Rage is one of Australia’s most beloved musical institutions. The late-night and early-morning music video marathon is a viewing staple for early-risers, revellers coming back from the clubs, and insomniacs and lunatics of all stripes.
The program notably celebrated its 30th birthday in 2015, which marked 30 years of delivering awesome and often memorable music videos. It also means hosting Rage has been one of the most coveted milestones an Aussie band can achieve for three decades.
But apparently there’s a few viewers out there who aren’t all that chuffed about what they see when they switch on the telly and are greeted with samples from an Iggy Pop song and a stretched-out face creepily saying the word “Ra-a-a-a-ge.”
If you take a look around the official ABC website, you can find a repository of all of the complaints that have been filed against the broadcaster and its programming, including a long list of complaints filed against our favourite music video program.
And seriously, some of them are just ridiculous.
Most of the complaints have to do with a particularly querulous and cantankerous viewer who felt the need to write in because “a music video clip contained inappropriate content for the time at which it was broadcast”.
Sometimes this is fair enough. After all, some people have kids and you don’t want your children switching over to the video for ‘Lap Dance’ by N.E.R.D. (or even worse, ‘Windowlicker’ by Aphex Twin) whilst searching for Saturday morning cartoons.
But in one particular case, a complainant was incensed that the clip for Björk’s ‘Pagan Poetry’ — an intensely avant-garde and arty video which admittedly features the singer simulating fellatio at one point — was shown during the “PG classified portion of Rage“.
When was it broadcast? “Just prior to 5.30am.” If you’re writing in to the ABC to complain about an avant-garde music video that was shown before God gets out of bed, maybe you need to reassess a few of your priorities and your iPhone alarm.
In another case, a viewer was upset by the video for Mötley Crüe’s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, a clip which wasn’t even edgy when it came out in 1987. Apparently cartoon sex is a no-no for some Rage viewers as well.
However, our favourite is a complaint issued against an Ed Sheeran music video. Yes, Ed Sheeran, the beige-est of inoffensive, people-pleasing white noise, was considered an infraction because his clip for ‘The A Team’ was shown at 5.02am.
“The clip was programmed to be broadcast in its entirety within the M/MA15+ timeslot, prior to the changeover to PG at 5.00am. However, it ran over to 5.02am unintentionally due to a late scheduled timing change which pushed the entire program forward,” the ABC response reads.
We don’t want to live on this planet anymore.