The Not-Really-Fleeting Expletive That Wasn't Bleeped at Last Night's Oscars

Did you have a sad last night when the deserving Brad Pitt lost out for Best Actor to eyebrow-gymnast Jean Dujardin (John of the Garden) for expressing all of two emotions in a charming but overrated silent movie? Me too! But at least Brice de Nice got away with saying in French what the Federal Communications Commission thinks is deserving of a six-figure fine in English. It's at the end of this clip:

Money section:

If George Valentine could speak, he'd say "Wow! Putain! Génial! Merci! Formidable!"

Why, it's like those French have a different word for everything!

Putain is not a back-handed reference to Vichy shame-receptacle Philippe Pétain, but rather the most flexible of French curse-words, meaning literally (of course!) "whore" (but with more of a cunty vibe), and also, as in last night, a celebratory interjection, a la "Fuck yeah!" It is in every case a vulgarity, and as such sometimes funny. In Dujardin's amped-up barking, it served mostly as a timely reminder that–as anyone who has sat through a César Awards ceremony can tell you–ye olde Cinéma Français should not be confused with high-toned, above-it-all sophistication.  

But the true moral of the story is that government censorship, or the threat thereof, has no place in self-congratulatory awards broadcasts, or any other broadcast for that matter. If the Academy, or ABC, feel strongly enough on their own to bleep out a stray "fucking amazing," that's on them. But even a happy "Putain!" is considerably more vulgar, and yet we all wake up the next day mostly unscathed.

Luckily, the Supreme Court will soon consider not just the FCC's "fleeting expletives" doctrine, but the whole government enterprise of policing indecency. Read about that here.

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  • ||

    The Bono exception.

  • Jean Dujardin||

    Right. I fucking care about Africa, too.

  • DK||

  • Old Mexican||

    Exactly - same thing.

  • Bill||

    Now that I know what it means, I am deeply offended.

  • ||

    It's like wiping your ass with silk.

  • FCC||

    "Merde, she wrote."

    ** BLEEP! **

  • "Eggs" Ackley||

    Americans don't know shit.

  • Gary Oldman||

    when the deserving Brad Pitt lost out for Best Actor

    You shittin' me, man?

  • Ryan Gosling||

    I should stab both of you in the chest with a shower curtain rod.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    ^ THIS

  • Matt Welch||

    In fairness, I don't see many movies anymore, including that one. I heard it was good, though!

  • ||

    I thought "putain" was when silly Canadians smother their french fries in gravy...

  • ||

    I thought it was a town in Vietnam.

  • Dawn O' Deded||

    You must be putain me on.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Poutine is fucking delicious. It is french fries + gravy + cheese. How is this not an American staple?

  • Brian D||

    It's too healthy for the average American.

  • ||

    Hence the origin of the name: "What the putain is this shit?"

  • sarcasmic||

    ¡Chinga tu madre, cabrón!

  • Old Mexican||

    For those that are not familiar with the expletives used in Mexico, the above means, loosely, "Fuck your mama, shithead!"

    Albeit Cabrón is also used when talking about a philanderer, as the word literaly means male goat... Uh, don't ask.

  • sarcasmic||

    I find it interesting that Mexican slang revolves around farm animals, while American slang revolves around bodily functions.

  • Tonio||

    Goats have that rep, OM: "old goat" in english. "Capricious" like Cabrón derives from Capricornus the latin word for goat.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Cunty whores are the worst.

  • ||

    "County wars"?

  • Oscar the Grouch||


  • o3||

    only thing im interested in are the shorts, indies, & documentaries which fortunately are early-on in the program...then back to ESPN. >i dont agree one should be able to spew f-bombs before 10pm.

  • ||

    i dont agree one should be able to spew f-bombs before 10pm.

    You're free to change the channel, dipshit.

  • o3||

    which i did, as i wrote. duh

  • MNG||

    So, any guesses on how Clarence "the most libertarian justice" Thomas is going to rule on the FCC obscenity case?

  • ||

    So racist to single out the only black Justice, MNG. I am disappoint.

  • Sparky||

    Would be nice to have them all tell the FCC to fuck off.

  • ||

    If the world were a good and just place, the majority opinion would be two words long: "Fuck no."

  • ||

    Well since he's all over the map I'd say it's a little early to be placing bets. However, hasn't he been pretty decent on 1A grounds? If that's the case I could see him telling the FCC to fuck off.

  • ||

    This is a tough one. Thomas gets all woogly when it comes to the childrens, and you can be sure that the FCC will argue that they exercise their power to protect the childrens.

  • Zeb||

    Though he did manage to find the in-school exception (and the "across the street form the school" exception) to the 1A in "bong hits for Jesus", so it's hard to say.

  • Paul||

    If you think the FCC is going to give up one ounce of regulatory power, you're high.

  • Abdul||

    After saying "putain," did he at any point say "pardon my French"?

  • rather||

    Why would anyone with an IQ above zombie watch the Oscars?

    The only program worth watching this week but not on Fox TV because they edited out the Colvinisms


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