||Watching Our @*!#*$&^! Language
by Mad Dog
The Movie Index, a company that has nothing
better to do than sit around and count the swear words in movies has announced that
"South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" has more profanity per minute (PPM)
than any other movie.
||Theres little question that
were turning into a foul mouth bunch. Its nothing to turn on the TV and hear
prime time sitcom characters telling each other that they suck. Or David Letterman doing
his best to conjugate the word ass at least once in every sentence. Or even see billboards
and newspaper ads for an airline named after an untouched babe using the word shag more
ways than Tracy Lordsor even the House of Lordshas done it.
"Are you freakin sure its worse
than before?" youre asking as you look up from an ad for Safeguard in the new
mouth-sized bar. In a word, yes. And we now have documented scientific proof, much like we
do that drinking in moderation is good for the heart and there can never be too many TV
newsmagazines. Or a more obvious oxymoron.
The Movie Index, a company that has nothing better to do than
sit around and count the swear words in moviesa job, incidentally, which I was born
to havehas announced that "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" has
more profanity per minute (PPM) than any other movie they know of: 399 naughty words in 80
minutes. Thats almost five cusswords per minute, or one every twelve seconds. You
dont hear that much swearing at the Tourettes Syndrome Annual Awards Banquet.
"Pulp Fiction", much to my surprise, only has a PPM
of 2.66. True, there are more obscenities in that movie than in South Park411 to be
exactbut its also twice as long. When they release the full-length really
uncut South Park movie there could be as many as 798 nasty words in two hours, which is
even more than were recorded last December when the doors opened at Toys R Us and 3,645
mothers found out there were only two Furbys to fight over and the manager and
security guard had already snapped them up.
Some wise guys started a site at www.gwbush.com that satirizes
Geroge Bush. In response, he declared, "There ought to be limits to freedom."
Luckily theres no limit to our freedom to choose who to vote for.
|| Dont get me
wrong, Im not complaining. Hell, most of the people I knowand that includes
myself, who I know fairly welltalk like that all the time. Well, not all the time.
After all, most of us have a very good language governor, which is the mechanism that
kicks in and adjusts our vocabulary when were around someones parents, at a
job interview, or asking passersby for spare change. Well, at least until theyre out
Its important to watch what you say,
especially if youre in Michigan or around Walter Cronkite. A while back inyes,
MichiganTimothy Boomer was convicted of cursing in front of children, something
every parent this side of Amish country has done at least daily. In Howard Sterns
book, "Private Parts", which I recently read thanks to its being on the $1.98
hardbound rack in a Goodwill store, he talks about the time Walter Cronkite reamed out
Stuttering John for using the word "friggin" in a question he posed to the
newsman. Obviously Walter doesnt live in the real world with the rest of us, much
like when then-president George Bush was amazed to discover that in the grocery store they
pass your purchases over a little red light whichwill wonders never
cease?causes the price to ring up automatically.
Now his son, whos running for president on a platform of
being a legacy, is following in dads clueless footsteps. Even though he bought up a
reported 60 Internet domain names to stop people from starting websites like bushsucks.com
and bushbites.com, he managed to miss the obvious. Some wise guys started one at www.gwbush.com
that satirizes him. In response, this potential Chief Executive in Charge of Upholding
Truth, Justice, and the American Way declared, "There ought to be limits to
freedom." Luckily theres no limit to our freedom to choose who to vote for.
One of the great joys in life is watching Blazing Saddles on TBS because its
perilously close to being a silent movie. They actually show the campfire farting scene
without any sound! Now thats funny.
|| It turns out that
young George isnt the only one trying to corner the market on nasty web site names.
Until recently Internic, the people who doled out domain names, wouldnt allow
cusswords to be included. But now that they no longer have the exclusive rights to hand
out names anything goes. According to one company, 75 percent of their business is in
names like @^!(@*%&^!.com, and you can be assured that site wont be distributing
new type fonts.
Its true, people swear a lot. Some of
them even swear at the TV networks for taking their favorite cuss words out of movies.
While this can often ruin a good movie, remember that you still have the option of going
to see it in a theater, renting it in its full glory, or yelling the words out yourself.
Each of the networks has its own set of standards, which is
why one stations damn is another ones darn. Possibly the all-time bleepfest
champion is TBS, which keeps things so squeaky clean that they edit out any word that
cant be found in a Dr. Seuss book and a few that can. One of the great joys in life
is watching Blazing Saddles on TBS because its perilously close to being a silent
movie. Anyone who hasnt seen the original wouldnt even realize its a
comedy. Picture this: they actually show the campfire farting scene without any sound! Now
Maybe we should clean up our language, but it wont be
easy. After all, the new Lonely Planet British Phrase Book says that "In England,
there are so many people whose speech is so dependent on the word fuck, theyre
virtually dumbstruck without it." Face it, if the Mother Tongue has turned into the
Motherfucking Tongue, what hope do we have?
©1999 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them, but try not to curse while you do.