The latest controversy... or lack thereof

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By Zac Oakes


All the rage lately has been about the song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” since a radio station in Ohio decided to remove the song from its Christmas playlist, citing customer complaints that the song promotes date rape and in particular some concerns about the lyric “what’s in this drink?” 

Personally, I’m not sure what the song’s intent was, and let’s face it, we will never really know for certain. The writer, Frank Loesser, passed away in 1969, so really all we have is speculation. 

And while the lyrics do seem just a tad bit weird (I’ve thought so since elementary school), I do think we have to proceed with great caution when applying the filter of our modern societal context to works of art that were created in a much different era. 

But personal opinions aside—I mean, you don’t have to go far to find someone’s monologue on this issue—my bigger point is this: why is everyone freaking out about it? 

First off, this isn’t a widespread thing. From what I’ve read, only a select few radio stations have stopped playing it and according to USA Today, one station did so five years ago and nobody really said anything about it. They didn’t announce it and there was no controversy. Surprising, right?

In my opinion, it seems kind of silly to raise a fuss about it when it has no actual bearing on your life. Most of the folks who are so upset about it to post their rant online couldn’t even tell you what station has stopped playing it, what genre they play, who manages it, or probably even where it is. 

And even if one radio station stopped playing it, I’m certain you can find another one that does. That’s the beauty of capitalism, and you can easily scan the dial to another station without posting a 500-word essay on Facebook about it.

I get it really. It’s part of the larger culture war and all, but seriously, why are people taking a small issue and blowing it way out of proportion? To me, it is one of those issues that will die on its own but continually bringing it up and ranting about it just helps it to grow and fuel the flame even more. 

I mentioned this to a person I am friends with on Facebook earlier this week, and it further proves the point. He shared a post that was, in part, about the song and being offended and all that.

(And furthermore, let me just say, I think people in general get offended about the most miniscule things nowadays. That goes for folks on the left and the right. If you think one side is exempt, email me and I’ll provide examples.) 

The person I was speaking with admitted that he hadn’t really researched what was going on with the song, but due to the number of people posting about it, thought it was a widespread occurrence that stations everywhere were cancelling the song. In actuality, you can count on your fingers the number of stations. Compared to more than 11,000 commercial radio stations nationwide, it doesn’t quite seem like the national epidemic some people make it out to be. 

All of this just seems silly to me. Social media has amplified the extreme voices and made them seem like the norm since they can scream the loudest online.  

Most people you know in your everyday life don’t care if you like the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or if it is played somewhere. Most people you know in your everyday life don’t care if you use the phrase “Bring home the bacon.” 

Every extreme social media post isn’t the norm, and when somebody says something that is kind of out there and one or two people online agree, it isn’t a national epidemic or some kind of political correctness takeover. 

Just because somebody writes an article and it is published on the Internet doesn’t mean that’s a prevailing thought among a large segment of the population. It’s easy for one to publish their thoughts on the Internet and doesn’t require a majority of the population to agree. 

Here’s something I think we can all agree on though: let’s bring common sense back. 

Hey, maybe that will be my campaign slogan when I run for office.