Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Five Greatest Cursers in History

Celebrating those unsung geniuses that mastered the art of profanity

A lot of people say that those that frequently use profanity suffer from a lack of creativity.

This is something that I, most certainly, @#$^%^ disagree with.

From the swanky cynicism of George Carlin to the bestial-ravings of Wesley Willis, it’s quite clear that profane utterances serve - or at the very least, have - some sort of artistic purpose and merit. This, I assure you, is nothing new in media: does anybody really think that Gone with the Wind would have had the same effect if Rhett Butler didn’t give a darn, instead?

All in all, I think that profanity is something of an orphaned social science. Clearly, such wordings have a certain value to society, and as such, why shouldn’t we celebrate those that are most effective and creative with those same terms and colloquialisms?

Well, dear reader, I got tired of waiting. Today, I finally give those that elevated swearing, cursing, cussing and profaning to an art form the due respect they oh-so deserve as linguistic muralists. So kick back, grab you favorite beverage and get ready to incur some FCC fines as we celebrate. . .


5.)           SAMUEL L. JACKSON

                As far as I am concerned, Jackson might as well hold the patent for “MF.” In fact, this guy is so inextricably linked to the term that every time you call someone a lover of mothers, HE ought to receive a royalty check.
                Throughout his MF’ing career, Jackson has dropped the trademark quip in virtually every R-rated movie he has appeared in, from Jackie Brown to Snakes on a Plane - a movie, by the way, that was re-filmed as an R-rated flick just so that Jackson would have the opportunity to drop the M-F bomb during the feature.
                Heck, even in his PG-13 and PG forays, he’s at least capable of dropping a solid “G-D” at some point in the movie (remember his brief quip from Jurassic Park, do you not?) In fact, I’m sure that if we managed to get our hands on the unedited prints from those Star Wars prequels, we would probably have at least a few hours of Jackson calling the assorted muppets and CGI denizens of the Lucas-Verse all sorts of permutations of his idiosyncratic verse.
                So just how ingrained is the “MF” in Jackson’s livelihood? It’s so pivotal to his career that when he went on “Inside the Actor’s Studio,take a wild guess what line he was asked by the host to recite. Apparently, Jackson is so phenomenal with his swearing that his managed to take a term that was considered unutterably obscene and transformed it into a phrase more popular to modern filmgoers than just about any line dropped by Spencer Tracy. And if that isn’t a display of MF’ing artistry, I don’t know what is.

4.)           JAMES D. ROLFE

                Rolfe is one of the few unquestionable geniuses in modern entertainment. In 2004, he began a series of web videos in which he critiqued old-school Nintendo Entertainment System games - an idea so incredibly obvious that one would have to be a genius to think it up. Of course, there are those out there that say that Rolfe ripped-off a certain MMA-loving, punk-rocker EGM columnist for the series, but. . .yeah, he probably did.
                And so, Rolfe’s series - The Angry Video Game Nerd - has become one of the most popular, long-running Internet series of the last decade. What makes the series so popular, you may ask? Is it the nostalgia for retro video games, or antiquated technology, or the myriad pop culture references Rolfe brings up during the program?
                Try again, you ingester of a rundown skunk’s sphincter.
                Rolfe’s character, often referred to as simply AVGN, is an Nintendo-loving (or is it hating?) anti-hero that spews some of the most poetic profanity in history. Listening to Rolfe decry games like “Silver Surfer” and “Action 52” is sort of like watching Leonardo paint the Sistine Chapel. . .only the paint is swear words, and the rooftop is YouTube. 
                Rolfe positively excels in profanity combinations. His artistry rests not in the volume of his swear-heavy diatribes, but the way he connects such a string of swear words together - most often, with some sort of animal reference thrown in for good measure. Whereas most cursers use profanity as a bullhorn, Rolfe uses it as guitar, creating these deep, multi-layered harmonies that are an aural delight to pick up. Simply put, Rolfe is to cursing what Eddie Van Halen is to shredding the Flying V.
                03.)         THE IRON SHEIK

                Prior to 2007, The Iron Sheik was probably best known for being a 1980s pro wrestling relic who’s greatest claim to fame was losing the World Heavyweight Championship to Hulk Hogan. And maybe, the time he got arrested for carryingweed in his trousers, while riding with his supposed “arch-nemesis” - pretty much killing the idea that the pseudo sport was even remotely unscripted in the process.
                After falling on hard times - which included the loss of his daughter - The Iron Sheik agreed to do a feature-length interview for RF Video, detailing his myriad adventures throughout the 1980s. The interviewers expected a pretty basic shooting session, but as soon as the Sheik showed up to the filming tanked out of his mind on cheap pilsner, we all KNEW they were on the verge of an all time cursing classic.
                For a solid hour, The Iron Sheik decried practically every single noteworthy person in the pro wrestling industry, calling them. . .well, pretty much everything. At one point, he even began railing against his pharmacist, leading to the introduction of the term “FAKKIN BOLLSHYETT” to the American lexicon.
                Proving once and for all that pro wrestling exists on a plane outside the reality we all know, the Iron Sheik’s profanity-laced video actually resulted in a RESURGENCE to his career, leading to recurring spots on The Howard Stern Show, Opie and Anthony, and ultimately, his own one man stage revue.
                Let the Iron Sheik be an example to all grade school children out there: contrary to what your parents and teachers may tell you, not only is cursing worthwhile, it might even save your very career someday.

02.)         JACK REBNEY 

                About twenty years ago, RV spokesperson Jack Rebney went out into the countryside, to film a promotional video for a new fleet of recreational vehicles. It was hot, it was miserable, and it made Jack angry. Very, very angry.
                Flash forward ten years. Someone (probably a stage hand from the promo shoot), posts a video online containing the unedited footage from Mr. Rebney’s performance. . .a video that ultimately became the War and Peace of profane diatribes.
                In a ten minute span, Rebney manages to supply the entire planet with a good twenty years worth of unintended quips and catchphrases, and just about all of them are unprintable in most American publications. What made Rebney’s performance so amazing was the realness of the swearing - this wasn’t some actor reciting lines from a script, it was pure, undiluted human rage boiling forth in the most eloquent verse this side of freaking Shakespeare. Forget all of the Broadway bull stuff, if the Bard was alive today, this is what he would consider the definitive prose of our culture.
                So what happened to Rebney? Well, he became an ultra-liberal recluse, unknowing of his Internet meme celebrity hood. That is, until a platoon of documentary filmmakers decided to track him down in 2009, resulting in one of the mostpopular docs of the last decade.
                Despite being legally blind, the popularity of Rebney’s greatest performance has allowed him to pursue a new career in his retirement years: as fate would have it, the Mozart of profanity is now a highly sought after lecturer, who brings in enough money from his guest speeches to purchase several of those !@#$% Winnebagos annually.

…and the greatest curser in history is…

01.)         JOE PESCI 

                The number one pick really shouldn’t surprise anybody. In his lifetime, Pesci has done more with just swear words than most people have down with a complete dictionary. Pesci isn’t just renowned for his cursing prowess, he is pretty much revered for it - even George Carlin, the man credited with popularizing the big seven of swear words, said that he worshipped Joe for his cursing capabilities. That’s not just praise from Caesar, that’s basically praise from Allah, God, Jesus, Buddha and “Super Dave” Osborne combined.
                In many ways, it is both simple and difficult to explain Pesci’s talent as a swear-word composer. At times, he can spit out curse words like an AK-47, and at others, he can draw out a single curse like he was uncoiling an electric cable with the gentleness of a lifelong teamster. His verbiage is both grandiose and of-the-soil, this impossible combination of theatrical and realistic that doesn’t really have a proper wording in the English language.
                We’ve seen him do gritty and compassionate swearing in Raging Bull. We’ve seen him do borderline psychotic, profane ranting in Goodfellas. We’ve seen him do calculated, arrogant cursing in Casino. Not surprisingly, Joe Pesci factors prominently in several American films purported to be the all time cinematic cursing champions.
                Even in his “non-adult” roles, Pesci war reported to expel profanity like a songstress. According to the producers of “Home Alone,” the amount of edited swear words from the first feature were lengthy enough to stretch around the equator - not only is Pesci sublimely in tuned with cursing, it’s almost as if its in his DNA to do nothing but swear.
                Pesci, simply put, is the alpha and omega of swearing. He is to cursing what Einstein is to relativity, a figure so connected to the concept that it’s impossible to think of one without the other.
                In other words? He’s the !@$$#@ best at what he ##$^$#^ does, and that’s reason enough to declare him the GREATEST !@#!@$ CURSER IN HISTORY, you !@#!%, you. . .


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