Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Fuckwit

When Lara Bingle starred in an Australian Tourism advertisement and asked the rest of the world "Where the bloody hell are you?" The Brit's bit their stiff upper lips and objected to the 'language' used to promote a country where we 'go to "Wangabloodyratta to shoot kangabloodyroos". They weren't the only country to object to the light-hearted Aussie ad trying to encourage tourism to our fair shores and many changed the 'wording' so as to edit out that awful word.

What do you think? It's not actually screened in Australia. Offensive?

So it seemed a little precious when the usual whingeing Aussie minority on their moral high ground started jumping up and down about Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares which incidentally screen each week on commercial free-to-air TV in Australia. Actually DrummerBoy and I enjoy, particularly Kitchen Nightmares where Gordy takes on the useless and the hopeless and turns their businesses into something viable, even if he does shout at the staff and colour up a few home truths with the 'f' word. Apparently this week he dropped the big 'C' which is just not done darlink. Goodness knows why, Chaucer had no problem with either word!

Upset by the colourful celebrity chef's expletive-ridden tirades, a Senate committee into swearing on television has recommended possible changes to broadcasting standards. Australian broadcasting standards are very liberal after about 8:30 at night where sex and swearing are commonplace and remain uncensored. Shows such as Six Feet Under, The L Word, Oz, and other's are broadcast with impunity. As so they should. All little darlings should be well tucked in their beddy bies by 8:30 or at least parentally supervised so that they aren't exposed to the same language they use in the playground or learn that when they walk in on mummy and daddy in a clinch they're really not practising their life saving skills. Hey, there's always Dancing with the Stars or a plethora of crappy American crime shows!

The Senate's environment, communications and arts committee examined the issue after Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi took offence at Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, he clearly didn't 'get' the title of Ramseys earlier series "The F Word". Senator Bernardi today said one episode had contained "the F-word" 80 times in its 40 minutes. "And I'm not referring to fondue," he said. Gotta love a polly who can stick a joke into a serious press release.

The report, unanimously endorsed by the committee, recommended parental lock-out systems should be made an industry standard for all digital televisions sold in Australia. Oh for goodness sake . . The report also recommended broadcasters should consider permanently displaying the classification symbol of a program on screen. Australian Broadcaster's warn their audience by posting such things as :

"This program contains explicit sex scenes, violence and frequent coarse language" or

"This program contains images and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders who are now deceased"

What they should say is

"There's a load of sex and swearing on this next program so if you don't like it, turn your telly off!"
Apparently, submissions Senate Committees time were offended by the way Ramsay directed his language towards restaurant staff rather than the type of language he used. I actually agree with this. I don't know but if any of you have been a dish pig in a restaurant, the scene can be pretty dour with or without bad language. Our local Restaurateur has been in the area for 25 years and hasn't managed to keep one apprentice for their entire term! He's managed to piss them off without the use of expletives. It's the 'bullying' aspect that people don't like, in a country where every other word is punctuated by a profanity. We don't mind swearing, we just don't like bullying . . . it's Ok to say 'Fuck that shit!" meaning 'You're joking aren't you?" or "I don't believe that!" But to say "Fuck you then!" or "Fuck off" or " You're a fucking idiot" is likely to spark a stoush. So basically it's not what you say that offends, it's how you say it.

So Gordy . . fling the 'f' word around at your leisure but be careful how you use it. We love a good barney but we hate a bully! There, that should cut your 80 'f' words in 40 minutes to about 50! And what's with the pencil behind the ear?

Now it's Friday and I have fuck all to do tonight so I hope there's something blue on TV! Have a bloody good weekend!

Gentleman with ABC voice over says

"This video contains frequent coarse language, viewing by young viewers is not recommended"


Anonymous said...

Personally I object to words like f*** and c*** being used as swear words because of the association between sex and violence, but as you say, isn't bullying far more objectionable than someone swearing? And I bet the Oz authorities do as little about bullying generally as they do in the UK. It's rampant in every area of society.

Our kiddies are protected for an extra half hour until the "watershed" at 9 pm. But the stuff before then is hardly whiter than white. And don't tell me they never watch TV after 9.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Baino,

Inflationary rules apply to bad language as to currency - the more you have in circulation, the less they are worth.

Normal conversation is now so dotted with expletives that they have come to mean nothing.

Gordon Ramsay is just boorish.

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

I found Ramsey amusing for a couple of early episodes of earlier shows. Now he just abuses people for the ratings and it's boring.

Expletives have become a way just to add emphasis and you're right become less shocking and add less emphasis the more they are used.

'Bloody' is considered an expletive?

Unknown said...

The trouble with GR is that he seems to do it more for effect than anything else these days. It's become expected that he cuss and swear and frankly, I think it just gets a bit over the top - and I find the man a bore (and a boor) as a result - which is a pity, because he's damned fine chef.

Baino said...

Nick: Must admit I'm a bit of a potty mouth at times. As far as kids watching TV, that's a parental responsibility, I object to the government getting involved.

Ian: True that. I don't think I've watched enough of him for his novelty to have worn off yet. Frankly, I don't notice it much sad indictment on Aussie vernacular I know!

Quicky: I'm not a regular watcher so in small doses, I quite enjoy it. Not in Oz but apparently the brits didn't like it!

AV absolutely, it's become his trademark. It's the bullying of his 'apprentices' I don't like. Smacks of arrogance. Apparently he's quite a decent soul under the skin. I prefer Jamie Oliver myself. (Plus his recipes are easier!)

kj said...

hello baino, i really like the australian commercial--every bit of it. as for ramsay, i detest that kind of disrespectful bullying in any form. i think it desensitizes kids and adults to this and other forms of violence.

i'm cool, but i'm a refined sort of cool (at least i like to think so).

thought provoking post.take care!


kj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am quite the potty mouth and loving it! But not in front of the kiddiwinks. However, my kids ARE tucked up in bed by 8.30, not so much because of GR but because of other unsuitable shows that emphasise violence and adult themes - in fact, the news can be one of the most distressing shows I've seen in a long time! We've recently had parents starving their babies - it took a week for them to die yet no-one noticed! - and thats REAL LIFE. Stupid Pollie - Stupid rule, get your kids in bed early and they'll be happier during the day, perform better in school, sport and be generally a pleasure to be around.As for the aussie ad - I loved it!

Baino said...

Hi KJ sadly it has become his trademark! Mind you, that sort of bullying is a deliberate tactic in the army for instance, dehumanises the grunts so that they obey orders and learn submission. . .I'm more your 'positive' reinforcer actually and despite the potty mouth . . I'm pretty refined - not sure about cool.

Babysis: I'm with you. My kids were in bed at 8:30 on a school night unless soccer training or the like made it a tad later. And if pollies want to do something really constructive they should get DOCS into some sort of shape!

I liked the Aussie ad because it's so typical. It really captures what we're like and the sense of humour. Didn't go down to well in Indonesia! They don't mind blowing people up but apparently don't like to swear! How's the hypocrasy in that!

Anonymous said...

I'm bloody late so will shutup. I would have been grounded when a kid saying that sentence. My kids argue that they aren't swear words...

Unknown said...

Hmm. Totally agree with the bullying aspect. I like GR but how he treats people is disgusting.

Am also a terribly potty mouth, although I don't consider bloody swearing at all, but my God you would die if you went to a GAA match here in Ireland - all sorts of kids on the touchline and the whole game is littered with 'get the f*cking ball you f*cking c*nt!!!' etc. Some of the kids playing about on the pitch afterwards were emulating their heroes with the same sort of choice language. When I mentioned it to some of the spectators they said that c*nt doesn't have the same connotations as it does in the UK. Er, pardon, you mean it's not foul, derogatory and completely unacceptable here then?!