Tuesday 18 August 2009


I caught a trailer for the new Tarantino movie - his self-described 'masterpiece' - last night (at a casual glance it looked like something Mel Brooks might have dreamt up). But why, I wondered, was only the first word of the title given? The answer, incredible as it may seem, is that the curiously-spelt name Inglourious Basterds has proved too much for British sensibilities and it's been censored. Can you believe it? In a country where we're apparently happy to broadcast genuinely offensive material both before and after the nominal 'watershed', where the casual shouting of Fs and Cs in the street barely raises an eyebrow, and where card shops prominently display (at child level) cards bearing witless crudities I wouldn't care to repeat here, we apparently can't stomach the (non-)word 'basterds', a misspelt version of just about our mildest insulting noun (if it's insulting at all - it doesn't seem to be in Australia). Indeed, the word has been deemed so ultra-offensive that it can't be spelt out on the TV trailer till 10pm - one hour into post-watershed time. What on earth is going on here?


  1. where I live, there's a huge poster at the train station advertising the film and the word 'basterd' is about 15 feet across, with no censorship in sight!

    maybe you london types are just more prudish than us people in warwickshire.

    Or maybe its just that nobody in my town can read

  2. I'm still not convinced, in these days of twisted motives, that the 'outrage' isn't just good publicity for more of Tarantino's adolescent pulp.

  3. The Dutch production companies version of Wallander, superior in every way to the Branagh offering, has one or two hilarious moments, coming as it does with subtitles, and now and again the f word being used we also get the text based version, magic, swearing with visuals.

    Whence innocence?

    When the children gentle be,
    Then the Christchild shall they see;
    If they eat there soup and yet
    Still their bread they don't forget,
    Handle silently their toys,
    Taking pains to make no noise,
    And when a pleasure walk is planned,
    Let mother lead them by the hand,
    For every blessing they may look,
    And get, besides a picture book.

    Proving they can't reach the top shelf.

  4. The wandering tit.18 August 2009 at 19:45

    All it needs now is a journalist to write an article titled "ban this filth", and its notoriety will be legendary.

  5. I thought 'bastard' was acceptable pre-watershed. Also 'bugger' and 'bloody'.

    'Crap' is an interesting one - it's become less rude than when I was a child, when it had a status just below 'shit'. Radio 1 DJs can talk 'crap' now quite freely, I believe.

  6. I wouldn't take the fact 'bastard' is inoffensive in Australia as an indication of its general inoffensiveness, Nige - round those parts the c-word is a gentle term of affection!