A MONKEES DEVAR TORAH

I turned on my car radio the other day and heard the familiar beat of the opening of Cee Lo Green’s 2010 hit ‘Forget You’. But there was one ‘small’ problem. As the song reached its chorus, I realized this wasn’t the radio edited version, but the original version where Green uses the ‘F’-word in the title and sings it over and over again. I have heard people drop the ‘f-bomb’ before, but I didn’t want it on my radio, so I immediately shut it off.

Billboard once described Green’s song ‘as sunny as a ’60s Motown hit and as expletive-laden as an early Eminem song’. Nick Levine of Digital Spy gave the song four out of five stars writing: “As its title suggests, it is essentially a middle finger extending from the fist of a pop single—and a gloriously catchy Motown stomper of a pop single at that.”

I wondered if my anger should really be directed at the Israeli radio station that broadcast that version of the song rather than the ‘Forget You’ alternative, but on second thought maybe the problem is broader than that. In our current society, especially inIsraelwhere a ‘fashla’ (mistake) is often described by Israelis with an accented version of the English F-word, maybe it’s already too far gone. During this year’s Superbowl half-time show, recording artist M.I.A. surprised TV viewers worldwide by giving them ‘the finger’ as she performed alongside Madonna.

I tried to think back to an era where songs on the radio (and the artists performing them) were simply ‘fun’ without getting vulgar. The passing last week of 1960′s teen idol Davy Jones at the age of 68 provided a good example. Jones was best known as member of the band ‘The Monkees’, which had a hit TV show from 1966-68. The show’s creators were inspired by The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night to devise a television series about a rock ‘n’ roll group. The actors/musicians were selected specifically to appeal to the youth market as American television’s response to the Beatles. The Monkees had a number of international hits which are still heard on pop and oldies stations today. These include “(Theme From) The Monkees”, “Last Train toClarksville”, “I’m a Believer”, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”, and “Daydream Believer”. Their albums and singles have sold over 65 million copies worldwide. PLEASE READ THE REST.

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