Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ballad of a Short Man

According to a news story that hit the wire on July 5 (, an organization called the Little People of America has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to ban the use of the word midget on U.S. airwaves. The word, say the tiny folk, is as "offensive" as racial slurs.

The demand arose from the LPA's annual convention, which is being held this week in New York City and attended by approximately three thousand of the diminutive activists (or fifteen hundred in normal-sized-activist numbers).

Apparently, there are no Bob Dylan fans among the Munchkin-like. For if the FCC bows to the dwarfish ones' wishes (how low does one go when bowing to the under-sized?), the prohibition will transform Bob Dylan's 1966 song "Ballad of a Thin Man"--a song that appears in one version or another on six of Dylan's albums--from a poignant expression of existential dislocation into a vehicle for the propagation of "hate speech" and therefore subject radio stations that play it to an as-yet-unspecified penalty.

"Now you see this one-eyed midget," sings Dylan in the sixth verse, "shouting the word 'NOW'...."

As of this writing, there has been no response from America's cyclopes.

No comments:

Post a Comment