in 1985, the music industry, more specifically, the RIAA, started marking albums (these were the days of vinyl records) with
then came the age of the CD, and the stickers survived, this time being affixed to the jewel cases. this was more annoying, because they were harder to remove (at least some of them), but on the other hand you could just get a new jewel case, if you really wanted to get rid of the sticker.
the came the age of the MP3. amazon.com now sells MP3, which is great, because i can download music without using Apple's DRM-crippled iTunes store. instead of getting a physical album cover or case, i get all music tagged with ID3 tags, so that MP3 players can use this information. what happens to the stickers? they are reborn as crippled tags, so if you buy an album that has such a sticker, the album title and all song titles have ID3 tags that say
Title [Explicit]. only if you buy the censored version you get clean ID3 tags (here is an example). editing ID3 tags is possible, but i really don't see why i have to fix that data after buying the regular version of an album.
more importantly, this establishes censored versions as the canonical version, whereas the original version is tagged as being a deviant version. this presents the way the music is produced and then crippled for concerned parents as if it were the other way around: first the censored version is produced, and then a deviant version for non-decent consumers.
if i were an artist, i would object to sell censored songs in the first place. if for some reason i would have to agree to it, however, i would demand to tag the jesusland versions with
Title [Censored] and use non-crippled tags for the original versions.
while this might seems like a minor issue (and in itself it is), it is one more example of how the moral majority uses language in a very smart way to establish the baseline of the public discourse.
P.S.: the clean way of course would be to not embed the rating in text fields anyway. ID3 seems to have such a field (or not? comments appreciated...), but since support across various applications may vary,
encoding the rating as text is probably regarded as the more robust way of doing it.