Love Thyself

Masturbation has been much on my mind lately. No wait, that didn’t come out right. I’ve been thinking about masturbation a lot lately. No, that’s not what I meant either. Oh hell, there’s just no way to gracefully introduce this subject.

I bought Freakette the entire Monty Python DVD set. One of the many hilarious skits on those disks was the Summarize Proust Competition. The most notable thing about that sketch is that the BBC censored it. One of the game show contestants was asked what his hobbies were and he responded with “strangling animals, golf, and masturbating.” That last word was deleted from the broadcast, although you can see Graham Chapman’s lips move.

That bit of history is mentioned in the DVD extras. The DVD set also included a TV special in which the Pythons were interviewed and there was a long discussion about the controversy and the universal nature of masturbation. I of course was watching this with Freakette and thought that I’d have to have The Discussion with her about self-pleasure, but she just let it slide. Much to my relief.

But then when the Nouvelle Vague cover below popped up on my iPod, this week’s theme was sealed.

Nouvelle Vague “Dancing With Myself” (Billy Idol)
I’ve always thought that this song wouldn’t have been so popular if more people realized what it was about. But then again, it was pretty obvious what Billy’s “love vibration” was. I love pretty much anything Nouvelle Vague do, but this swinging tune is one of my favorites.

Foo Fighters “Darling Nikki” (Prince)
Ah, the song that so horrified Tipper Gore that she decided that she needed the government’s help to save her kids from Prince. Seems almost quaint given the lyrical content of rap music, doesn’t it? The Foo Fighters showcase some very crunchy guitars on this one.

Scala Choir “I Touch Myself” (The Divinyls)
There’s an admirable lack of subtlety here. It’s as if the Divinyls decided to write a song about masturbation and it never occurred to them to use metaphors. The choral treatment is just fantastic.

One Fine Day “She Bop” (Cyndi Lauper)
It’s really a pity that “danger zone” never caught on as a metaphor for the female genitalia. It would have made “Highway To The Danger Zone” a much more interesting song. One Fine Day turns the New Wave classic into a driving rock song with great success.

Marina CelesteĀ “Orgasm Addict” (The Buzzcocks)
The original was all twitchy and in your face, which is why I find this languid bossa nova version so amusing.

4 thoughts on “Love Thyself

  1. Mogambo

    Did the BBC really censor that? I remember seeing it on TV as a kid and not getting and later as a teenager and laughing, and the casual use of the formal word for the undignified puruit was what made me laugh.

    According to an American friend, though, the prints of Python aired in the USA were all edited slightly for swearing and breast-exposure… so maybe you’re just suffering a spot of local censorship?

  2. Steve McI Post author

    Mogambo, the BBC really did censor that episode. During the interview with the Pythons at the Aspen Comedy Festival they talk at great length about the whole thing and specifically about meeting with the BBC and trying unsuccessfully to persuade them not to edit out the word. Maybe in later years the BBC relented and let it stay in for syndication.

  3. Mogambo

    Wow! Damn those BBCs! And thanks for the info, I’d rather be corrected than left in the wrong.

    Tbh, for all I know I saw it censored and my brain (corrupt even when young) filled in the missing word… but anyways, I definitely remember losing it bigtime over that line and its response!

    Anyways, cheers for the latest post, as well as all the others! I’ve been a regular reader for a few years now and I equate your blog with a vague mental image of treasure chest. ^_^

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