Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Bleeping Lyrics-I was a bit perturbed when Josh Claybourn presented some modern music/rap lyrics as is, with an f-bomb and the second-half of BS in their full glory. Spudlets was equally perturbed
I have posted about sexual innuendos in the past, and Joshua even left a kind comment about the post. His post, though, in no way was innuendo. He reprinted the lyrics to make a point, but in doing so I wonder if he has stepped over the line. Most of us are aware about the trash that passes for music nowadays, and for those of us who are parents we need to be constantly vigilant. This is new territory for me on the blogosphere, and I'm not sure what the best response to him should be. It's not like I can gather two or three others to confront him, or can I? This is the Net, and anything goes, but at what point do we say that something does not belong on the "Christian" blogosphere? Joshua may say that his blog is not necessarily Christian, but just things that are going on in his life. I really don't know him, so deciding to discuss his post was difficult.
Given that I'm a professor at a Christian college and plan to have students reading some blog material that is pertinent to their classes (a couple of Megan McArdle economics pieces come quickly to mind) I will have to be careful what I'm endorsing. Our ISP at the school has blocked blogspot and I've talked with the Computer Services director about having me get a list of blogs to unblock for student (and faculty!!) use. Josh's site would be one that I might likely use for a good insightful political or economic piece, but that latest section gave me pause as to whether I could unblock his sight, given WSC's policy on proper language. I might have to settle for asking permission to reprint a clean piece. I tend to use synonyms (derriere, she-dog, crap) for some of the common foul language, and even sent one blogger into low-earth orbit when I bowdlerized his use of a synonym for anal orifice. I'm not sure if it's more honest than quoting the lyrics verbatim, but I think it's more edifying. Philippians 4:8 comes to mind- "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things." There will be some that think that replacing the original with "F---ing" or "s--t" is prudish, but if such vocabulary isn't suitable for everyday use, we're better off paraphrasing rather than giving a verbatim quote, for the bowdlerized version is close to the admirableness that Paul spoke of while still representing the person's statement. Consider this a gentle, loving rebuke, Josh. I'm not perfect on the language front, either, but strive to be edifying while being down-to-earth at the same time. Let's not get too earthy when we get down-to-earth.

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