:: Buzzwords

Who censored Amanda Palmer?

3:AM is, as you know, against most things. And that includes censorship. We were alarmed to hear that the delightful Amanda Palmer ran into trouble with the video for ‘Oasis’ (and not just because she told your editor she looked like Jodie Foster). Amanda, writing in The Huffington Post, says:

I sat down one day in or around 2002 and wrote a tongue-in-cheek, ironic, up-tempo pop song about a girl who got drunk, date raped, and had an abortion. She sings about these things lightly and happily and says that she doesn’t care that these things have happened to her because Oasis, her favorite band, have just sent her an autographed photo in the mail. If you cannot sense the irony in this song, you’re about two intelligence points above a kumquat. I recorded this song with Ben Folds (who is way more intelligent than a kumquat) for my record. He produced the song to sound fantastically happy — a beach-boys style number complete with ba ba ba back-up vocals. Then I made a video with Michael Pope that portrayed a very literal play-by-play of what was being related in the song. This all made perfect sense to me and wasn’t in any way calculated to offend. It was created to be funny and dark.

Now people in the UK are telling me that the song “makes light of rape, religion and abortion.”

Can I simply state: When you cannot joke about the darkness of life, that’s when the darkness takes over.

The song is not a lecture… it’s a reflection, a character sketch. As I was walking over to the BBC the other day and my rep mentioned that they might not let me play “Oasis” on the air, I suggested that I might be allowed to play it if I just slowed it down and played it in a minor key. Think about it: if they heard the same lyrics against the backdrop of a very sad and lilting piano, maybe with some tear-jerking strings thrown in for good measure, would they take issue?

Ms Palmer tells the Suicide Girls more.

First posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009.

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  1. Hmm. Well, if we’re going to start turning every song about serious or traumatic issues into minor key dirges, we’d better get going – there’s a veritable canon to get through.

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