Tag Archives: obscenity

Do fuckfriends offend you?

Ad from Tuesday Gazette's Page A5 (click for full image)

Ad from Tuesday Gazette's Page A5 (click for full image)

On Tuesday, for World AIDS Day, a full-page ad appeared in the Gazette that was designed to catch attention and promote safe sex. On the background of six really long condoms were over 200 fake personal classified ads, some flirty but others raunchy or crude, promoting anonymous sex but also safe sex. Many mentioned condoms being a must, or made vague references to cleanliness and “safe”-ness.

Three of the more ... graphic of the ads

Three of the more ... graphic of the ads

Although AIDS awareness campaigns are almost always designed to shock with this kind of crudeness, having it right up front of the A section of a newspaper was a bit much for some readers, who have sent in letters to complain, particularly about the unmangled use of F-words:”long fucks”, “seeks fuckfriend”, “gang bangs”, “want to fuck now and again”, “meal & fuck session over the holidays”, “fuckfest”, etc.

You had to scan a while to find the first one, and they’re in the minority, but you can imagine some underage children having a few giggles (and scratching their heads).

Was it too much? Should the ad have been partially censored? Or is our collective Victorian attitude toward sex a small price ot pay to prevent people from getting a horrible disease? (One might argue that people’s naive delusions about sex are part of the problems AIDS battlers face.)

For me, I’m just impressed the creators of this ad came up with over 200 fake classifieds without repeating them.

Big media won’t touch girls, cup

WARNING: Don’t read the following post if you’re eating, you’re under 18 or you’ve ever cringed at anything in your life.

Name a YouTube sensation or Internet meme and there are mainstream media articles about it. TV news, desperate for attention-grabbing video, will run whatever people are watching online and try to explain why it’s so popular. Newspaper lifestyle writers, desperate for some new sociological situation to discuss, look behind the meme to find something about our lives that’s changed in recent years. The rest just want to convince readers, viewers and listeners that they’re hip to the Internet and aren’t being left behind in the mad rush to the Web.

But there’s one Internet meme that mainstream media hasn’t touched yet, and for very good reason: They just can’t show the video on television.

For the few of you who don’t already know what I’m talking about, I’m going to choose my words carefully. Because despite the warning at the beginning of this post, there are people with a sense of decency who read this blog regularly (e.g. my mother, her mother).

The video in question is called “2 girls 1 cup”. It’s a pornographic fetish video created by a Brazillian pornographer, and billed as the most disgusting set of moving images ever produced. Basically it’s two women eating their own feces and vomit out of a cup.

The Internet meme isn’t so much the video itself, which even YouTube won’t allow posted to its website. Rather, it’s the reaction videos, videos of people watching it for the first time and the horrified, disgusted looks on their faces when the tame lesbian porn turns into … gross.

It’s gotten to the point where those reaction videos themselves are being spoofed (see the Kermit version — and again remember the warning above), and others who are trying to leverage the video’s infamy to gain some fame of their own are going so far as to create music referencing it:

But still, mainstream media is silent. A gay magazine here, a college newspaper there. Maybe a spoof article.

Have we finally crossed that line that big media won’t follow? Have they finally drawn a line in the sand and said this is so offensive that they won’t dignify it with even a passing reference?

If so, perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps it will cause some people in the news business to rethink their approach to coverage that picks up on Internet memes at the expense of wars, politics, science and all those other boring topics that don’t drive up ratings numbers they can sell to advertisers.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps they’ll just show the reaction videos and hope they can tell the story without showing the original or even mentioning its name.

Anyone want to take any bets on how low the media is going to go on this?

Is “fuck” gratuitous?

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that a live TSN interview with junior hockey star Jonathan Toews violated the industry’s voluntary obscenity standards because he uttered the F-bomb moments after his team won the gold medal at the world junior hockey championships.

Specifically, he said (emphasis mine):

Oh, it’s unbelievable. It’s a great feeling. You know, we’ve come, uh, overcome so much and, uh, you know, tonight was a battle from start to finish and we did a fucking great job.

The decision was not unanimous. Two of the seven council members dissented, arguing that TSN should not have reasonably predicted that a hockey player would swear on live television.

TSN won’t be forced to pay any fine, but they do have to broadcast the decision in prime-time.

In general, Canadian television is expected to restrict use of obscene language between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., when children tend to be watching. But even then there’s some wiggle room. The council also distinguishes between thoughtful use of these words and gratuitous uses.

Which brings me to my question: Is “fuck” gratuitous in this context? Is there another word that would more properly convey his feelings at this point?

I’m always frustrated that professional athletes, even after they win world championships, bite their tongues in front of the cameras. They talk about how great a game their opponents played, how this was a team effort, how the coach helped a lot, how honoured they are. When they’re asked how they feel, the response tends to be a throw-away “oh it’s great”. This problem is likely only to get worse as a result of this decision, which also urges broadcasters to ask athletes to watch their language before live interviews.

Jonathan Toews’s use of the word “fucking” is a breath of fresh air. It’s not gratuitous, it’s insightful. It’s news.