Gordon Robinson | Sometimes you gotta say it!
Nowadays, most media accept that they must move with the times and speak to their readers/viewers in language they'll understand and appreciate.
The alternative is to surrender to the articulate majority on FacetyBook, Twatter, Gaggle, What's Up, and Instant-grin. Mark you, these evolutions are usually achieved incrementally. The number 12 has become a convenient benchmark. Grocery items are sold by the dozen. There are 12 months in a year; 12 inches in a foot, 12 pence in a shilling, and 12 disciples. If it happens 12 times, it's acceptable.
Like legendary American comic George Carlin, I've fought for years to have Jamaicans understand there are no 'bad' words, only bad intentions. You've followed my travails as I've pushed The Gleaner's envelope to the limit in this crusade. But no matter how cunningly I try, The Gleaner is steadfast in its refusal to print what's commonly called the F-word without a strategic fig leaf.
So, I've researched history assiduously for 12 examples of appropriate use of the F-word but can only find 11. Gaggle it. You'll see I'm right.
In Letterman-style order of acceptability:
11. "What the f*** do you mean we're sinking?"
Captain Edward J. Smith of "unsinkable" RMS Titanic, 1912.
10. "What the f*** was that?"
Mayor of Hiroshima, shortly after breakfast, August 6, 1945.
9. "Where'd all those f***ing Indians come from?"
Lieutenant Colonel George Custer, circa June 25, 1876, shortly after disobeying orders to await reinforcements and charging seemingly harmless Indians who had refused to return to their reservations.
8. "Any f***ing idiot could understand that."
Albert Einstein, 1938, asked about his Theory of Relativity.
7. "It does so f***ing look like her!"
Pablo Picasso, 1926, to an art dunce and potential buyer.
6. "You want WHAT on the f***ing ceiling?"
Michelangelo, 1566, inside the Sistine Chapel.
5. "Jeez, who'd have thunk they'd get so f***ing mad?"
Osama bin Laden, circa November 2001.
4. "Where the f*** are we?"
Amelia Earhart, 1937, to Air Traffic Control, shortly before disappearing off radar!
3. "Scattered f***ing showers, my ass!"
Noah, 4314 BC.
2. "Aw, c'mon, Monica. Who the f*** is going to find out?"
Bill Clinton, 1998. No context required.
And the number one occasion in history when even media reports have permitted the inclusion of the F-word is:
"There's no f***ing way Trump will ever become president."
Hilary Clinton, 2016.
BREAKING NEWS: Jamaican reporters believe they've identified the elusive 12th instance of the permissible use of the F-word in a media report. This will mean inclusion of the word as 'normal' from now on.
The quote is one from St Peter himself, who reportedly asked Richard Ramdial (at the pearly gates): "Where the f*** were your three guns?" Reports flooded media of the July 12 hit on businessman Ramdial, who was shot 16 times while in his Mercedes-Benz motor car in rush-hour Ruthven Road traffic. Some outlets reported Ramdial had three licensed firearms in the car but failed to get off a shot in his defence. Reports vary as to the murderers' mode of transport and escape, but The Gleaner reported (July 19):
"Two men were accosted by police investigators who intercepted their car moments after the shooting. They were questioned and subsequently released. Commissioner Quallo says the men were again picked up yesterday for further questioning ... . The vehicle was also processed.
"The police commissioner says at the end of the exercise, investigators were satisfied they were not involved in the fatal attack."
Why weren't these men AND the vehicle detained (and processed) on July 12? Without casting any aspersion on any policeman, this is why I insist that no crime policy can succeed until the JCF is
de-corrupted (by any means necessary), fully equipped and properly trained, and the citizenry disarmed. I (reluctantly) attended a posh wedding recently and noticed photographers using drones to take special photos. How many drones does the JCF own? These are priority issues and we're pissing $2.5b down a toilet called the Social Intervention Committee unless these issues are first addressed.
Don't tell me rubbish about citizens needing guns to defend themselves against criminals or the country against marauding birds in August. Did guns help Ramdial? Dennis Chue's gun is now in his killers' hands. FLA can't even retrieve a licensed firearm from its licensee. How can FLA assure me licences aren't unwittingly awarded to criminals? Another Einstein quote: "The definition of insanity is doing the same f***ing thing over and over and expecting a different result."
Peace and love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to email@example.com.