Andrew Malcolm reports from the &^%$ing Golden Globes award ceremony last night, or perhaps the Rod Blagojevich Special, as it turns out, on the peculiar strain of language employed for a televised event. Instead of classy acceptance speeches fit for prime-time network broadcast, the winners of the awards instead indulged themselves in vocabulary that might have made Tony Soprano blush, at least around his family:
As our LATimes.com colleagues Rachel Abramovitz and Tom O’Neil note elsewhere on this site and elsewhere here, this year’s Golden Globe Awards by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. had acceptance speeches that were full of words like $%&*(=^ and f!$*&-+. Also, balls, suck and suck it. So if you were among a majority of Americans who didn’t watch it, you might have missed something.
Apparently, some were surprised by the profanity production of the culture crowd.
But clearly the actors have been studying Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was caught on FBI wiretaps and not quoted publicly by that bleeping federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. This was after Blago’s December arrest for, among other things, allegedly auctioning off his “<<&*%$# golden” nomination to fill the vacant Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama, who’ll be inaugurated in just 8 days.
Mickey Rourke attained the evening’s height of wit by discussing “balls” in detail, and having his friend, director Darren Arenofsky, flip him the bird while on camera. Tina Fey told three of her critics on the Internet to “suck it”. And those were the printable quotes from Hollywood last night.
“What’s the big deal?” some will ask, and perhaps with some justification. After all, most of use the exact same language in certain contexts. I’ll be the first to admit that I swear like a longshoreman while driving in traffic, to the amusement of the First Mate, apparently a trait I got from the Admiral Emeritus. If we all use this language, why get so uptight about it on television?
The difference is context. There is a time and a place for everything, and prime-time television is the time and place to put one’s best foot forward. Repeating the words “suck” and “balls” repetitively does not cast one in a particularly good light; in fact, it makes it look like such words form an altogether unhealthily high percentage of one’s total vocabulary. Even middle-schoolers know better than to spew such language publicly, for Pete’s sake. One might think that overindulged millionaires making their living in the public square would have been bright enough to at least understand that much.
We can laugh at Rod Blagojevich, but even the notoriously stupid Illinois governor knew better to talk like that at public events. He and his lovely wife Gus — er, Patty — had to get wiretapped to be caught dropping effenheimers. Hollywood stars only need a camera and some phony awards ceremony that makes them think they’re something a wee bit more special than they really are. Which of the these are the idiots?
Here’s a handy hint: If you have to wear your tuxedo or formal evening gown — or if you have to spend more than $100 to get dressed for an event — keep your balls in your pants and keep the suck in your vacuum cleaner.