Haluska Ed (edh@MAILS.IMED.COM)
Sun, 12 Jun 1994 23:23:22 CST
What should be the guidelines for deciding whether or not a
song is offensive? If we really had to formulate such
guidelines (I sure hope we never do), I would start with
some easy, obivious ones:
1. A song (skit, yell, etc.) should not be used as part of a
scout activity if the content is in direct conflict with the
Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto, etc.
2. A song (skit, yell, etc) should not be used as a part of
a scout activity if its primary intent is to be demeaning to
some other human.
It could be argued that #2 is included in #1, but
it does provide more detail. Hopefully, most songs that fall
into these catagory have already been eliminated. With these
guidelines, "LooK Away, Dixieland" is OK because its primary
intent is to express (at least from my white-male point of
view) a longing to be back home. I don't sing it as a coded
message expressing a desire to return to slavery.
On the other hand, one realization I have come to is that
the Scouts will show you what they want to do. Our challenge
as adult leaders (and limit setters) is to turn what they
want to do into an acceptable scouting activity. (Not just
to tell them, NO!) And Scouts like GROSS songs. So bring on
Its a Hell of a Way to Die and follow it up with a couple of
choruses of Great Big Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts!
Which leads me to another guideline:
3. A song is still acceptable even it it is very gross.
There are still lots of grey areas that discussion on this
thread should explore. For a good topic for debate, I call
your attention to the song in the SCOUTS-L song file
entitled "Wading." Is its direct intent to be demeaning to
females? Even if it isn't, does it still send an incorrect
message to young male Scouts? What's a good guideline to
that could be used?
Edward A. Haluska
Angleton, TX, USA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City