By Roger Currie
WINNIPEG — Listener and reader discretion is advised here, because I’m dealing with… the F word. I begin with full disclosure. I get paid by the taxpayers of Manitoba to count the numbers of times the dreaded four letters appear in movies. Some years back, I performed a similar task on behalf of the movie-going public in Ontario. Hey, somebody has to do it!
To the best of my recollection, the first actor to utter the word onscreen was Peter Boyle as the redneck named “Joe” in 1970. When it comes to directors, the champion appears to be the great Martin Scorsese who used the F-word more than 500 times in “The Wolf of Wall Street” two years ago. Needless to say, that picture was classified 18A in all parts of Canada, but next year it might be different.
You would think that we have almost reached the point where the word no longer has much impact, and it’s not worth making a fuss about it. I must get out on the front lines of reporting more often. I did not realize until this past week that some grown men who definitely should know better have a fairly disgusting and childish favourite sport.
When TV reporters, most often female, are doing their thing live on camera, the idiot males shout out an obscene phrase and sabotage the reporter’s efforts. The phrase carries the initials FHRITP. Led by Shauna Hunt in Toronto, some reporters are fighting back.
One of Shauna’s tormentors was an employee of Hydro One, earning more than $100,000. He obviously spends too much of that paycheque on liquid refreshment. The power company was not impressed, and they fired the man. Good for them. Hopefully it won’t turn out to be a meaningless PR gesture that will be reversed when no one is looking.
Hopefully FHRITP will go the way of dwarf tossing and swallowing goldfish, and the few real journalists who are left can spend their time on stories that really matter.
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Roger Currie is a writer, storyteller, voice for hire, observer of life on the Canadian prairies, and can be heard on CJNU 93.7FM in Winnipeg.