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Canadian radio stations are pulling "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from their holiday playlists

Oct 27, 2017
403
0
I get the implications in the song on a surface level being a turn off, but this is kind of ridiculous to me.

It does seem to me like society at large has been dumbed down to the point where nuance is no longer a thing, and critical thinking, and analysis are no longer applied to popular media.

I think the best response instead of hiding the song from people is to actually educate them on its meaning. Or god forbid people actually do the work themselves. But no, everything has to be safe and sanitized. Can’t have anything challenging anymore.

I think this is why we often have such huge divides when it comes to critic and audience reactions to media.
You know what's actually dumb? The idiot's version of critical thinking where there's only one specific correct interpretation of this song, which happens to be yours, and that because it was okay in 1944 means it's okay now. You don't get to shout "nuance!" and then immediately remove all nuance by insisting the status quo is correct and everyone who says otherwise is just wrong.

And yes, this song is a product of it's time, but it's played as light entertainment, not a history lesson. It should not be surprising that at least some people find that problematic.

Why do you keep pushing that one single interpretation? The guy is only using words. He isn't physically stopping her from leaving, he isn't pushing her towards the bed, he isn't keeping her purse from her. They clearly have an ongoing relationship and this is a part of their routine. Everything about the creation of the actual song, the way it was used, and the intent behind it is playful and consensual. You have to jump through hoops to come up with a sexual assault interpretation by assigning malicious intent to the male and stripping all agency from the female, making her into someone who literally has no desire to be there and no ability to leave.

It is a good tool to use to highlight consent, context, and social dynamics (of the time, anyway) and how they can be misinterpreted, but certainly nothing about the classic versions of this song merit being pulled from the air (the Tom Jones version with a woman in a cage though....yikes).
He's not physically raping her so it's not a problem? You have no idea what consent means.
 
Dec 11, 2017
36
0
What's lost in this discussion is how we're finally banning a song that was objectively terrible, even before the revelation that the lyrics are a creep show. Fuck this song. Let's do Wonderful Christmastime next.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,732
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Lyrics only sound like a creep show but it was written by a married couple for parties. The song was progressive at the time...

So context and nuance can't be taken into account here? I can choose to deliberately misunderstand the song? Great! What else can I do this with?
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,611
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I mean it was seemed pretty clear from how the song came to be that the song isn't supposed to be taken that way, and Neptune's Daughter reinforces that, but radio stations are free to play what they want. Not a favourite of mine anyway.

The only songs that should be on a good christmas playlist are:

Last Christmans (Wham)
Fairytale of New York (The Pogues & Kirsty McColl)
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Wizzard)
Merry Xmas Everybody (Slade)
Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses)

Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin' Stevens) and Christmas Time - Don't Let the Bells End (The Darkness) are decent too
 
Oct 27, 2017
294
0
The overreaction to this song was a mistake. When taken within context, the meaning of the song is very clear. This is one of those dumb shit issues that cause less-/non-left-leaning people to think of the left as ridiculous, and I have to say in this case I would agree.
 
Oct 25, 2017
557
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I think there's a few issues at play when it comes to this in particular, and more generally... stuff like this.

1. People (No, not just millennials) have a serious problem wherein they look at some form of art (in this case, a song) and interpret it 100% literally. Old folks do it. Kids do it. Everyone in between in one way or another does it. Just look at shitty reviews of ANNIHILATION or, like any David Lynch movie. People have been "literally" interpreting stuff (wrongly) for decades. And yes, when you look at this song's lyrics literally, it's kind of... very much... bad. Of course, in context, for those that are moderately aware of its origins, it's pretty obvious that the two characters in the song are roleplaying, and there was never any chance that they wouldn't get down at the end (it's foreplay by way of singing). Is it kinda weird that they're doing kinda rapey roleplaying? Sure. And that's why, when you try to interpret it for only what is said (literal interpretation), you're going to get the wrong message.

2. People are super quick to generalize. "PC Culture RUINED this song!" Nah, bro. I have no doubt that, even when the song first came out, people would have said "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaait a second... is he... is he trying to... no... he... come on... am I the only one who sees this?" and surely those that were aware of the greater context would have filled them in on it (OR, worse, they were OK with a literal interpretation of the events in the song, saw it that way themselves, and shrugged it off for their own reasons). My point is, we can't know what anyone would have been thinking, so I also think it's irresponsible/absurd to suggest that nobody had a problem with it until those damn millennials/liberals came and RUINED it.

3. Radio stations play to their respective audiences. If they get a ton of complaints about a song, they'll pull it because... it's a pain in the ass to deal with complaints. It takes human hours and they have more important shit to deal with. So they pull the song and that's it. That's not censorship; it's curation. Now here's the other bit: I think there's an underlying issue where nobody knows WHO is complaining about it. Was it really "angry liberals who don't want rapey songs on the radio?" Like, can you actually track down the human beings who complained? Or maybe, was it a coordinated effort to call/email stations to see if they'd buckle, then blame it on "PC culture?" Also, maybe it's not "the left" complaining at all; The "right" are, historically, prudes.

4. Going back to literal interpretation and getting the wrong message. Artists have some responsibility to, at bare minimum, clear the air if interpretations of something go way off the rails. In this case, the song is so old, and we're so far removed from its origins, that that's not possible, but historians talking about it (calmly and eloquently) is a good thing. It's when folks say "people are STUPID to think it's about drugging a woman!" are doing absolutely no good for the conversation. They're not STUPID; they just haven't been informed.
A slightly more modern example... Starship Troopers. There are people, TO THIS DAY, that see the humans as the good guys. I was one of them (the first time I watched it. I also hated it that time. Now I think it's brilliant). The satire is so heavy in that flick that the literal interpretation ("The GOOD guys won!") is so disconnected from the message ("WE'RE the monsters, and also super fascist, by the way") that a lot of people genuinely don't get it. Verhoeven DID explicitly say it was satire at some point, and that's good. Complicating matters is that the author of the book, as I recall, was super fascist, and so the message of the book is entirely different than that of the movie. But Verhoeven didn't misinterpret the book in his adaptation of it; he outright rejected its message and replaced it with his own. I can't remember which video it was, but Philosophy Tube on YouTube has a great video about this kind of thing. He uses the phrase "I Love you" as an example. There are a ton of different ways you can say it, and a ton of different ways to interpret it. You can even say it when you mean HATE, not LOVE.
edit: Here's an article about Starship Troopers. https://lwlies.com/articles/starship-troopers-paul-verhoeven-satire/

5. tl;dr - Try not interpreting art literally. Try calmly explaining when a literal interpretation is incorrect instead of throwing your hands up and complaining about "PC outrage" when it's something that predates modern politics. Try not misrepresenting the word "censorship" when it is merely curation. Try watching Starship Troopers; it's excellent.
 
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Dec 24, 2017
4,764
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The overreaction to this song was a mistake. When taken within context, the meaning of the song is very clear. This is one of those dumb shit issues that cause less-/non-left-leaning people to think of the left as ridiculous, and I have to say in this case I would agree.
Can we stop with the argument that stuff like this is enough to drive good people away from "the left"? If they had one foot out the door already that's on them.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,647
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You know what's actually dumb? The idiot's version of critical thinking where there's only one specific correct interpretation of this song, which happens to be yours, and that because it was okay in 1944 means it's okay now. You don't get to shout "nuance!" and then immediately remove all nuance by insisting the status quo is correct and everyone who says otherwise is just wrong
Yep. Just people who don't want to have a conversation trying to shut it down.
 
Nov 2, 2017
147
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Why do you keep pushing that one single interpretation? The guy is only using words. He isn't physically stopping her from leaving, he isn't pushing her towards the bed, he isn't keeping her purse from her. They clearly have an ongoing relationship and this is a part of their routine. Everything about the creation of the actual song, the way it was used, and the intent behind it is playful and consensual. You have to jump through hoops to come up with a sexual assault interpretation by assigning malicious intent to the male and stripping all agency from the female, making her into someone who literally has no desire to be there and no ability to leave.

It is a good tool to use to highlight consent, context, and social dynamics (of the time, anyway) and how they can be misinterpreted, but certainly nothing about the classic versions of this song merit being pulled from the air (the Tom Jones version with a woman in a cage though....yikes).
By interpretation, you mean that I'm describing what's happening in the song? That's not so much interpreting as being able to read.

Also, it doesn't really matter that he's not physically preventing her from leaving or hiding her things so she can't leave. She has very clearly verbally expressed her preference, and he continues browbeating her to try to change her mind. "No means no" is a model on the way out for a number of reasons, but situations like this are explicitly what it was meant to convey. He floated the idea, she said no, and it's important that he respect her agency by respecting that no instead of trying to bicker with her about why she should change her mind just because he's horny.
 
Oct 29, 2017
39
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I've never understood why this is a Christmas song to begin with. There is no mention of anything Christmas related. I think they should have ditched this song long ago but maybe just do it quietly and not make an announcement about it. Radio stations change their playlists all the time and don't consult the audience.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,732
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You deliberately misinterpret arguments, so moving on to film and music should be pretty easy.
Oh so spicy!

I don't think I misconstrued it, I just took his argument to it's logical conclusion.

He and others here say context doesn't matter anymore because it's 2018... This can be applied to everything and anything else.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,503
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I think the whole thing is a complete joke, but the station is free to do as they like. I’d just listen elsewhere. I enjoy singing along with my wife in my nick lachey voice.
 
Oct 27, 2017
532
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Oh so spicy!

I don't think I misconstrued it, I just took his argument to it's logical conclusion.

He and others here say context doesn't matter anymore because it's 2018... This can be applied to everything and anything else.
I don't know that that is what they're saying. I think people are saying that the context has changed and that toxic masculinity (not taking no for an answer and talking women into sex) is something that should be minimized.

In the 40s it could have been acceptable to push and push until a woman agreed to have sex. In <current year> it is less accepted and has led to certain men not understanding consent.

The wolf in this song catches the mouse. Mice in today's society who are uncomfortable with "the implication" have asked for this one song to not be played, and a business thought that it was a reasonable request.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,732
0
I don't know that that is what they're saying. I think people are saying that the context has changed and that toxic masculinity (not taking no for an answer and talking women into sex) is something that should be minimized.

In the 40s it could have been acceptable to push and push until a woman agreed to have sex. In <current year> it is less accepted and has led to certain men not understanding consent.

The wolf in this song catches the mouse. Mice in today's society who are uncomfortable with "the implication" have asked for this one song to not be played, and a business thought that it was a reasonable request.
The entire song before she says "The answer is no" she's been playing a game with the guy. He's batting away her excuses because it's obvious she wants to stay. She wants to stay and have sex but societal expectations did not give women the agency to control their sexuality back then. They were expected to say no to sex even if they wanted it. No shit she's gonna say no... but she doesn't believe in her "no" no more than he does!

It's meant to be a romantic song, which is understandable when you consider it was originally written for the author and his wife to sing at parties. "Baby, it's cold outside" contains an old school game. This was a type of game that was prevalent between men and women back then and the game itself pushes the boundaries of consent. So I kind of get the side eye one would provide, but context is fucking key. Context in sexual/romantic relationships are key. That's why I say it's hard for me to see it any other way if I understand the history and context. I can't put modern expectations on a song that was meant to be romantic in the fucking 40s.

This song is more complex and subtle than most give it credit for.
 
Dec 24, 2017
4,764
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Yeesh, it shit like this that really confirms that society is just way to sensitive these days.
For a long time, for all of the Nation's history in fact, this conversation never would have been taken seriously. People have talked about the implications of this song for a long time, this isn't something new, it's just that the tides are finally starting to turn to where people's voices are being listened to. Many more people are starting to understand the prevalence of things like rape culture and misogyny, and beyond that they are realizing how shitty it is and they want to change it. That's an overall net positive, because these are things that do have to be addressed for us to move our society forward in the right direction, and if the price of that is an old Christmas song that most people probably didn't give a shit about before they heard a station didn't want to play it, that's a small price to pay.
Yeah this is pretty dumb.
Can you elaborate at all on why you find it dumb?
 
Oct 27, 2017
190
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Tn, USA
By interpretation, you mean that I'm describing what's happening in the song? That's not so much interpreting as being able to read.

Also, it doesn't really matter that he's not physically preventing her from leaving or hiding her things so she can't leave. She has very clearly verbally expressed her preference, and he continues browbeating her to try to change her mind. "No means no" is a model on the way out for a number of reasons, but situations like this are explicitly what it was meant to convey. He floated the idea, she said no, and it's important that he respect her agency by respecting that no instead of trying to bicker with her about why she should change her mind just because he's horny.
Wow, so in your world a verbal no immediately equates to never being able to broach the subject again? He isn't hitting her up out of the blue in an inappropriate situation. He is laying out his rationale for her staying, she is laying out possible reasons to leave. The mere fact that she remains in his house means she actually wants to be there, otherwise she would just leave. He isn't stopping her or impeding her, his only option is to either keep talking or see her out. He keeps talking, she keeps staying, and eventually she AGREES to flout society's patriarchial conventions and stays.

He didn't "browbeat" her, he exercises no power over her (he isn't her boss or anything, she has no dependency on him), all he does is plead his case in a non-confrontational way. Remember, her saying "no" ISN'T no to sex, it is just no to staying the night. They are not in bed and he isn't pushing her into intercourse instead of just heavy petting. They are clothed in the living room where she can stand up and leave at any time. AFAICT no one insists on consent just to be in the room talking to someone and there is no implication in this song that if she does stay the night she is OBLIGATED to have sex with him in a quid pro quo relationship or out of fear, coercion, incapacitation, being misled, or any other malignant purpose. If she stays it is 100% due to her own agency with full consent. All he did was spotlight the ways she could explain the sleepover to everyone else the next morning.

But anyway, I suspect someone will just rewrite a few lines and the song will continue on for another half century.
 
Oct 27, 2017
190
0
Tn, USA
He's not physically raping her so it's not a problem? You have no idea what consent means.
What consent do you need to sit on a couch and talk to someone who can leave whenever they want? The song is practically on the level of

"Hey, try this chocolate éclair"
"No, I don't like chocolate"
"But this is fancy European chocolate, not that super sweet milk chocolate stuff"
"I'm pretty full from dinner"
"Aww, you look great, spoil yourself"
"But what if I break out?"
"Your skin is gorgeous"
"No, I really don't think so"
"Aww, come on, just a small bite, I promise you will like it"
"Ok, fine"

There is no force, threat of force, or anything else. The guy is just presenting an argument and the woman is responding with some excuses because while she WANTS to stay, she feels like she shouldn't.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,726
0
Massachusetts
What consent do you need to sit on a couch and talk to someone who can leave whenever they want? The song is practically on the level of

"Hey, try this chocolate éclair"
"No, I don't like chocolate"
"But this is fancy European chocolate, not that super sweet milk chocolate stuff"
"I'm pretty full from dinner"
"Aww, you look great, spoil yourself"
"But what if I break out?"
"Your skin is gorgeous"
"No, I really don't think so"
"Aww, come on, just a small bite, I promise you will like it"
"Ok, fine"

There is no force, threat of force, or anything else. The guy is just presenting an argument and the woman is responding with some excuses because while she WANTS to stay, she feels like she shouldn't.
...what if he was trying to give her pineapple pizza?
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,916
0
USA
What consent do you need to sit on a couch and talk to someone who can leave whenever they want? The song is practically on the level of

"Hey, try this chocolate éclair"
"No, I don't like chocolate"
"But this is fancy European chocolate, not that super sweet milk chocolate stuff"
"I'm pretty full from dinner"
"Aww, you look great, spoil yourself"
"But what if I break out?"
"Your skin is gorgeous"
"No, I really don't think so"
"Aww, come on, just a small bite, I promise you will like it"
"Ok, fine"

There is no force, threat of force, or anything else. The guy is just presenting an argument and the woman is responding with some excuses because while she WANTS to stay, she feels like she shouldn't.
"The answer is no"

Hmm
 
Oct 29, 2017
752
0
You know what's actually dumb? The idiot's version of critical thinking where there's only one specific correct interpretation of this song, which happens to be yours, and that because it was okay in 1944 means it's okay now. You don't get to shout "nuance!" and then immediately remove all nuance by insisting the status quo is correct and everyone who says otherwise is just wrong.

And yes, this song is a product of it's time, but it's played as light entertainment, not a history lesson. It should not be surprising that at least some people find that problematic.
Wow, no reason to get insulting. I already said I understand the implications of the lyrics in modern culture. But you and I both know the intent of the song is not to be about date rape. My problem is people being unwilling to look further than what is on the surface. That kind of thinking, and criticism gets us nowhere.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,777
0
I mean it was seemed pretty clear from how the song came to be that the song isn't supposed to be taken that way, and Neptune's Daughter reinforces that, but radio stations are free to play what they want. Not a favourite of mine anyway.

The only songs that should be on a good christmas playlist are:

Last Christmans (Wham)
Fairytale of New York (The Pogues & Kirsty McColl)
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Wizzard)
Merry Xmas Everybody (Slade)
Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses)

Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin' Stevens) and Christmas Time - Don't Let the Bells End (The Darkness) are decent too
Where the hell is Savatage / Trans-Siberian?
 
It's just a song. Banning a song is going too far, especially when it's an older song that's been around for some time.

Is it somewhat creepy? Sure. That doesn't mean it should be banned, though. If people don't want to listen to it then they can change the station or turn their radio off.
 
Oct 25, 2017
27,248
0
Citing audience input, CBC has reversed its decision to remove the holiday track Baby, It's Cold Outside from seasonal playlists.

"Last week, we decided to press pause to consider the different points of view on playing Baby, It's Cold Outside. Because we value our audience input, which was overwhelmingly to include the song, we have put it back on the two playlists where it had been removed," Chuck Thompson, CBC's head of public affairs, said in a statement Tuesday
Imagine if people mobilized for actually important issues.


Bell Media, which runs a pair of 24-hour Christmas stations, said it hadn't included Baby, It's Cold Outside on its playlist this year and didn't plan to reintroduce it in the future, according to a spokesperson.

Rogers, which operates several all-Christmas music stations, said last week it had removed the song without noting a reason why. There is no change to the earlier decision, Caitlin Decarie, communications manager for Rogers Radio, said Tuesday afternoon.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/cbc-baby-its-cold-reinstate-1.4941087
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,116
0
UK
How is this so hard for people to understand. And I like the assumption that "well it must secretly be a yes" since she's making up excuses lol.
How hard is it for you to understand that she does want to stay but she's worried about what others will think about her. They're both coming up with excuses so that they don't get shunned for their actions.

I actually think that going out on this kind of limb devalues the good work causes like "me too" do because it makes them look as if they're trying to latch on to anything that could remotely be related. People don't need to be making these kind of stretches.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,916
0
USA
How hard is it for you to understand that she does want to stay but she's worried about what others will think about her. They're both coming up with excuses so that they don't get shunned for their actions.

I actually think that going out on this kind of limb devalues the good work causes like "me too" do because it makes them look as if they're trying to latch on to anything that could remotely be related. People don't need to be making these kind of stretches.
"The answer is no"
 
Oct 25, 2017
991
0
Yeah this is a little too far for me.

I'm assuming more Christmas songs will be next. Most music today talks about women as objects from rap thru country music. How about we ban it all? I'm only 38 but some of this stuff is getting obnoxious.