certain parts of your comment may include inappropriate language

ROLLING STONE REJECTED MY COMMENT! I re­ceived today’s copy of the Rolling Stone Daily newsletter (Feb­ruary 26, 2021) and there was an ar­ticle ti­tled “Hear the Beach Boys Re­unite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day’.” When I tried to leave a com­ment on that piece, it was re­jected for “in­ap­pro­priate language.”

The en­semble singing this lovely fifty-year-old song in­cluded Beach Boys Al Jar­dine, Bruce John­ston, Mike Love, and David Marks along with family mem­bers and friends. As the video’s opening credits read “Om­ni­vore Record­ings and Cal­i­fornia Music™ Present Add Some Music To Your Day,” I as­sume that this gath­ering of the tribes for this project is under the guise of Cal­i­fornia Music rather than as the Beach Boys.

“This ar­ticle is not about the Beach Boys but about the un­pred­itictability of some web­sites’ re­stric­tions on lan­guage in sub­mit­ting comments.

And—lo and behold—I was im­pressed with the recording, some­thing that I can’t say about much of any­thing that the Beach Boys have done in decades! This in­cludes al­most every­thing the group has re­leased since the KEEPIN’ THE SUMMER ALIVE album of 1980, which had some fine tracks on it. So I wrote a lengthy com­ment and tried to submit it to the Rolling Stone website.

Here is what I submitted:


The world could come to­gether as one

“The Beach Boys’ 1970 album SUNFLOWER is one of my all-time fav­erave al­bums and Add Some Music To Your Day is one of the album’s many high points. It had been re­leased as a single prior to the album but was ig­nored by vir­tu­ally every AM and FM radio sta­tion in the country.

Back in the early ’70s, I used to plop this down on the stereo when­ever I had friends over and had gotten them ap­pro­pri­ately high. Of course, I never told them I was gonna play the Beach Boys as that would have turned them off as the group was in bad odor at the time. I just played the album and let them get into the music.

“The world could come to­gether as one if every­body under the sun would add some music to your day.”

The album’s opener, Slip On Through, didn’t sound any­thing like any pre­vious Beach Boys record and usu­ally sucked my un­ex­pecting lis­teners into the album’s warm em­brace. I be­lieve that every­body I played it for fell in love with it!

I also be­lieve that my playing it led sev­eral friends to go out and buy a copy! This prob­ably drove sales into the double digits in Wilkes-Barre, Penn­syl­vania, in 1970 alone!

This new 2021 ver­sion by var­ious Beach Boys along with family mem­bers and friends is a lovely recre­ation of the orig­inal, even though the video is me­an­dering and kinda hokey.”


I ended the com­ment with three lines from the song’s lyrics: “The world could come to­gether as one if every­body under the sun would add some music to your day.”

 

Inappropriate Language: front cover of the Beach Boys' SUNFLOWER album from 1970.
Re­leased in Au­gust 1970, SUNFLOWER was the strongest and most “com­mer­cial” Beach Boys album since PET SOUNDS in 1966. Nonethe­less, it was ig­nored by most record buyers in the US, be­coming the group’s lowest-selling reg­ular album to that date. Per­son­ally, it is one of my fav­er­avest al­bums of all-time!

Community Guidelines

I re­ceived an au­to­matic mes­sage: “Your com­ment has been re­jected as it does not align with our Com­mu­nity Guide­lines.” The re­jec­tion no­tice had a link that led me to those guide­lines. Here are the Rolling Stone Com­mu­nity Guide­lines for posting com­ments on their website:


Wel­come to Rolling Stone Community!

Our com­mu­nity is about con­necting people through open and thoughtful con­ver­sa­tions. We want our readers to share their views and ex­change ideas in a safe space.

In order to do so, we’ve cre­ated a simple set of rules that will im­prove your experience.

Simply put, keep it civil.

Your post will/might be re­jected if it contains:

•  Spam
•  In­sults, pro­fanity, in­co­herent, ob­scene or in­flam­ma­tory lan­guage and threats of any kind
•  At­tacks on the iden­tity of other com­menters or the article’s author

User ac­counts will/might be blocked if we notice:

•  Con­tin­uous at­tempts to re-post com­ments that have been pre­vi­ously moderated/rejected
•  Racist, sexist, or ho­mo­phobic comments
•  At­tempts or tac­tics that put the site se­cu­rity at risk

So, how can you be a power user?

•  Stay on topic and share your pas­sion. Feel free to elab­o­rate to get your point across.
• 
‘Like’ or ‘Dis­like’ when you are filled with emotions!
• 
Pro­tect your com­mu­nity. Use the re­port tool to alert us when someone breaks the rules.

Thanks for reading our com­mu­nity guide­lines. Don’t forget, freedom of speech is not the freedom of reach! 


Need­less to say, I was baf­fled as the words and sen­tences in my com­ment did not seem to breach any of the site’s rules.

 

Inappropriate Language: the Beach Boys' "Add Some Music To Your Day" single from 1970.
The Beach Boys’ Add Some Music To Your Day (backed with the ex­e­crable Susie Cincin­nati on Reprise 0894) was re­leased in Feb­ruary 1970. It re­ceived little air­play and pooped out at #49 on Cash Box while only reaching #64 on Bill­board. Three other sin­gles were pulled from the SUNFLOWER album, none of which even reached the Top 100 of ei­ther survey.

Your comment has been rejected 

Nothing in my com­ment could be con­strued by a rea­son­able person as being spam, in­sulting, pro­fane, ob­scene, in­flam­ma­tory, threat­ening, racist, sexist, ho­mo­phobic, or an at­tack on an­other person. At least, that’s what I thought! So, I looked for what could be causing the rejection.

Could the ’60s slang term fav­erave be mis­taken for my en­cour­aging the use of an il­legal drug and sug­gesting readers par­take in raves? I changed it to fa­vorite and sub­mitted the com­ment a second time.

It was re­jected again.

My state­ment that “I had friends over and had gotten them ap­pro­pri­ately high” could cer­tainly be read as my en­cour­aging the use of mar­i­juana, even if it was a “drug” now legal in many states? I deleted that whole line and sub­mitted the com­ment a third time.

And it was re­jected again.

My wife read it and said “Maybe it doesn’t like you calling the video ‘hokey’,” so I changed hokey to charming and sub­mitted the com­ment a fourth time.

And it was re­jected yet again!

After the fourth re­jec­tion, I re­ceived a second mes­sage, this one alerting me that con­tinued sub­mis­sion of pre­vi­ously re­jected com­ments could lead the web­site to be­lieve I was ma­li­ciously trying to hack the site. (Un­for­tu­nately, I didn’t copy the mes­sage and so I cannot paste it here.)

 

Inappropriate Language: front cover of Rolling Stone magazine Rolling Stone #94 from October 28, 1971, with the Beach Boys.
Rolling Stone #94, which was cover-dated Oc­tober 28, 1971, was the first time the then-hip mag­a­zine gave the cover to the very unhip Beach Boys. The group’s new album, SURF’S UP, was about to make them ap­pear some­what hip for the first time since 1967. Un­for­tu­nately, this new hip­ness was temporary.

More inappropriate language

The next day (Feb­ruary 27, 2021), and I again at­tempted to post my com­ment without any new changes. This time I re­ceived a new mes­sage: “Cer­tain parts of your com­ment may in­clude in­ap­pro­priate lan­guage. Please re­vise to take part in the con­ver­sa­tion.

I thought maybe “sucked my un­ex­pecting lis­teners into the album’s warm em­brace” may have been the of­fending line. So I changed that phrase to “my un­ex­pecting lis­teners found them­selves in the album’s warm em­brace” and—Voila—I was in!

As I have al­ways viewed sucking as a good thing—indeed, a very good thing!—I have never used it in the slang sense of it being in­sulting (“You suck!” “That sucks!” etc.). Hence it’s being “in­ap­pro­priate” didn’t dawn on me at first.

As my Daddy al­ways told me to look for the silver lining in every dark cloud, here the silver lining was to turn a re­jected com­ment into a (hope­fully) en­ter­taining and ed­u­ca­tional article.

To read the ar­ticle “Hear the Beach Boys Re­unite on Charity Re-Recording of ‘Add Some Music to Your Day'” and see the com­ments sec­tion, click here.

 

Inappropriate Language: front cover of Rolling Stone magazine Rolling Stone #95 from November 11, 1971, with the second part of Beach Boys article.
Rolling Stone #95, which was cover-dated No­vember 11, 1971, con­tained the second part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Beach Boys while de­voting the cover to the first part of Hunter Thompson’s in­cred­ibly hip and now-legendary “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.” Un­like the Beach Boys, Thompson’s hip­ness was permanent.

The heart of the American dream

Fi­nally, if these guide­lines had been in ef­fect for con­trib­u­tors to Rolling Stone mag­a­zine fifty years ago, Hunter Thompson would have had to find an­other pub­lisher for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

Hell, he might not have found an­other pub­lisher willing to take a savage journey to the heart of the Amer­ican Dream in 1971.

And that def­i­nitely would have sucked!

Get­ting a well-intentioned and seem­ingly in­nocuous com­ment past many web­sites' overly sen­si­tive and pos­sibly 'po­lit­i­cally cor­rect' au­to­mated bar­riers can be a baf­fling and frus­trating ex­pe­ri­ence. Click To Tweet

Inappropriate Language: photo of Mike Love from video for "Add Some Music to Your Day" in 2021.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is from the opening frames of the video for the Cal­fornia Music ver­sion of Add Some Music To Your Day. The lead vocal lines are shared by four men with Mike Love as the first singer fol­lowed by Al Jar­dine, Bruce John­ston, and Matt Jar­dine. As the video was pieced to­gether from in­di­vidual videos shot in dif­ferent lo­ca­tions, there is no photo where the four are singing to­gether. As Love is the most vi­su­ally ap­pealing of the four singers—if only for the shirt—his image is at the top of this page. 

 

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I’m glad you stuck with it. Ob­vi­ously, no human be­ings were in­volved in the re­view of your sub­mis­sion. Ah, for the good old days! I never got past Pet Sounds by the way, al­though Carl Wilson’s solo al­bums are sup­posed to be pretty good.

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