C*NTS! Cutting Edge: Mind Your F-ing Language, 9.00pm, C4
Swearing. It’s not big, and it’s not clever. Well, actually it can be in the right circumstances. The title of this piece is one of the best phrases in the English language, ever.
As part of the Channel 4’s Cutting Edge documentary strand, tonight’s programme holds the collective head of our unruly youth and scrubs its mouth out with soap. Apparently, the UK is getting a reputation as “one of the most foul-mouthed countries in the world”. Hopefully we'll do better in the televoting for that contest.
Cutting Edge sends in ex-Daily Mail agony aunt and vicar’s wife Ann Atkins to a Wolverhampton school to intervene. Poor Ann “is appalled at the streams of abuse she witnesses, much of which she can't even understand.” Well there's a surprise. It also begs the question of how she knows they’re swearing, if she can't understand most of it.
What-evah, she’s just the appetiser for this bunch of little c*nts. Simon Donald, creator of Viz, and a dictionary of 8000 swear-words, decides to test the kids on their vulgar vocabulary. It turns out that the c-word is only the third worst swear-word, after the f-word and the b-word. But soon enough, he “finds his liberal attitudes under attack,” as he discovers the popularity of such choice expressions as “Cheddar Bell”.
The school brings in a Zero Tolerance policy on swearing in an effort to hold back the "tide" of swearing. Will it work?
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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses.
We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.