The Broadcast Commission (BC) says it is getting tough and will be clamping down on inappropriate content that is being broadcast on our airwaves.
So, the BC people put out a full page advertisement in the Sunday paper explaining what it is they are intending to enforce. They think that public morality is in grave danger from what they call 'Daggering songs'.
I am thankful to the BC who, through their advert, enlightened my darkness with a near Oxford definition of 'Daggering' [No, the word is not in the dictionary] It read: 'Daggering' is a colloquial term or phrase used in dancehall culture as a reference to hardcore sex or what is popularly referred to as 'dry' sex, or the activities of persons engaged in the public simulation of various sexual acts and positions."
Well, maybe there will be a Part two to the definition where I get to understand a bit about this 'dry' sex thing. Enquiring minds need to know. Anyway, I was telling My Friend P how I was chatting about this advert with My Friend G and we are trying to get the answer to one important question:
When is daggering not dollaring?
Remember that oh so popular song by the Trini, Colin Lucas, Dollar Wine? The sound was infectious with lyrics that gave the 'For Dummies' description of the Dollar Wine dance, which I think we all understood to be a "public simulation of various sexual acts and positions". Sorry, not all of us, because we did not hear the BC people utter a word of distress about Dollar Wine or what we will call '90 Dollaring.
So why was dollaring not a public morality hazard? It came from soca culture and that in itself makes it easier to tolerate? Or it is done with a mellow Trini accent so it does not really sound like a call to engage in sex, unlike that aggressive, persuasive Jamaican candid lingua? We don't know, maybe we have just happened upon an irrelevant and poor analogy for the BC people, so we will pause here.
Spare the children
Now, don't get us wrong, there must be concerns about music that is publicly broadcast which, by its airing, validates the music as child-friendly. But with the proliferation of all types of media, the notion that music not played on radio will not be heard by children cannot be a thought that even the BC believe to be possible.
However, when certain types of music are not heard on public broadcast frequencies it does tell children and others where the lines are drawn. And this is important.
But when attempts are made to legislate ever-evolving terms and phrases, daft things will happen. The most peculiar part of the BC advert is the directives to the licensees: There shall not be transmitted, any recording, live song, or music video which promotes the act of 'daggering' or which makes reference to, or is otherwise suggestive of 'daggering'. Good Lord! What does that mean? A word has been coined by a culture, a definition has been assigned to it and the word and the definition are now persona non grata? Something feels a bit silly about this. Any song that has the word 'daggering' can't be aired, or any song that dares to suggest something about sex [which we understand from the definition to be daggering] can't be aired. Whoa! No more Colour Me Badd I Wanna Sex You Up - to be read "I Wanna 'Dagger' You Up." And can we sense 'Daggering' Healing when Sexual Healing is being played?
The crassness of a song ought not to be defined in a word, especially when the word is not really a word. It is the strung-together content of lyrics that must be assessed song by song.
There has to be a more modern and common-sense approach to this protection of public morality if it is to be accepted and made to work. 'Daggering' will now go underground and we all know that the real economy, in Jamaica is the underground economy and it will become even more street legit where no BC people will be able to stop it from being played with pompous defiance.
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