Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's a Joke, Not a Dick

Our round 2 song was to write a fight song for our favorite sports team. We did exactly that... for the USC Gamecocks football team (affectionately known by the fans as "the Cocks"). It seems a few judges hail from regions of the country that don't quite grasp the culture here... thus they interpreted our double-entendre as "a rape joke". That couldn't be further from the truth. (Oh, the sheltered innocence of those who've never heard of BDSM!)

When the opportunity arose in the very next round to write a "protest song" about something you feel very strongly about, and then someone in chat jokingly suggested protesting the last round, this came to mind. More after the lyrics... be warned, I'm going to vent.

Should this step on anyone's toes, especially a judge's, kindly remember that instead of jumping down your throats we took that completely off-base and inflammatory charge in good humor, and this is presented in a continuing spirit of good-natured fun. As the title says,

(don't take it so hard) 
Some folks are educated at the School of Hard Knocks.
But Lindyke studied letters where the athletes are called Cocks.
And we protest most strongly on behalf of our beloved jocks
And all of their adoring fans
Spread out to many distant lands
By crass attempts at judge's hands to besmirch their reputations

It seems that multiculturalism
Is excluded by the prism
They employ to spread the jism of their lamentations
(We say "jism" in the sense of "seed"
They spew in hopes that we should heed
Ideas that very honestLY
Are widely "off the reservation")

You see, football is a game in which
The rules REQUIRE we force our way past
Our opponent's strong defence
And thusly penetrate the end zone.
They call this scoring;
Not to be boring,
But it's the difference between warring
And a friendly past time played between some well-informed adults. 

(Cherry Pi: "And at half-time we get to switch sides, right? Mmmm... Go Cocks!") 

And if you find it bears some passing similarity to rape
That's an unfortunate coincidence we simply can't escape
Since the context is quite distinct
The two can't seriously be linked
And must be analyzed with very different results.

"They said no but they meant yes"
Are lyrics in our song invention
Some got it but as for the rest
We'll spell it out, to allay contention

When the Line defends their rear
The "NO!" they cry in their frustration
Is their part to play within the game for which they seek ovation,
But of their own accord they freely chose to play this game,
Thus the "YES!" that is contained in our refrain!

To make it very clear that we intended this to be
We enlisted Cherry Pi to cry enthusiastically
So you might know that this is simply welcome fun
Instead of concluding it was rape and jumping to your gun.

We simply cannot meekly take such nasty, vicious libel
So take a long walk on a short pier and go there to thump your Bible.
Though a scientific mind like yours might not be quite so tribal
(You know, it must be very sad to be an atheist AND a prude
You'd have nothing of your own to thump -- oh wait, I guess you do.)

And to answer one more question
(to our minds, the very best one)
No, we never get tired of sexy fun; if we did we'd be doing it wrong.
But we don't, and that is why we keep it UP so very long.

(Cherry Pi: "Football... isn't that the game where you try to ram it between the goalposts? Sounds easy.")


So yeah... rape. That particular dysfunction is limited to the interior of the craniums of the judges who commented on it. To suggest otherwise is an insult to the FOURTEEN people, male AND female, who collaborated on that song, not one of whom had rape on the brain.

At least three of the judges balked at the innuendo in our song, and two hinted that it contains the "rape joke". The judges who decried the sexual innuendo in a song for a very real team called the Cocks failed to take into account the equally real collegiate culture of that particular school... a school we were honor-bound to support under the conditions of the challenge. We provided a mini-bio on the lyrics page, as solicited by Spintown, and it's a shame that it was ignored by some. In the same vein, one judge dropped the multi-cultural ball on Jenny Katz's dead-on accurate fight song for Arsenal, and labelled the Chocolate Chips' song "Win for India" as "racist", completely ignoring the exquisite irony of saying that it also didn't sound much like an "American" fight song, as if the challenge contained that provincial requirement. "Screw the Africans" in the last round got nary a peep, but a pro-India song in this round is racist. Furthermore, the same who found our sexual double-entendres so very unacceptable found it perfectly normal and acceptable ("hilarious", even!) to blatantly threaten wilful and deliberate murder. <joke>Well, then! At least we know where they draw the line!</joke>

Now, as I discuss this, I want you to remember that the intent here isn't to call out a judge or judges as racist, or actual purveyors of physical violence (I don't believe that they are either of those things). It's to point out that we have a documented basis here for a protest song. It's to argue for the sake of this challenge that the judges specifically selected criteria for the last challenge that required analysis of context in terms of culture and of intent. And then some of them failed to perform the effort demanded by their own requirements.

In our song, for example, the line "They said 'no' but they meant 'yes'" is NOT there as a "rape joke", but is set in the primary context of an offensive line pushing past a defensive line that strenuously resists their efforts to enter the end zone and score. Now that's about as perfect a metaphor for rape as there is, and we would be well within literary bounds to treat it as such.  However, we didn't. The secondary meaning in the double-entendre is explained in the lyrics above, but also is in the context of a game... not the football game, but a game of sexual play amply illustrated by the enthusiastic "YES!" of Cherry Pi. This is CLEARLY NOT RAPE. The clue was put there on purpose, and it's disheartening to the max to have to explain the obvious. You should be able to connect a few dots. You should know when something is fiction and when it is reality. The unhealthy mental blurring of this distinction leads people to call for the ban of Tom and Jerry cartoons for promoting sibling violence, or Elmer Fudd cartoons for violating gun restrictions. These examples are as ludicrous to us as the idea that our song in some way condones rape.

We were very cognisant of the risks we took when crafting that song. We knew that songs with multiple meanings tend to do poorly, even when context is explained on the lyrics page. We certainly knew that not everyone would get past the blatant innuendo to even recognize that this is a real team, at a real university, with real alumni that actually do wear "YOU CAN'T LICK OUR COCKS" T-shirts, which is why we posted the longer bio with pictures here on Blogspot, which we also knew not everyone would bother to read even though it was linked on the SpinTunes site and on Facebook. And we knew that some people just don't like "impropriety"... unless they do, and that it's impossible to predict when.

We're perfectly okay with our scores and with the judges' opinions of the song, as it was our choice to take that risk. So I'm not writing this to bitch. Hell... we got through to the third round, so there's nothing to bitch about. Rather, the purpose of me explaining all this right now is to establish that a protest of this aspect of last round's judging as suggested in chat legitimately meets the criterion of "something you strongly believe". We also think we legitimately uphold the requirement to "try to convince" even if you walk away still disagreeing with us.


Summer said...

Regardless of the why, I think this is a perfect follow-up to your round 2 entry. Good job, Dr. Lindyke!

Niveous said...

I hope I wasn't one of the judges who brought that on. I enjoy a good double entendre.

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