Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 7, 2018

Baby, it’s dumb inside.

Has anyone banned “Dixie”?

Libraries celebrate “Banned Book Week” by encouraging EVERYONE to read books that were once banned, like “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” or, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” because “it highlights the value of free and open access to information.

Why shouldn’t we do the same with music?


Citing the #MeToo movement, and pointing to the line in the song “say, what’s in this drink?,” some radio stations have moved to “ban” the 1949 Academy Award winning song which was featured in the motion picture Neptune’s Daughter, and sung by Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams.

Critics decry it as an inference to “slipping a mickey” – an old, colloquial term for a date rape drug – into the woman’s drink.

However, I can’t count the number of times folks have asked me what’s in drinks I’ve made. One of the most notable ones being genuine, homemade Egg Nog.

The recipe is actually quite simple, and if you’ve never had GENUINE HOMEMADE egg nog, you’ve never had egg nog. It is NOTHING like the gooey, gloppy, thick junk sold as “egg nog” in stores around the winter holidays.

Seriously. The commercially sold stuff is 100% PURE GARBAGE.

And seriously, the homemade stuff is SUPERIOR!

It’s quite easy to make. Here’s a recipe including step-by-step pictures, instructions, and a photo of the finished product.

But anyway, back to the music.

Rape is not funny.

It never has been.

And, yes, there’ve been songs sung about rape.
And yes, there’ve been stories written about rape.
And yes, rape is a crime.
And yes, the definition of rape has changed to BETTER PROTECT THE VICTIM.
And yes, males can be victims of sexual assault, and rape.
And yes, #MeToo.

But when this song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” is examined in context, the claim falls flat.

Susan Loesser, daughter of Broadway legend Frank Loesser, who wrote the song, insisted it’s entirely innocent.

When interviewed about the controversy which has recently arisen, she said, “This song is not about an abuse of power, it is about flirtation and that is how flirtation was in those days. In those days in the entertainment world, you had to bring an act to a party, so that was their act. It is not a date rape song, it is a flirtatious song.”

She noted also that she doesn’t want the song connected to the #MeToo movement.

So, there’s that to consider.

But then again, there’s a deeper philosophical question which is, ‘what’s the proper role of liberty and freedom with respect to grotesque and horrific – even illegal things?’

Lady Gaga wrote “Til It Happens To You” in 2015, about rape on college campuses.
That wasn’t banned.

Sarah McLachlan wrote “Possession” in 1993 about being stalked by a degranged fan.
Neither was her song banned.

Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper wrote “Love Is Blind” in 1999 about domestic violence.
This song, which has explicit lyrics, wasn’t banned.

But, in Germany, to this day, the swastika is banned, and making claims associated with Holocaust Denial are illegal. So they take that stuff so VERY seriously, that the government arrests, tries, and imprisons those found guilty.

We don’t do that in America.

And, for that matter, neither is KKK garbage illegal in our United States.

And yes, numerous Confederate statues were erected throughout our nation as part of the unofficial “Lost Cause” movement. Think of it as a precursor to Holocaust Denial, which is described as a “literary and intellectual movement that sought to reconcile the traditional Southern white society to the defeat of the Confederate States of America in the Civil War. White Southerners sought consolation in attributing their loss to factors beyond their control and to betrayals of their heroes and cause.  Those who contributed to the movement tended to portray the Confederacy’s cause as noble and most of the Confederacy’s leaders as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry, defeated by the Union armies not through superior military skill, but by overwhelming force. They also tended to condemn Reconstruction.”


A noble cause?


But it was about States’ Rights, some say.

Yeah. States’ rights to have slavery.

There was really no other issue.

But again, we’re talking about an innocuous song, which some radio stations have banned, and correlated it with intellectual freedom, saying that certain thoughts and ideas shouldn’t be banned.

Censorship, in the legal sense, only applies to the government. At least as the Supreme Court has interpreted it. Private enterprise is free to do what they want.

Why is that?

That pesky First Amendment makes it illegal to do so. It states “Congress shall make no law…” It doesn’t say private individuals, or businesses.

So, in essence, the radio stations are fully within their rights to not play that, or any other song they so choose. It’s a thing called “freedom,” because our nation’s founders understood that for a people to bear the fruit of liberty, they must plant the seeds of tolerance.

So… does the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” have an inference to date rape by “spiking” a drink? And does playing it condone date rape?

In my estimation, the answer to both those questions is a resounding “NO!” But, you may see things differently. And, that’s okay. Because you have that right.

We must work together to stop date rape, stop sexual abuse, and all forms of abuse, because it’s the right thing to do. And we do that by collaboration, cooperation, teaching, listening, and understanding. Not by blocking out one another’s voices.

Yes, it’s a difficult thing to do, but it’s worth it, because everyone is worth it.

Our role as a civil society is to promote and encourage civility.




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