In the last few decades, most of the legendary “Seven words you can’t say on television” (as suggested by George Carlin channeling Lenny Bruce) have been allowed in one form or another, but there’s still one unholy word that all hold sacred whether they choose to use it or not. If you can’t handle the word, do not see this film and, please, stop reading now. Yes, THAT word… rhymes with “truck.”
Steve Anderson’s documentary explores the origins of a word that everyone knows and almost everyone has used (and the ones who deny it are all lying). From its humble but unknown beginnings and rumored origins, it has its evil influenced in everything: politics, music, television, comedy, cable, radio, and more. While smug upper-class types condemn the word as proof of lower class and lack of imagination, those who embrace the word point to its power due to those who refuse to use it and remain adamant to being offended by it. Bit by bit, it keeps creeping into our everyday usage by pornographers and presidents alike; is there nothing that can be done to stop, “The WORD?”
While a very complete and wonderfully entertaining piece, it’s all to obvious that the interviews and supporting footage are slanted liberally against the conservatives. And its the right approach; opponents of the word in any form are fighting a losing battle while their excuses continue collapsing under the weight of their own rationalization. Even the Supreme Court can’t seem to make up its mind whether the word is right, wrong, or conditionally acceptable, and every time it changes its mind by reversing an earlier decision, it only supports how stupid the entire really issue is. And, by the way, it IS an issue, of the First Amendment sort. If this one word can be made illegal and fined for its use, what other words can be added banned list and must be destroyed by throwing offensive books on a fire?
Political or not, guest appearances from Kevin Smith, Bill Maher, and especially Billy Connolly (who really is starting to look like his wrathful persona from The Boondock Saints), plus more give wonderful rationalizations as to why or when they choose to use the word, while Pat Boone and a few politicians try to explain their choice not to use it. Plus, since the “protection of childhood innocence” has often been the reason of those citing a moral majority to allow or disallow what might be considered poor or un-encouraged behavior, they should all probably listen closer to how their children talk, or at least think back to when THEY first learned all those words they weren’t supposed to know.
Also, I would be remiss not to mention the always-hilarious work of Bill Plympton supplying a hefty dose of expletive animation. And find a copy of So I Married a Strange Person if you’d like to see what other (X-rated) animated thoughts exist in his happily warped mind.
Of course, when it all comes down to it, it’s that people have different levels of respect for the word. Those who refuse to use it see its power as corrupting and filth, while other may use it all the time (like our buddy Jakanden does… a lot). So the real question is, why or why don’t *I* use the ‘F’ word all the time, or even you? For me, I simply choose not to. That way, when I actually do feel the need to use it, you’ll feel the full impact of my choice in using that particular word at that exact time. If you think I won’t use the word because I’m afraid to or would otherwise be judged in a certain regard, I would remind you of the grinning skulls and inverted stars all over this web site.
Still think that’s a cop out? Then fuck off. Seriously. Fucker.
(a three skull recommendation out of four)