Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Bleep Button

Listening to this week's IGN's Podcast Beyond, I was reminded of the South Park episode "It Hits the Fan," where the word "shit" is used so much, a little counter is displayed at the bottom of the screen. It wouldn't have been so bad if they had just stopped using the expletive bleep button and just let it slide. After all, podcasts are more like Internet radio, so they don't have to abide by ridiculous FCC regulations. But when you have to hear that loud high pitched noise over and over, to the point where your ears are ringing, it just acts to highlight the actual use of the profanity, not hide it. Then it becomes a fun guessing game and vocabulary builder for little kids.. Try to fill in the blanks, given the context and the sometimes obvious first letter.

On the other hand, I understand that some shows (online or not) should not be casually dropping the f-bomb. There are some great podcasts out there that you might wanna share with your kids (The Word Nerds is a good example), so maybe leaving the foul language out altogether might be better.

So how about a compromise? If you must censor the audio, how about using the same technique network television stations use when they're rebroadcasting Die Hard on TBS. Simply redub the racier lines over with hilarious, toned down versions of the phrase. For example, instead of "Yippee-kay-aye, motherfucker!", use "Yippee-kay-aye, Mr. Falcon!". Win-Win-Win!

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