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      Pussy Riot's P***y Riot

      August 24, 2012

      By Kelly Bourdet

      When George Carlin released his famous monologue, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” in 1972, it didn’t include the word “pussy.” Although his list didn’t reflect all the words you couldn’t say on TV at the time, the ones he chose were enough to incite the wrath of the FCC and became fodder for a subsequent Supreme Court case on the government’s right to censor and control broadcast “indecency.” He later expanded the list to over two hundred words commonly deemed inappropriate, which he read aloud to audiences from a long scroll.

      These days, Carlin’s original seven words aren’t all universally banned from television, although many remain taboo. But which ones are they? No official list of words banned by the FCC exists because each use is considered in context: you can “blow someone’s brains out” but you can’t “blow them.” Buzzfeed helpfully compiled a list of sixty-eight words you cannot currently utter during primetime hours on network television, but their list is by no means exhaustive. In the United States, broadcast decency laws are consistently more puritanical than those in place in much of Western Europe, Great Britain, and – in some ways – Russia. Which brings us to the question of how our news media is meant to reference the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, their anti-Putin protest and subsequent sentencing of two-year prison terms for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”

      Read the rest over at Motherboard.

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      Topics: Pussy, riot, FCC, obscenity, punk

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