Articles

None Of Their Fucking Business, Says PM

In Language, Politics on July 26, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek gave an interview to Reflex weekly in which he mostly discussed his planned social, financial, healthcare and other reforms. The last two or three questions were personal ones. About his newborn son. Topolanek refused to answer them saying that it is his personal life. Normal journalist response is that the level of what is considered as personal life is lower for politician and that readers might be interested in such personal things as a newborn son of the Prime Minister.

It is none of their fucking business, said the PM. [Please note this is my translation, for those who speak Czech, he said “Po tom je jim hovno”. Which I think DOES say “none of their fucking business”].

Shocking? Not really. There are four reasons I can think of why a politician should be allowed to talk like that in media interviews, or such similar situations.

1. Define-profanity-reason: language is a very tricky thing. What is a normal word today can be profanity tomorrow. It is in the language and conotations. If one hundred linguistics experts meet and decide that from now on English-speaking word will use the word “cooof” instead of “f*uck”, it is not likely anything will happen. 

 2. Who-says-I-can’t: There are no official arbiters as far as the language is concerned. Words exist to describe things. And if two people communicate and they are not diplomats in the United Nations, the selection of words defines the moment.

3. A comment related to one’s personal life is a personal comment: If the PM says that his personal life is none of the readers’ fucking business, it doesn’t say anything about his political qualities. He says is as a fresh father. Not as a former Senator and Prime Minister.

4. Be yourself: politicians do not set moral standards in things that are not related to politics. They can cheat on their spouses, they can smoke weed in the privacy of their own home, they can walk naked in the woods. When Bush said something about major-league asshole, nothing happened. A few moments of shock, mostly oh-shit reactions and that was it… Politicians show their personal qualities in public. GWB mentions God in five out of eight of his speeches. And he messes up other country’s name in two out of ten. Should he stop talking? No.

Google key word test: Nicolas Topolanek, Bush, profanity, Czech Prime Minister

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