Will you upload this season recap?

Yesterday, our team (5990) finished our season recap. It looked pretty good and we liked all the editing.
One problem that came to mind is that our song choice, “American Idiot”, might be offensive.
We are not sure whether we should upload the recap or not, so I wanted to hear CD’s opinion.

  • Upload the recap, the song is fine
  • Scrap the recap and don’t upload it
0 voters

If you are worried that the song is offensive because of its title don’t be.

If you are worried because of the language used; cursing and the use of a really strong slur, I think your worry is justified.

Whether the radio edit which cuts both of these things out would be ok is above my pay-grade and there are instrumental versions of the song which cuts the singer out entirely. Although I will say I would have my students pick a different song.

To be clear this is not about my personal feelings on the song/album. I actually suggested to use a version of a song from said album in our 2015 reveal video.

For everyone who has already voted (6 people all saying do it) why? Cursing is one thing but the slur is quite another.


So you would say using a censored version would be better?

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Why have you selected that song? The song in question is blatantly a protest song. It uses some offensive language, but all in the context of making a few strong points. If there a reason you selected this song for this video? If so, play on. If it’s arbitrary, the language might be colorful for some.

It’s certainly a song that would NOT get played at competition, so there’s that.


That’s a terrible song choice for a recap video. Especially for a non-US team. Just remember most people don’t actually take into account what a song means, they just take lyrics at face value.


I’d argue most people don’t pay attention to the lyrics at all


I would probably avoid using this song as the soundtrack for an FRC video for a variety of reasons. But it should be noted that Green Day took a lot of flak from fans and critics alike when they released this album, so it’s a given that people will read different meanings into this song, not all of them positive.

I know from my own experience that the soundtrack becomes an integral part of any video, but have you considered substituting a different song? The Ramones “Rock and Roll High School” is about the same rhythm and tempo and might be less likely to provoke unintended controversy. I’m sure there are many other songs in the punk genre that would fit.


We didn’t mean to choose this song as any type of protest or anything.
Our editor chose this song because it was catchy and didn’t notice the lyrics and idea of the song until after he finished editing.


I initially voted fine, but rescinded my vote after thinking about it more. Aside from some dated lyrics, the song kinda hits different when presented “without context” if you aren’t either (Green Day) or (American)*. If my students were all about it I’d probably highly suggest they pivot.

* To me, presenting it without context from an American perspective implies the “idiots” being talked about, without context from elsewhere the implication feels different. :man_shrugging:

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Maybe you can put an award announcement when they say the slur so it wont be heard?

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This seems intentionally provocative; it’s hard to imagine there was no thought behind this song choice other than it’s “catchy.”


Don’t throw out the work, just dub an instrumental version over it.


It doesn’t look like there’s something I can say that’ll change your mind, but there was no bad intention and the editor just didn’t know.


The other thing to keep in mind, I have had certain recap songs auto hit by YouTube. So you might need to worry about YouTube flagging or removing the video. Also if your account is set to certain audience and settings it may have issues.

A good option is usually copyright free music. @Tyler_Olds what’s the site you’ve mentioned you usually use?

I like this idea. You don’t have to throw out all the work you put into matching the video to the timing of the song, but you avoid any of the connotations of the meaning of the song. Even with the slur censored, it’s a bit odd to use a political protest song to recap your season. Saying this as a huge fan of Green Day, especially that album.


I wouldn’t go that far. When you grow up with a song, especially when you’re first introduced to it before you have any context for it, it’s easy to not think much about the meaning of the lyrics.

(EDIT: especially to someone for whom English isn’t their first language, which is the case for most Israelis.)

A great example of this is how “Born in the USA” is often used at political rallies despite being somewhat of an anti-establishment protest song.

Another, maybe even more relevant example is how there are plenty of songs not on FIRST’s DNP list because they are older and people don’t think much about their lyrics. Some examples that I’ve definitely heard at competitions whose lyrics would make you blush if you put them on a song that came out today:

  • Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Leppard

  • Super Freak - Rick James

  • Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!! - Vengaboys

  • Call Me - Blondie

  • Physical - Olivia Newton-John

In fact, there are 0 songs from the 1980’s on FIRST’s Do Not Play list. So I think it’s fair to assume that a song older than virtually all FIRST students might have it’s meaning taken for granted in the same way students at a competition don’t think about the meaning of Super Freak :slight_smile:


Redub with Weird Al’s Canadian Idiot. Same music. Might be offensive to people who consume a lot of Kraft Dinner or drive Zambonis.


Not to mention, what the song is protesting (US contribution to Middle Eastern conflicts and the information war surrounding it) could be interpreted as a current-day political statement, especially coming from a team undoubtedly affected by recent events. It’s definitely worth discussing if this is a statement your team wants to make - it would be powerful, but could be controversial if someone really wanted to make a big deal out of it.


I’d use another song.
If you plan on using this media in a public platform to promote your team, using any violent content is usually a bad idea.
Best case scenario - no one cares about the music
Worst case scenario - the team is associated with violent content and takes damage

I take you don’t want to recreate the MA reveal fiasco

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