Oh Sh*t, He Said F*@k!!
As a KDHX programmer, I keep my ears open all the time, looking for new music to share with all the nice folks who listen to my show. Recently, I was quite taken with a new song by Ben Folds, “You Don’t Know Me,” from his latest album, Way to Normal. Now, mind you, I can’t name another song by Ben Folds which has ever impressed me even a little bit (despite quite a few recommendations from the great pop songwriter Scott Miller on his brilliant blog). This was something unusual for me, and I eagerly took home a promo copy of an EP containing the song. (Hey, you didn’t think I’d pay for it. I love you guys, but I can’t buy everything I play for you, or I’d never eat.)
So, I gave the EP a closer listen in my car, and was bopping my head and congratulating myself for expanding my musical horizons and all that, when all of a sudden I nearly steered the car into a highway sign with exasperation. Because, in a bouncy little pop song, for no good reason, he sings the following charming verse:
If I’m the person that you think I am (Ah ah ahh)
Clueless chump you seem to think I am (Ah ah ahhh)
So easily led astray,
An errant dog who occasionally escapes and needs a shorter leash, then
Why the fuck would you want me back?!
Now, why the fuck would he sing that word? Because, while “piss” seems to have been dropped from the lexicon of forbidden verbiage, “fuck” remains right at the top of the list. Oh, sure, George W. Bush can go on TV and say rich people deserve billions of dollars while poor people need to pull themselves up by thinner and thinner bootstraps, but somehow or another, that simple little emphatic utterance can make radio stations pay thousands of dollars in fines.
Recently, the Supreme Court has been hearing arguments regarding the casual use of profanities, based on Bono of U2 getting so excited about receiving some award or another that he said he was fucking happy on live TV. Now, I’m not expecting the Court to come out on the side of reason – there breathe very few Americans of any age above 6 who haven’t heard or said this word in some conversation or another at some point, so chill the fuck out and let it go so we can concentrate on worrying about the content of sentences, rather than their form. But, I sure do wish I could be a fly on the wall at those hearings. Maybe I could play Antonin Scalia this Ben Folds song and see what he thinks.