Thursday, October 07, 2004

Let's Get Retarded -- No, Wait...

Today the Wall Street Journal's "PC Watch" feature (that's PC as in politically correct, not personal computer) takes on the Black Eyed Peas song "Let's Get It Started."

As you may recall, the original song was "Let's Get Retarded" (a 21st Century version of Humpty Hump's call to "Get Stupid"). But it was rerecorded as "Let's Get It Started," and that's the version played on the radio these days. Apparently the Association for Retarded Citizens (which now prefers to go by Arc) complained about the original lyrics.

The article makes a good point in saying that many formerly clinical descriptions for the mentally retarded (moron, idiot, etc.) are now seen as innocuous. But "retarded" is different, the Arc spokesman says. (By the way, I assume their spokesman is mentally retarded himself. But maybe the benefits of trotting out a mentally retarded spokesman are diminished by the fact that he might say something, well, retarded.)

Anyway, I was surprised to see the story neglected one of hip-hop's most famous "retard" lines -- from Salt 'n' Pepa's "Shoop":

They want my bod,
here's the hot rod
Twelve inches to a yard
and have ya soundin' like a retard

I don't remember any protests over that -- though I think they may have bleeped the word on the radio.