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Old 12-19-2016, 11:36 AM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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In defense of "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Every year (in recent years at least), there seems to be an increasingly loud chorus of PC voices insisting that this song is "rapey" and should, I dunno, be banned or something? Now, this year we've even got a PC replacement version penned by an earnest young singer and her boyfriend (whether he's also a singer is more of an open question). Hoo boy.

Here's the thing. The woman singing is being oppressed, but not by the man singing! He's not the bad guy. She's having a lovely time hanging out with him, listening to records, having a couple drinks, and presumably doing a little canoodling in front of that roaring fireplace. The oppression comes from a patriarchal society (remember, this was written in the 1940s) that restricts her agency as a young single woman. Her mother and father are worrying and pacing the floor. Her maiden aunt's mind is vicious, her sister's suspicious, and her brother will be "waiting at the door". They, and the neighbors, "might think" that she's promiscuous: "There's bound to be talk tomorrow/At least there'll be plenty implied".

Those are the reasons she gives for why she "ought to say no, no, no". But at no point does she say "I'm tired" or "I have to get up early" or even just "Thanks, but I've had enough for the night". Instead, she says things like "I wish I knew how to break this spell" (not "I wish I knew how to make you understand I don't want to"), "Well, maybe just a cigarette/half a drink more", "The welcome has been so nice and warm". And it's implied she puts on another record for them to listen to while he pours that "half drink" she asked for.

Now that that's off my chest, another frustration I have with this song is that I can't seem to find the "definitive" version I have in my head. It may be that I've just invented it, because although I don't have the editing chops to actually make this mashup, I can definitely imagine a Frankenstein combo of other versions that would do nicely.

As I see it, this is not just a song, it's a scene for two actors. Basically, like something out of a Broadway musical that is half-sung, half-spoken, intended to advance a couple's relationship, not just serve as a crowd-pleasing song-and-dance number. But of all the versions I've sampled, I've yet to find one where both the male and female parts are performed that way. There's always at least one of them who's trying to show off their virtuoso pipes and sing, sing, SING.

I like Sara Bareilles most of the time, but she is super guilty of this in her duet with Seth McFarlane. He plays it almost perfectly for his part, but while he's hamming it up Broadway style and engaging with the lyrics with a wink and a grin, she's off in a recording booth singing it phonetically as though it's in a language she doesn't know. He should have invited Idina Menzel to be his singing partner. Broadway pro that she is, she nails her side of the repartee, but this time it's Michael Buble who just croons thoughtlessly.

Some versions wouldn't provide me anything to "mash". Ceelo Green and Christiina Aguilera meander melismatically with no attempt at acting at all. Rufus Wainright and Sharon Van Etten's version is horrendously slow and uninflected, like someone drastically dropped the speed on the record player.

It's not just newer versions: Dean Martin goes the other way into too uptempo and unvarying a swing, and having the female part be a chorus makes no sense. Ella Fitzgerald is spot on, but Louis Jordan messes it up.

So I guess ultimately, it'd be Seth McFarlane with either Idina Menzel or reanimated/sampled Ella Fitzgerald. Let's make this happen!
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:42 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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I like that song, and the more the PC Patrol howls, the more I like it.

That said, I'd love to hear a role-reversal version, with some aging cougar trying to convince a young stud to stay the night with her.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:02 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Exactly. That's the type of internal discussion a young woman had to go through back then. Sure, he's trying to persuade her to stay, and the problem she has is "what will people think?", not "no, I want to leave."
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:27 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Heresy! Dino is perfect. His is the Gold Standard of this song.


The song has gotten it;s share of defenders:

http://persephonemagazine.com/2010/1...-cold-outside/

http://www.manrepeller.com/2016/12/i...d-outside.html


http://bigbutterandeggman.tumblr.com...ring-an-end-to
  #5  
Old 12-19-2016, 12:31 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I like that song, and the more the PC Patrol howls, the more I like it.

That said, I'd love to hear a role-reversal version, with some aging cougar trying to convince a young stud to stay the night with her.
Baby its cold out side....

Sure I know...

Baby its cold out side...

The beer's kicking in...

Baby its cold outside...

LETS GO FUCK


Way too short for a song.


PS. The OP is right on point as far as I am concerned and well thought out and written.

Last edited by billfish678; 12-19-2016 at 12:33 PM.
  #6  
Old 12-19-2016, 12:40 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Heresy! Dino is perfect. His is the Gold Standard of this song.
But see, you say "his is..." and it's not one person's song, with a chorus part for backup singers. If anything, you could argue the woman is the lead.

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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
PS. The OP is right on point as far as I am concerned and well thought out and written.
Thanks!
  #7  
Old 12-19-2016, 12:46 PM
Go_Arachnid_Laser Go_Arachnid_Laser is offline
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You all know that the gold standard for the song is that scene from the movie Elf but are too ashamed to admit it.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:49 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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For me, the gold standard is Barry Manilow and Pamela Holt.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:49 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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I've always thought the version by Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence was pretty good and well-balanced.
  #10  
Old 12-19-2016, 12:55 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Link me to any and all suggestions and I'll try 'em!
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:59 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Couldn't this go in the other current thread?
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:02 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
But see, you say "his is..." and it's not one person's song, with a chorus part for backup singers. If anything, you could argue the woman is the lead.
Here's a version with Martina McBride where she takes Dino's version, removes the female chorus and inserts herself into the duet perfectly. She doesn't do any of the vocal gymnastics you complain about, and the two of them sound good together. This version is my gold standard.

Last edited by Happy Lendervedder; 12-19-2016 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:04 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is offline
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Considering how many versions have been made in recent years (Lady Gaga, She & Him, etc.), some of which are acknowledged in the OP, I think the reports of this song's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Like many PC issues, the PC complainers are solidly outnumbered by people complaining about the PC complainers.
  #14  
Old 12-19-2016, 01:06 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I found that some of the anti-song comments in the other thread were the type of nonsense you don't dare touch for fear of getting sucked down into their bizarro world of ahistorical ignorance.

The man and woman in this song are equals in this situation, decrying that segments of society deny their equality. Of course they are going to bed together. They both want to. They both know that they will. No coercion is involves. The drink contains alcohol, not roofies.

Yes, women generally were second-class citizens in that era and they were repressed in a multitude of ways. But this particular song isn't an example of that. Just the opposite. It's a refreshing rise above the cliches.
  #15  
Old 12-19-2016, 01:10 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Here's a version with Martina McBride where she takes Dino's version, removes the female chorus and inserts herself into the duet perfectly. She doesn't do any of the vocal gymnastics you complain about, and the two of them sound good together. This version is my gold standard.
Yes, that's my fave.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:28 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Here's a version with Martina McBride where she takes Dino's version, removes the female chorus and inserts herself into the duet perfectly. She doesn't do any of the vocal gymnastics you complain about, and the two of them sound good together. This version is my gold standard.
It's better than the chorus, but I don't agree that she doesn't do any of the vocal gymnastics I complain about. She has a few lines that are just right, but more often she is still (understandably, being a singer) getting too tempted to, well, sing. So she extends the syllables a lot at the end of lines ("I simply must GOOOO/The answer is NOOOO") when they should be (again, IMO) truncated instead, in a flirty conversational style. As I said, perfect for a Broadway pro like Menzel who is used to singing in this style (as well as others--she's very versatile).
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:35 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
It's better than the chorus, but I don't agree that she doesn't do any of the vocal gymnastics I complain about. She has a few lines that are just right, but more often she is still (understandably, being a singer) getting too tempted to, well, sing. So she extends the syllables a lot at the end of lines ("I simply must GOOOO/The answer is NOOOO") when they should be (again, IMO) truncated instead, in a flirty conversational style. As I said, perfect for a Broadway pro like Menzel who is used to singing in this style (as well as others--she's very versatile).
Except Menzel does everything you say McBride does, and way more gymnastics.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:37 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
It's better than the chorus, but I don't agree that she doesn't do any of the vocal gymnastics I complain about. She has a few lines that are just right, but more often she is still (understandably, being a singer) getting too tempted to, well, sing. So she extends the syllables a lot at the end of lines ("I simply must GOOOO/The answer is NOOOO") when they should be (again, IMO) truncated instead, in a flirty conversational style. As I said, perfect for a Broadway pro like Menzel who is used to singing in this style (as well as others--she's very versatile).
So which version do you prefer?
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:47 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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I like the Idina Menzel / Michael Buble version. Maybe it's just because the kids in the video are quite talented. I know they changed a couple of verses to make it be oriented to the kids, but I don't care. I love this video.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:48 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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So which version do you prefer?
I haven't found the one in my "head canon", which may be apocryphal. But there have gotta be many versions I haven't heard, so I'm still hopeful. Problem being, as I say, that there are way too many who just don't even approach it as a playful scene in a romantic comedy instead of as a standard to croon.
  #21  
Old 12-19-2016, 01:49 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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I like the Idina Menzel / Michael Buble version. Maybe it's just because the kids in the video are quite talented. I know they changed a couple of verses to make it be oriented to the kids, but I don't care. I love this video.
Interesting, sure, nice vocals (the guys sounds just like Dino) but that video?

Hardly canon.
  #22  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:05 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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For those who haven't heard it, here's Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer doing it just right.
  #23  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:08 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Considering how many versions have been made in recent years (Lady Gaga, She & Him, etc.), some of which are acknowledged in the OP, I think the reports of this song's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Like many PC issues, the PC complainers are solidly outnumbered by people complaining about the PC complainers.
Gotta agree with this one. If anything the complaining minority may just have been louder and more insistent precisely because they are not gaining as much traction as easily and swiftly as they think they should and people insist on keeping recording it. Yet it's not like it's an all-pervasive part of everyone's playlist anyway.

But yes, there is an issue in the performances in that it seems hard to get a team that are both on the same page, so to speak. I suppose it's one of the pitfalls of a "standard".

Last edited by JRDelirious; 12-19-2016 at 02:09 PM.
  #24  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:14 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Now I keep imagining a version of the song...would probably have to be a video...where the song is date rapey as hell. I guess there would be bonus points if the vocals were at the "innocent" end of the spectrum and the video at the other end.
  #25  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:21 PM
Don Draper Don Draper is offline
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Personally, I would like to have this song banned. Not because it's un-PC, I totally agree with the OP's argument, but because this song has been so done to death -- even for a 'seasonal' song -- that I can not stand to hear it anymore.

"Santa Baby" too. Eartha Kitt's original was inspired, naughty fun. But for the love of God that song has been covered ad nauseum by every damn third-rate cocktail lounge singer for the past 50+ years. Give it an effing BREAK for a couple of years!
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:24 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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So, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer it is!
  #27  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:29 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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I wonder whether some people's opinion of the song might change if they heard a gender-reversed version ... or a same-sex version.
  #28  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:44 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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Couldn't this go in the other current thread?
You all sound like a bunch of southerners defending the Confederate Flag. "You are are whiners! PC! PC! Help! I'm being oppressed!"

Are you sure you don't need safe spaces?
  #29  
Old 12-19-2016, 02:45 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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For those who haven't heard it, here's Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer doing it just right.
Yes, this is it! Thank you, I didn't imagine it.

I wonder if the various people covering this avoid doing it in this style, first of all because they want to make their own imprint on the song, but also because they think this kind of "talk-singing" sounds too old-fashioned. But it's crucial to what exactly this is, which is not simply a "song" in the general sense. It's a comedy bit, almost an audio sketch.

ETA: Funny that this is lumped in with Xmas music. There's a dearth of songs for Valentine's Day, which is after all at a very cold time of year.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 12-19-2016 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:18 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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I wonder whether some people's opinion of the song might change if they heard a gender-reversed version ... .
I like that one!
  #31  
Old 12-19-2016, 03:18 PM
JXJohns JXJohns is offline
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I wonder whether some people's opinion of the song might change if they heard a gender-reversed version ... or a same-sex version.
If Lady Gaga was throwing herself at me like that version, I'd stay...
  #32  
Old 12-19-2016, 03:29 PM
Maurie Maurie is offline
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As I said in the other thread, I donít think having a conversation about the lyrics is without value.

I am not offended by the song, I donít think it should be banned, I donít want the lyrics changed, and I fully and completely get that it is a cute, charming song about flirtation and completely consensual imminent sex, which really was an empowering perspective at the time Ė acknowledging the ridiculousness of a womanís natural sexual desires being dampened by oppressive societal expectations. Awesome.

My only issue with the song is that because of the fact that sometimes (as here) a woman who says no is in fact coyly inviting further encouragement, there are some men who think that is always the case when they hear a no. Holding up a song like this as a pinnacle of adorable flirtatious banter can make what is already a grey area even less clear, and I donít think thereís anything wrong with saying so. Do I think that song is the sole reason for any miscommunications between men and women? Of course not. I just donít think it hurts anyone to be reminded of that, thatís all.
  #33  
Old 12-19-2016, 03:36 PM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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It's probably easy to misinterpret anything, but I agree with Maurie. I never questioned the lyrics until a Maclean's magazine writer mocked them.
  #34  
Old 12-19-2016, 03:39 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
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Fair point, Maurie.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:10 PM
TheInimitableMaven TheInimitableMaven is offline
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My personal favorite version is Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves' take. IMO, they nail the chops/tone perfectly.
  #36  
Old 12-19-2016, 06:19 PM
amarinth amarinth is online now
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Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
As I see it, this is not just a song, it's a scene for two actors. Basically, like something out of a Broadway musical that is half-sung, half-spoken, intended to advance a couple's relationship, not just serve as a crowd-pleasing song-and-dance number.
You mean like the version where it won an Oscar for Best Original Song in the musical Neptune's Daughter? (Which takes place in summer in Florida - so it most definitely is not cold outside.)

ETA: they did the song twice in that film - with genders flipped. The link shows both.

Last edited by amarinth; 12-19-2016 at 06:23 PM.
  #37  
Old 12-19-2016, 07:45 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Vox has an article Why "Baby, It's Cold Outside" became an annual controversy about date rape and consent that beats the song into the ground in several thousand words. My summary of the article is simply "millennial idiots don't understand context or history."

Now it's obviously true that many women have felt pressured into unwanted sex. That was as true in 1944 as it is today. It's also true that seduction is a real human interaction that exists today as much as it did in 1944. By definition, seduction is not pressure. When a word is redefined to mean its opposite, then context is no longer meaningful. You can make 0 = 1 or turn any situation into a nightmare.

As proof, I offer the modernized version by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski embedded on that page. I can see why "Writing for the Federalist, Bre Payton skewered the rewrite as the 'unsexiest thing Iíve ever heard in my entire life.'Ē Of course it is. Seduction is, again by definition, sexy. Removing all the seduction from a song that is solely about seduction - on both sides, I have to emphasize - makes it ridiculous. Nobody in their right minds would write a song with the lyrics they sing outside of a training film in a human relations sex in the workplace class. Worse, the rewritten song diminishes women. By changing only the male lyrics they reaffirm the canard that females are incapable of seduction or of sexiness and think of men only as animate vibrators.

I keep making the point that context is everything. Never more than here.
  #38  
Old 12-19-2016, 08:23 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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I wonder whether some people's opinion of the song might change if they heard a gender-reversed version ... or a same-sex version.
Or the Key and Peele version.



Last edited by Guinastasia; 12-19-2016 at 08:26 PM.
  #39  
Old 12-20-2016, 12:32 AM
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Here's a question: have there been any major stagings or performances of this song where it was clear that the singers and/or director DID think the female part's objections were sincere?
  #40  
Old 12-20-2016, 12:34 AM
amarinth amarinth is online now
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As proof, I offer the modernized version by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski embedded on that page.
That version sounds like he's trying to get her to leave and she won't take the hint.
  #41  
Old 12-20-2016, 02:40 AM
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Here's a question: have there been any major stagings or performances of this song where it was clear that the singers and/or director DID think the female part's objections were sincere?
Casey Wilson & Scott Aukerman
They staged it this way specifically to point out how "terrible" the song is.
While I generally like both of them as comic actors, I think they totally miss the mark on this one. I'm more inclined to agree with the OP.
Wilson specifically seems like she's working through some demons with this performance, so I'm not inclined to criticize her too harshly, I just don't at all agree with her objections to the song.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
That said, I'd love to hear a role-reversal version, with some aging cougar trying to convince a young stud to stay the night with her.
Some gender reversed versions have already been linked, but the ultimate gender reversed version was done by Miss Piggy & Rudolf Nureyev in a performance that makes all other versions unnecessary.
  #42  
Old 12-20-2016, 07:27 AM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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I agree that the annual tradition can die any time now. I do love this song. But in defending it, I always get as far as "Say, what's in this drink?" and kinda falter a bit. . .

The truth is that boyfriends, like parents, could go to jail today for things that were considered perfectly normal in the 40's and 50's. I'm happy to say that society has evolved substantially since then. It doesn't mean we can't read "Tom Sawyer," and it doesn't mean we can't sing this song.

Let's just be cognizant of the anachronisms, and refrain from using them as "proofs" that it's "really OK" to do/say such things. And for the next year or two I'll continue to indulge the conversation. If 2016 has taught us anything at all, then we have learned that there are still people in this country who need for these things to be pointed out to them.
  #43  
Old 12-20-2016, 07:50 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
The truth is that boyfriends, like parents, could go to jail today for things that were considered perfectly normal in the 40's and 50's. I'm happy to say that society has evolved substantially since then. It doesn't mean we can't read "Tom Sawyer," and it doesn't mean we can't sing this song.
OK, and it is also true that husbands, and teachers, and boyfriends, and parents, and... can go to jail today for things which were either ignored, received with a "what did you do to earn it" or considered her fault way after the '40s and '50s.

But as Exapno said, it's all about context.

Last edited by Nava; 12-20-2016 at 07:51 AM.
  #44  
Old 12-20-2016, 08:02 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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...If 2016 has taught us anything at all, then we have learned that there are still people in this country who need for these things to be pointed out to them.
You mean this version:

I really can't stay (but baby, it's cold outside)
I've got to go away (but baby, it's cold outside)

This evening has been (been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice (I'll grab your pussy, it's just like ice)

>>Woman dashes out the door into the freezing cold<<
  #45  
Old 12-20-2016, 08:59 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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I'm rather fond of the Jimmy Fallon/Cecily Strong version from SNL, where, after the loving, he's trying to convince her to leave and she wants to stay.
  #46  
Old 12-20-2016, 10:03 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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The drink contains alcohol, not roofies.
Agreed. 'What's in this drink?' She's not asking if she's been drugged. She's asking what kind of alcohol (or how much alcohol) is in the drink.





ETA: Grrrrrrr! I hate how Exploder says, 'Hey, he doesn't need that bracket? What, he thinks if it's missing, it will mess up the code?'



.

Last edited by Johnny L.A.; 12-20-2016 at 10:04 AM.
  #47  
Old 12-20-2016, 10:53 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
ETA: Grrrrrrr! I hate how Exploder says, 'Hey, he doesn't need that bracket? What, he thinks if it's missing, it will mess up the code?'
[clueless old guy] Exploder says? I don't see anyone named Exploder in this thread. Are you sure you're in the right thread? Or are you talking about a missing blanket? I'll go turn the thermostat up. I'm always cold these days.[/clueless old guy]
  #48  
Old 12-20-2016, 11:15 AM
holmes holmes is offline
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My dad always played the Ray Charles/Betty Carter version, which seems just right balance to me.

Last edited by holmes; 12-20-2016 at 11:17 AM.
  #49  
Old 12-20-2016, 11:19 AM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is offline
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The song reveals the cultural attitudes of its time, and it should be a good thing if it sparks a discussion on the changing value systems. The "OMG, it's just a meaningless song, so shut up!" and the "This is date-rapey and I don't want to hear about context!" factions are equally annoying.

It's a bad song, though, so I wouldn't mind if the latter group succeeds in limiting its play time.
  #50  
Old 12-20-2016, 11:20 AM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I like that song, and the more the PC Patrol howls, the more I like it.
Now that's the Christmas spirit!
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