Tuesday, 15 June 2021

C+nto and Othered Poems

C+nto and Othered Poems
Joelle Taylor’s poetry collection, C+unto and Othered Poems, was published last week. Cunto is an inflection of the Italian verb cuntare, meaning ‘narrate’. As the title of Taylor’s seven-part poem, it may also be a pun on ‘canto’ (and, of course, ‘cunt’). For publication, the title is printed as C+unto, and in her poetry Taylor sidesteps the c-word in favour of its etymological origin, the Latin cunnus.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Cunts

Cunts
Cunts, the Los Angeles punk band who began playing live in 2018, released their self-titled debut album, Cunts, in 2019. The album is available on vinyl and CD. Cunts are by no means the first band to use the c-word in their name: there is also a band called The Cunts, and others include Anal Cunt, Selfish Cunt, Rotten Cunt, Cuntsaw, Märy’s Cünt, Cunt Grinder, Filthy Maggoty Cunt, and Prosthetic Cunt.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

How to Swear

How to Swear
How to Swear: An Illustrated Guide, by Stephen Wildish, features etymologies and derivations of seven swear words in infographic form. (The chosen words are not the same as George Carlin’s famous septet, with more emphasis on British slang.) Chapter seven is devoted to the c-word, which Wildish calls “the most offensive word in the English language and one of the last words that still has the power to shock.”

Sunday, 22 March 2020

A Curious History of Sex

A Curious History of Sex
A Curious History of Sex, published last month, is a fascinating guide to sexual attitudes and rituals. As author Kate Lister explains in her introduction, the book is not a comprehensive encyclopedia of sex, offering instead “a paddle in the shallow end of sex history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless.” Lister provides potted histories of a wide range of often-overlooked sex-related topics, including a chapter on the c-word that’s the most detailed study of the word in print. (I’ve been researching the c-word for twenty years.) A Curious History of Sex is impressively scholarly (with eighty pages of notes and references), and has plenty of extraordinary historical illustrations.

A Curious History of Sex

A Curious History of Sex
A Curious History of Sex, published last month, is a fascinating guide to sexual attitudes and rituals. As author Kate Lister explains in her introduction, the book is not a comprehensive encyclopedia of sex, offering instead “a paddle in the shallow end of sex history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless.” Lister provides potted histories of a wide range of often-overlooked sex-related topics, including a chapter on the c-word that’s the most detailed study of the word in print. (I’ve been researching the c-word for twenty years.) A Curious History of Sex is impressively scholarly (with eighty pages of notes and references), and has plenty of extraordinary historical illustrations.

Bad Words

Bad Words
Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs (edited by David Sosa), was published in 2018 as part of a series titled Engaging Philosophy. The final chapter, Nice Words for Nasty Things by Laurence R. Horn, takes its title from an infamous definition by lexicographer Francis Grose in his Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: Grose defined the c-word as “a nasty name for a nasty thing”. In his essay, Horn discusses the euphemisms devised to avoid not only tabooed words themselves but also their otherwise-unrelated homophones: “taboo avoidance occurs more broadly, even in the absence of phonological identity between the taboo and innocent items, the latter of which may suffer a kind of contagion or guilt by association”.

Horn cites an interesting French example, que l’on (‘that one’), which is regarded as more polite than the contraction qu’on due to the latter’s homonymy with con (‘cunt’). He also identifies what is surely the earliest instance of the practice, a comment by Cicero in his treatise on rhetoric, Orator. Cicero writes that the Latin cum nobis (‘with us’) should be rendered as nobiscum, to avoid an obscene juxtaposition (“obscænius concurrerent litterae”). The unspoken reference is to cunno bis (‘into the cunt twice’), which supports the (increasingly contested) etymological connection between cunnus (‘vulva’) and ‘cunt’.

Bad Words

Bad Words
Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs (edited by David Sosa), was published in 2018 as part of a series titled Engaging Philosophy. The final chapter, Nice Words for Nasty Things by Laurence R. Horn, takes its title from an infamous definition by lexicographer Francis Grose in his Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: Grose defined the c-word as “a nasty name for a nasty thing”. In his essay, Horn discusses the euphemisms devised to avoid not only tabooed words themselves but also their otherwise-unrelated homophones: “taboo avoidance occurs more broadly, even in the absence of phonological identity between the taboo and innocent items, the latter of which may suffer a kind of contagion or guilt by association”.

Horn cites an interesting French example, que l’on (‘that one’), which is regarded as more polite than the contraction qu’on due to the latter’s homonymy with con (‘cunt’). He also identifies what is surely the earliest instance of the practice, a comment by Cicero in his treatise on rhetoric, Orator. Cicero writes that the Latin cum nobis (‘with us’) should be rendered as nobiscum, to avoid an obscene juxtaposition (“obscænius concurrerent litterae”). The unspoken reference is to cunno bis (‘into the cunt twice’), which supports the (increasingly contested) etymological connection between cunnus (‘vulva’) and ‘cunt’.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

War and Piss

War and Piss
The adult comic Viz published its first Profanisaurus as a cover-mounted booklet in 1997, and the title was later expanded to Roger's Profanisaurus. Various updated editions followed, including Profanisaurus Rex, The Magna Farta, and Das Krapital. The latest edition, War and Piss, features more than 20,000 swear words and sexual slang terms, including more than 60 variants of the c-word.

Entries are submitted by Viz readers, and the book was edited by Simon Thorp and Graham Dury. Green's Dictionary of Slang is the definitive slang dictionary, whereas the Profanisaurus has more in common with the online Urban Dictionary, though its neologisms and definitions are funny and inventive.

War and Piss

War and Piss
The adult comic Viz published its first Profanisaurus as a cover-mounted booklet in 1997, and the title was later expanded to Roger's Profanisaurus. Various updated editions followed, including Profanisaurus Rex, The Magna Farta, and Das Krapital. The latest edition, War and Piss, features more than 20,000 swear words and sexual slang terms, including more than 60 variants of the c-word.

Entries are submitted by Viz readers, and the book was edited by Simon Thorp and Graham Dury. Green's Dictionary of Slang is the definitive slang dictionary, whereas the Profanisaurus has more in common with the online Urban Dictionary, though its neologisms and definitions are funny and inventive.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Freedumb

Freedumb
The Jim Jefferies stand-up show Freedumb was released on Netflix on 1st July 2016, and on CD and LP in 2017. The album's highlight comes when Jefferies explains how his extensive use of the c-word led to a loosening of the taboo against it on the American stand-up comedy circuit: "I say 'cunt' more than anyone else. I'm sort of known for saying 'cunt'. Seven years ago, when I did my first comedy special in America, the word 'cunt' was banned in every comedy club in America. And then I said 'cunt' loads on television and now people can say 'cunt' in comedy clubs. Basically, I'm the Rosa Parks of 'cunt'!"

Freedumb

Freedumb
The Jim Jefferies stand-up show Freedumb was released on Netflix on 1st July 2016, and on CD and LP in 2017. The album's highlight comes when Jefferies explains how his extensive use of the c-word led to a loosening of the taboo against it on the American stand-up comedy circuit: "I say 'cunt' more than anyone else. I'm sort of known for saying 'cunt'. Seven years ago, when I did my first comedy special in America, the word 'cunt' was banned in every comedy club in America. And then I said 'cunt' loads on television and now people can say 'cunt' in comedy clubs. Basically, I'm the Rosa Parks of 'cunt'!"

Friday, 19 January 2018

Cunt and Cock Show

Cunt and Cock Show
Fuck the Police
Vasan Sitthiket's Bangkok gallery, Rebel Art Space, is currently hosting an exhibition by Dutch artist Peter Klashorst. Many of the paintings feature sexualised female nudes, including Fuck the Police, a literal interpretation of the NWA song Fuck tha Police. (Vasan has previously incorporated the slogan "FUCK THE POLICE" into his work.)

The exhibition is titled Cunt and Cock Show (ลึงค์แลโยนี). Similarly, Judy Chicago wrote a feminist play called Cock and Cunt, which featured dialogue such as "a cock means you don't wash dishes. You have a cunt. A cunt means you wash dishes." (I performed this scene at university in 2001, while I was researching the c-word.) Cunt and Cock Show opened today, and closes on 3rd February.

Cunt and Cock Show

Cunt and Cock Show
Fuck the Police
Vasan Sitthiket's Bangkok gallery, Rebel Art Space, is currently hosting an exhibition by Dutch artist Peter Klashorst. Many of the paintings feature sexualised female nudes, including Fuck the Police, a literal interpretation of the NWA song Fuck tha Police. (Vasan has previously incorporated the slogan "FUCK THE POLICE" into his work.)

The exhibition is titled Cunt and Cock Show (ลึงค์แลโยนี). Similarly, Judy Chicago wrote a feminist play called Cock and Cunt, which featured dialogue such as "a cock means you don't wash dishes. You have a cunt. A cunt means you wash dishes." (I performed this scene at university in 2001, while I was researching the c-word.) Cunt and Cock Show opened today, and closes on 3rd February.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Veep

Veep
Veep, created by Armando Iannucci, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as US Vice-President (and subsequently President) Selina Meyer. The fifth season of the sitcom, released on DVD last month, includes an episode titled C**tgate, in which a White House staff-member causes a minor scandal by calling Meyer the c-word.

C**tgate (a pun on Watergate) was broadcast by HBO on 29th May 2016. It was co-written by Will Smith, who presented The C Word (2007), a documentary about the word 'cunt'. In the DVD audio commentary for the episode, director Brad Hall says: "I have a feeling this particular episode is going to set a record for the amount of times the word 'cunt' has been said in an audio commentary!"

The plot of the episode, with Meyer trying to identify the person who called her a cunt, is similar to an episode of 30 Rock (2007), in which the main character overheard one of her staff calling her the same word. Iannucci's UK series The Thick Of It (2005) also included a similar plot device in one episode, with an investigation into which staff-member called another a cunt in an email.

Veep

Veep
Veep, created by Armando Iannucci, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as US Vice-President (and subsequently President) Selina Meyer. The fifth season of the sitcom, released on DVD last month, includes an episode titled C**tgate, in which a White House staff-member causes a minor scandal by calling Meyer the c-word.

C**tgate (a pun on Watergate) was broadcast by HBO on 29th May 2016. It was co-written by Will Smith, who presented The C Word (2007), a documentary about the word 'cunt'. In the DVD audio commentary for the episode, director Brad Hall says: "I have a feeling this particular episode is going to set a record for the amount of times the word 'cunt' has been said in an audio commentary!"

The plot of the episode, with Meyer trying to identify the person who called her a cunt, is similar to an episode of 30 Rock (2007), in which the main character overheard one of her staff calling her the same word. Iannucci's UK series The Thick Of It (2005) also included a similar plot device in one episode, with an investigation into which staff-member called another a cunt in an email.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

"BECKS C-WORD FURY..."

The Sunday Times
The Sun
An injunction against The Sunday Times has been partially lifted after details of the case appeared in other publications at the weekend. The injunction, granted in December 2016, prevented The Sunday Times from revealing that David Beckham's email account had been hacked. On 5th February, the newspaper printed a brief notice on its front page: "The Sunday Times has been gagged by an injunction preventing it from reporting details about a celebrity's personal and professional life. The judge anonymised the individual using initials."

Beckham's emails were among thousands leaked to the German news magazine Der Spiegel earlier last year, and Beckham's publicist applied for an injunction after The Sunday Times planned to publish them. Like other anonymised injunctions (such as those relating to PJS, NEJ, RA, and D), the restriction applied only in England and Wales. Unusually, the injunction was granted solely against The Sunday Times, enabling The Sun (despite being owned by the same company) to publish the story on 4th February.

On its front page, under the banner headline "BECKS C-WORD FURY AT 'SIR' SNUB", The Sun wrote that Beckham had criticised the committee recommending new year's honours as "a bunch of cunts" and "unappreciative cunts". This was then reported by other UK and European news websites later that day. The terms of the injunction against The Sunday Times were subsequently relaxed, allowing it to report information already in the public domain.

"BECKS C-WORD FURY..."

The Sunday Times
The Sun
An injunction against The Sunday Times has been partially lifted after details of the case appeared in other publications at the weekend. The injunction, granted in December 2016, prevented The Sunday Times from revealing that David Beckham's email account had been hacked. On 5th February, the newspaper printed a brief notice on its front page: "The Sunday Times has been gagged by an injunction preventing it from reporting details about a celebrity's personal and professional life. The judge anonymised the individual using initials."

Beckham's emails were among thousands leaked to the German news magazine Der Spiegel earlier last year, and Beckham's publicist applied for an injunction after The Sunday Times planned to publish them. Like other anonymised injunctions (such as those relating to PJS, NEJ, RA, and D), the restriction applied only in England and Wales. Unusually, the injunction was granted solely against The Sunday Times, enabling The Sun (despite being owned by the same company) to publish the story on 4th February.

On its front page, under the banner headline "BECKS C-WORD FURY AT 'SIR' SNUB", The Sun wrote that Beckham had criticised the committee recommending new year's honours as "a bunch of cunts" and "unappreciative cunts". This was then reported by other UK and European news websites later that day. The terms of the injunction against The Sunday Times were subsequently relaxed, allowing it to report information already in the public domain.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Hua Hin Countdown

Hua Hun Countdown
Hua Hin, a seaside town south of Bangkok, is holding a new year's eve countdown tonight. However, one of the posters advertising the event used a mirrorball to replace the 'O', thus inviting people to a "C UNTDOWN".

A missing 'o' has caused unintended amusement on various occasions. Some previous examples from Bangkok: "60 C UNTRIES" (Royal Porcelain billboard, with a globe replacing the 'O'), "A C UNTRY WIFE" (Bangkok Community Theatre poster, with a lemon replacing the 'O'), "C unter Service" (retail sticker, with a sun replacing the 'o'), and Bangkok University's "School of Acc unting" (with a ship replacing the 'o').

Hua Hin Countdown

Hua Hun Countdown
Hua Hin, a seaside town south of Bangkok, is holding a new year's eve countdown tonight. However, one of the posters advertising the event used a mirrorball to replace the 'O', thus inviting people to a "C UNTDOWN".

A missing 'o' has caused unintended amusement on various occasions. Some previous examples from Bangkok: "60 C UNTRIES" (Royal Porcelain billboard, with a globe replacing the 'O'), "A C UNTRY WIFE" (Bangkok Community Theatre poster, with a lemon replacing the 'O'), "C unter Service" (retail sticker, with a sun replacing the 'o'), and Bangkok University's "School of Acc unting" (with a ship replacing the 'o').

Monday, 1 December 2014

Gang Bang

Gang Bang
Cunt Face
Gang Bang, a group exhibition of erotic illustrations, opened at the Toot Yung Art Center in Bangkok on 8th November and will close tomorrow. The exhibition includes two representations of vagina dentatas, both by TRK: an ink drawing titled Cunt Face, and an untitled woodcut print. The woodcut is similar to Roberto Matta's cover illustration for the Surrealist journal VVV (1944).