The latest scandal shocking Australia is the revelation that a previous Prime Minister used words which, as far as I know, haven’t appeared on the ABC Drum as yet. Well, let me be the first. For those easily shocked, move outside your room and close the door. Lock up your children and keep away all girls under sixteen and /or unmarried women. The word, and here it comes……f u c k…….
Unbelievably, we are still here, undamaged and much the same as before that word. No sword or hell-fire has struck us down. Open the doors and let in some fresh air. Phew!
We must all have heard on the news that our previous PM, Mr. Kevin Rudd has uttered swear words in front of a camera. Dear oh dear, what has the world come to? Saying those ‘unseemly’ words have always been a difficult issue, especially in Anglo countries. In the fifties and even sixties, swearing was common between men. But as far as doing it in front of a woman, it was definitely a no, no. Strange that swearing then was so delineated between the sexes. If swearing was vulgar, unseemly and a bad thing to use in our language, why was it perfectly alright between men but not in front of a woman? Of course now, 2012, women have heard those words and are very happy to swear amongst each other and in front of men as well.
Of course, those words such as fuck, cnut, ( see, even now I am cautious) dick, balls, tits and others have had some kind of liberation recently, they have been set free, unshackled by the conventions of a society which believed that those words should never be used except between men only and even then preferably only in pubs or factories. Never in polite company, and never in front of ‘ladies’. But, lately and especially on the television and… especially… on the ABC television, those ‘naughty’ words have become almost the norm. Who can forget the run those words enjoyed on Chris Lilley’s “Angry Boys” with the Dunt twins Daniel & Nathan Sims and their prison officer grandmother Gran.. And as recent as some weeks ago we were treated to the same words on the start of the TV series “The Straits” and before that with “The Slap”. We loved those series, lapped up all the words including the four letter ones.
Of course the king-hit of the four letter word usage, unrivalled anywhere ever, would have to be the BBC’s political TV comedy drama “The Thick of It”. I believe that the success of those series was very much if not entirely due to the exquisite use, and hence our enjoyments, of the expletives. The odd thing is that even though bad language is used in all those series, it isn’t actually offensive. In fact, without the high level of bad language, the series would have been a lot less successful.
We claim that times have moved on, but have they? The triviality of a person having used expletives still deemed to be newsworthy seems to prove that the issue of some words being less palatable than others still exists. It is worth noting that those feared swear words in the Anglo world usually consist of vulgar forms of naming genitals or sex while in the languages of Europe, swearing is mainly in the domain of religion, calling down the devil and eternal hell fire etc, seeking the gods to vent their fury on our enemy…Why is it that so many expletives in English have sexual connotations? There is a lot still there to ponder about.
The video uploaded on YouTube containing Kevin Rudd’s swearwords is now seen as being the final act and catalyst in a predicted forthcoming challenge to the leadership. It’s whispered to have come from both sides, those opposing Rudd to the leadership from the present government side together with those on the pro-Rudd side of politics. It is just proof that whatever happens in the next few weeks, those four letter words still contain a mighty punch. There are going to be some awful weeks ahead of us. Fuck!
The media, as ever, has been braying for a leadership spill ever since Rudd was removed. They must be swirling and jumping around like besotted dervishes in what is to come, a dance macabre if ever there was.