We cheered when we discovered that we could legally call Tony Abbott the c-word. However, with the Judge ruling that we find that word less offensive, I think it’s time we institute a national swear jar.
Yesterday, the idea of free speech took another turn, as the most offensive word in the English language was deemed court by a judge. Yes, the c-word is now an entirely acceptable term to publically describe someone in this country. As noted Twitter satirist @johnwren1950 put it:
— John Wren (@JohnWren1950) August 29, 2017
Now, one can bring up the odd duality of the left-biased media decry the unfair negative labeling of someone, but how it clearly depends on who the victim is. The signs sticky taped to Melbournian telegraphs are not ok, but if another homemade sign on the streets of Sydney calls someone that word, then it’s fine. Because it’s true; because Tony Abbott is a ‘c’. Hooray for free speech, and all it’s many definitions.
Back to the topic at hand. The word belonged to well known Sydney doomsayer Danny Lim, who wore it as a sign in 2015, which read:
PEOPLE CAN CHANGE
“TONY YOU C∀N’T..”
LIAR, HEARTLESS, CRUEL
PEACE BE WITH YOU
Judge Andrew Scotting, who overturned the ruling, labeled the sign as “only marginally offensive”. Scotting then went on to suggest that the word in question was Shakespearian, before concluding that the word is less offensive in Australia as it is elsewhere. Which is entirely true, but that makes me entirely sad.
Should we honour this decision as a win? Should we crack a cold one with the boyz to celebrate the establishment stepping ever closer to reality?
I say no, only because I want to know how we came this far.
I know that we as a nation enjoy the bluest of words, and we laugh in the face of vocabularic stuffery. We treasure societal aphorisms that abuse the laws of grammar, such as: ‘straya or ‘Straya, Where you call strangers ‘mates’, and your mates ‘c_nts’. Its just a bit of fun. But, if we’re colloquially leading the world in curse words per capita, to the point where the worst one as a national heirloom, girt by law, I mean fork, what are we doing here?
Let’s step to a transatlantic example. The United States is in turmoil. Her citizens are force-fed the paella of gun violence, race wars, and societal division, but they’d never publically label their Commander-in-Chief as the derogatory term for the female reproductive organ. And he’s arguably the largest one of all. Nevertheless, there’s no Supreme Court challenge on this matter, which is odd, for those folks will protect the concept of their freedoms by any means necessary. All they need is someone to say it. But they won’t. Second Civil War, sure. Call the President that, no.
The thing that concerns me is that we’re swaying under the tipsy power of this word. I feel like we’re all 11 years old, and we’ve just discovered it graffito tagged on the slippery dip. It’s the height of rebellion and lols, so much so, that it replaces every adjective, noun and verb in our vocabulary, and we repeat until it loses all meaning. It’s not clever, and it stopped being funny ages ago. My concern is that this ruling may legitimise it to the point where both houses of parliament may one day address each other in this manner, as two passing truckers would, and the transformation of our fine country into satire would be complete.
Tone it down, you mob.