If someone doesn’t defend the billions of people who might be offended, then we contribute to the offense. We fight for equal rights between sexes, yet women are still underpaid in the workplace, held down by stigma, and referred to as *CHICKS*, even by other *CHICKS*. Black Rappers still use the *N* word, like it was OK for them, but not for everyone else. Gays still use *queer* as if they enjoy being peculiar.

We (I include myself) all made mistakes in the past. If we relive the past, we relive the mistakes. I’m not sorry I listened to Dire Straits in the 80s, I am sorry that I was not more socially conscious and better educated back then. Instead, while not thinking of myself as a bigot or racist or sexist, I must surely have used common *slurs* and errors of judgment which were taught to me, by schools, media, parents, friends. But now I have advanced. I can recognize a bigot, even amongst my closest friends and relatives.

I can’t change the world, well, not by myself. I might need your help. Are you smart enough to help? Or are you still stuck in the 80’s?

Shame, hang your head in shame, if you are still promoting hatred!

(I reserve the right to change the opinion I have of my friends at any time)


About novascotiarasta

A retired Canadian Sailor, activist, DJ and Performer, and new to blogging, but a *very* long-winded talker. ;-) Passionate about what I believe in, and relentless when scorned. I have the tenacity! I often play "l'avocat du diable" (Devil's Advocate) and may take either side in a debate. Known to fight for the underdog, and against the system, full of wit (or something that *sounds like* and usually get told I should do standup comedy.
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3 Responses to Dire Straits?

  1. I feel like I am on both sides of the issue here. I believe in the freedom of speech. I believe that people should be allowed to express themselves creatively as long as they are not harming anyone. (Some say lyrics can harm people, but lyrics only have power if they are given power; and honestly what ever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” I still believe it.) As long as Dire Straits wasn’t writing lyrics down in the blood of women and homosexuals, they have a right to say whatever they want. And radio has a right to play it. And we have the right to not listen to it. But how do we stop the hate if everyone has a right to kind of do what they want?
    We still can. The biggest problem with hatred though, is that we always tend to point the finger at someone else when we really should just be looking inward. Just because a song has inappropriate lingo or our best friend says “faggot” doesn’t mean that WE need to believe the song or repeat the words of our friend. What we need to do is evaluate how we ourselves view the world and the people in it and adjust anything that we need to in order to treat people better.
    But the answers are simply different for everyone. Some people are not offended by anything. They (like me) believe that words are just words, and that the real way to see someone’s character is through their actions, beliefs, and feelings.
    Then there are some people who are offended by everything little thing! How about a woman getting offended when a man holds a door open for her? I can’t believe it! I would simply say “thank you” and be grateful that someone helped me, but some women get angry because “they can do it themselves,” and they feel like chivalry SHOULD be dead, as it does not put us on equal ground. They don’t even consider that maybe the man who held the door for them would have held it for ANYONE, not just a woman. They are too busy being offended.
    I just had a revelation; offense in itself spreads hate! Why? Well, if you get offended by someone, you may question their moral character, you may choose to separate yourself from them, you may get defensive, or you may even retaliate: physically, verbally, emotionally, etc. While questioning someone’s moral character doesn’t always point to hate, if you are picking at someone for little offenses constantly, it is definitely hating on them; separation doesn’t ALWAYS promote hate either, but I believe that the world can only have peace through massive unity; getting defensive makes it really easy for hate to bubble up. If you are feeling attacked by someone, if you are being judged harshly or inaccurately, or if you are simply being lectured, defensiveness comes into play and leads to fear, anger, hurt, and hate. Retaliation is the easiest way to see hate in action and should be avoided.
    But we can’t get it right! It’s impossible! All we can do is do our best. Everyone is different and therefore offended by different things. I guess my advice would be treat people with respect, try not to pass judgement or offend, and be the best you that you can be.
    I hope I made some sense in all this rambling. haha
    Good post. It inspired me to do some major thinking. 🙂
    Peace and Love,

    • Good comments (and true) Megan. I think what I find hardest to deal with, is the *right to say* and the effect that we feel. I know that the *sin* is in being *offended* , not in offending. But that isn’t how the world views at it. Just because someone is *fat* for example, a fact, not an opinion, not subjective, reality, how do they feel when we refer to them as *fat*? I think the world could improve substantially if we stopped promoting the hatred under the right of *freedom of speech*. I have the CD, I have played the song, I may listen to it again, but I am not sure it belongs on radio anymore. And apparently, neither does the CRTC (Canadian Radio Television Corp.) as it is now BANNED in Canadian Radio (we are just so P.C. 😉 . Not everything needs to be censored, but not everything *needs* to be presented either. If we *gain* a more positive life by the use of the language, great. if we devise a *negative* reaction, wherever the blame lies (offending or offended) and there is something we can do to improve it, we are still on the right track.

      Now I don’t even want to get into waaaay more offensive stuff that has been omitted. This song was just brought to the attention of the regulating body by one or two in the gay community. Not all think the song should be removed from our airwaves. Todays music can be far more degrading to races and sexes than any 80’s song was. We had not begun to develop properly as free culture of bigots in the 80’s, we had to mature until rappers made this old song, just look tame.

      Thanks for the input, I welcome both sides, I only posted *my side* there were lots of negative replies to it too (not here, or they would remain posted), over on my FB site. I have never heard Dire Straits played so much since this announcement, “Money For Nothing” was even featured at Karaoke tonight. And someone said the song *SIGNS* discriminates against “long haired freaky people” who were looking for work.. Good point.. I shutter when they realize what *Sqw##s along the Yukon* refers to.

  2. Cassie says:

    Very thought provoking and insightful. I don’t personally listen to the radio at all, but it was interesting to discover “Money For Nothing” has been removed from the airways. Excellent read 🙂

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