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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Things that the UN should do #1

The United Nations does many good things I'm sure you agree, but I feel that there are many other areas of society in which this august body could use its influence.

So I propose a new body "The UN commission for musical decency".

Their remit won't be to rid the airwaves of boy bands or rap - the UN HQ in New York doesn't have enough office space to house an operation of that size (and besides which, the SAS can sort them out). Rather they will control the licensing of cover versions. No longer should innocent radio listeners be confronted by atrocities such as Geri Halliwell's version of "It's raining men" or "Twist and Shout" by Chaka Demus & Pliers.

I propose that a panel vets all applications and decides which versions are suitable for public consumption. I nominate Kofi Anan, Nelson Mandela, myself and my mate Ben who has a great music collection. However, I think you will agree that its important that such an important commission has teeth and there already exists a perfectly good court in the Hague suitable for policing this sort of thing.

Penalties will be proportional to the crime and the offence caused. So for example, a reggae version of Phil Collin's "In the air tonight" will be a relatively lenient 6 months in a Saudi Jail. More serious offences such as a hip-hop interpretation of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" would carry a sentence of up to 5 years in a Bangkok Prison. For crimes against humanity such as a Muzak rendition of the Beatle's "Yesterday" the offenders will be forced to spend a week in a Texas jail. If, by some miracle, the song gets airplay a proportionate number of lashes with a knotted scarf will be doled out.



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