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Barrett Brown Writes From Jail About Profanity on the Airwaves

The website Vice has published another letter from Barrett Brown, this one about which lyrics are and are not bleeped on the radio. Side note: someone wondered on Twitter last night why D Magazine is letting Vice publish Barrett’s jailhouse letters. I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve written him. Awhile back, I sent him a book. Pretty sure Wick put some money in his commissary account. But does he ever write or call? No. I feel like a Jewish mother. Anyway, in addition to watching a bunch of bad TV while awaiting trial, Barrett is listening to the radio. From the sound of it, he’s listening to 102.1 The Edge. And he’s having trouble figuring out why certain words get bleeped (or, actually, omitted). A taste:

[L]et’s look at a song by Weezer that appears on the very same station. The song is called “Hash Pipe,” and it is about a hash pipe. It includes the refrain “I got my hash pipe,” and otherwise consists of the vocalist going on and on about the virtues of his precious hash pipe. Unlike the word “pot” [in Sublime’s song “What I Got”], “hash pipe” is not censored at all. So what gives? What was all that bullshit about the kids? Maybe the thinking is: We’re not too worried about kids getting their hands on hash, which after all is pretty exotic. If they’ve got access to hash in the first place, they’re probably already in that phase where they’re hanging out with Arab drug dealers, staying up all night taking acid, and using a Ouija board to communicate with djinn. They’re just, like, on that journey, man, so let it play out. Let it all play out. Probably that’s what the thinking is on that.

Otherwise we’ve got ourselves a big, glaring contradiction.

Man, just read the whole thing. It’s a travesty that Barrett has had to sit in jail for more than a year, but the experience has only sharpened his wit. Of course, getting off the heroin helps, too.

  • Greg Brown

    The prisons are full of sociopathic drug addicts. But this one can write well. Tell me again why I should care about him?

  • Greg Brown

    The prisons are full of sociopathic drug addicts. But this one can apparently write well. Tell me again why I should care about him?

  • Ted

    Because, unlike those others, D Magazine and FrontBurner can make money and blog traffic from him.

  • Tim Rogers

    You have exposed our secret. D Magazine is a for-profit operation, and our business model includes drawing web traffic.

    But also: I figure people care because Barrett is a Dallas dude and because I profiled him at length in 2011.

  • Michael Martinez

    “It’s a travesty that Barrett has had to sit in jail for more than a year…”

    It’s a travesty that so many of his supporters intentionally omit the fact that he is in jail because he threatened to shoot law enforcement agents doing their jobs.