Oscars with an ‘F’

Two families I know each have dogs called Oscar. Whenever anyone talks about ‘the Oscars’, I first instinctively think about the two dogs, both of whom are rather charming and intelligent. On the other hand, whenever I watch the ‘Academy Awards’ I don’t always come away with that impression. Too much formula, too much playing safe, too many highly scripted ‘impromptu’ speeches, too many laboured jokes.

Last night’s ceremony did provide some light relief. The awards came in pretty much as anticipated, but one of the awardees broke an absolute American TV convention of never saying the ‘F’ word on air. Melissa Leo, in her acceptance speech on receiving the best actress award for her role in the film The Fighter, said ‘When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so f***ing easy’. Since then she has fallen over herself apologising. It has been good for youtube though, with lots of people putting the clip online.

People watching the ceremony from these parts probably wouldn’t even have noticed. Take a short ride on a Dublin bus, and the ‘F’ word shoots through the air from all sides as if you were in crossfire from expletives-armed machine guns. Actually, it’s not even an expletive any more, it’s just a sentence filler. ‘How are you today?’ – ‘F***ing great!’ – ‘That’s f***king brilliant.’ – ‘I’m getting off the f***ing bus now, goodbye.’ In fact, you kind of feel startled if someone says something without the ‘F’ word.

Maybe we should all be more relaxed, though. Swearing is not something just discovered by this generation, and expletives used in earlier periods of history were often much worse. It would be nice if the wider population could be a bit more original in assembling their sentences, but that’s perhaps a question of education and culture rather than a case for the morals police. In the meantime, Melissa Leo’s career has had a whole additional shot in the arm. That’s one Oscar awarded everyone will remember.

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6 Comments on “Oscars with an ‘F’”

  1. Al Says:

    Just can’t trust someone who is incapable of being vulgar….

  2. anna notaro Says:

    “A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers – as long as they don’t do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be ‘spoken’ to at the end of the lesson.”


  3. wendymr Says:

    I do find the American attitude towards swearing extremely hypocritical. One not-very-famous (at least before last night) actress lets slip one f-word, and it’s headline news on every website and in every newspaper for 24 hours. It’s bigger news than what’s happening in Libya or Obama’s budget negotiations.

    The winner of the Best Film award can’t get a PG13 release because of the two scenes where Colin Firth lets loose a string of f-words and schoolboy swear-words. Apparently, those scenes are now going to be edited.

    And this is in a country where some states allow open as well as concealed carrying of firearms, where obscene and horrible images of foetuses get displayed on billboards, and where quite graphic commercials for products to aid a range of bodily functions are shown on daytime and weekend TV.

    Is it really that much worse for a child – who is unlikely to have been up that late in any case – to hear one four-letter word than to see one of those billboards? If Americans really think so, then – to stick with a theme – they have one fucked-up society.

  4. Jilly Says:

    Not swearing just displays a limited vocabulary.

  5. no-name Says:

    I find swearing vulgar and inappropriate to most discourse.

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