Say what you will about commercial radio in the United States – and there are lots of negative things that can be said, especially when it comes to the complete lack of local news, or for that matter much of any other community service beyond remote dance parties – one thing done relatively well is the keeping of obscene material off the airwaves. As a father, I appreciate not having to worry too much about what the kids might hear were I to turn on the radio.
Not so, apparently, in Indonesia. Driving in the car the other day with the radio on, I began nodding my head when a popular song by the artist Pink came on. I’ve heard this many times in the airport, or even in the car. While I don’t particularly like the song, the refrain is especially catchy and seemed to have a harmless message:
“Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel, like you’re less than perfect.”
Or so it would go in the U.S. Here, however, they sometimes play the original version:
“Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel, like you’re less than fu#@ing perfect.”
“Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel, like you’re nothing, you’re fu#@ing perfect to me.”
It sure got my attention. Fortunately the kids weren’t around. That wasn’t the type of cultural exchange I expected during our Indonesian adventure – especially in the middle of the day.