Gordon Robinson | What’s in a name?
The Gleaner recently raised its standard prudishness to new heights by fig-leafing my use of the expression 'Pussygate'.
I was, of course, referring to the scandal dogging Donald Trump in the closing weeks of his presidential campaign when an Access Hollywood tape exposed him using the word 'pussy' somewhat, er, um, crassly.
One is tempted to allege that The Gleaner is pussyfooting around! Who is it trying to protect, and from what? Although I take the broad view that words are neither good nor bad, but intentions with which they're used can be both, I do accept that some words are too vulgar to be printed in a national newspaper. For example, when a MP calls a female colleague "Jezebel!" with obvious malice, I, for one, would never give him the privilege of additionally publicising that particular vulgarity. But to twist the British nickname for a pet cat ("Here, pussy, pussy, pussy ...") into something The Gleaner needs to hide from the innocent eyes of Jamaican children who can often be found gathered at a Half-Way Tree Transport Centre group-watching hardcore porn on their cell phones is too silly for words.
I'm a huge James Bond fan, and my favourite Bond movie, Goldfinger, features sultry-eyed blonde, Honor Blackman, in the seminal role of Pussy Galore. No prizes for knowing that a Jamaican woman was Fleming's inspiration for the character (still one of the most famous and popular of all the Bond girls). I also rate Welshman Tom Jones as among the top 10 male pop singers of all time and his signature hit What's New Pussycat?, from a 1965 movie of the same name (music by iconic Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David), is a worldwide hit, is still a radio favourite, and credited with being of the highest calibre.
Pussycat, Pussycat, I've got flowers
and lots of hours
to spend with you.
So go and powder your cute little pussycat nose!
The movie tells the story of an inveterate womaniser (played by legend Peter O'Toole) who tries, without success, to be faithful. It features a host of hot female stars, including my idea of the most beautiful Bond girl, Ursula Andress, Romy Scheider and Paula Prentiss, none of whom seemed offended at the repeated use of the word 'pussycat', or at least none refused her part.
Pussycat, pussycat, I love you.
Yes, I do!
ou and your pussycat nose!
What's New Pussycat? is a landmark movie in that it features the film debut of genius Woody Allen in his first produced script. Woody plays O'Toole's neurotic friend, Victor Shakapopulis (surprise, surprise), with whom O'Toole's girlfriend (Romy Schneider) decides to pretend to flirt to make O'Toole jealous.
Pussycat, Pussycat, you're so thrilling
and I'm so willing
to care for you.
So go and make up your big little pussycat eyes!"
The all-star cast doesn't end there because movie buffs are treated to a stellar performance by Mr Pink Panther himself, Peter Sellers, as O'Toole's psychoanalyst (today's politically correct world would say 'therapist') with the appropriate name of Fritz Fassbender, who can't help O'Toole because he's also occupied cheating on his wife.
Pussycat, Pussycat, you're delicious
and if my wishes
can all come true
I'll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips!"
The movie, a delightfully sexy romp, where all the men are lovable cads and the women shamelessly objectified, probably wouldn't make it off the cutting floor in today's world. Sellers, O'Toole and Allen play off each other with panache; the music is superb; the writing funny with just enough of the double entendre (properly 'double entente') to pass 1965 censors.
Today, Pussy Galore would be renamed; What's New Pussycat? would attract thunderous protest from fearsome feminists; and my own attempt to combine Trump's despised utterance and its consequential scandal into one word (Pussygate) considered vile. You'd think The Gleaner would congratulate me for adroitly obeying its word-count rules.
I suggest media wake up and smell the publishing climate change that threatens to leave them toiling in a swamp of unnecessary priggishness. Get this: There's a modern invention called the Internet. Your children are all over it learning much worse than a cute expression for a political scandal that might remind us of a baby cat. In this regard, I commend to you the Donald J. Trump refrain, 'Drain that swamp!"
Pussycat, Pussycat, I love you.
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat lips!
You and your pussycat eyes!
You and your pussycat nose!
Peace and love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@