The Aquinian

TV Done Wright – April 1, 2010

The stage was set.

One of the biggest bills in American history was about to be signed by President Barack Obama.

First at the podium, Vice-President Joe Biden did the introductions.

You could tell the president looked nervous standing behind Biden as he spoke.

“Don’t screw up, don’t screw up,” I assume Obama was thinking.

As he finished, Biden introduced Obama. The crowd cheered as they shook hands. They shared a quick hug, and then Biden leaned to Obama’s ear and said “This is a big fucking deal.”

President Obama nodded and gave him a pat on the back.

Yes, Biden screwed up.

It was the F-bomb heard around the world. Within minutes, people were tweeting, blog posts were made, and the mainstream media picked up the story.

The fact is, Biden’s slip-up was what people were talking about, not the historic bill being signed that day. And I think that’s sad.

We all know Joe Biden is the gaff-master. We know when he walks up to the podium, hilarity ensues. He’s like TV’s Steve Urkel, and every time he says something off-colour I expect him to follow-up with “Did I do that?”

When I saw the clip online later, I had to crank the volume full-blast to hear it. What he said to Obama was barely audible, and if not for subtitles or someone telling me what to look for, I would have missed it.

I didn’t miss it. I watched it several times. I laughed every time, but there are many not laughing. The Vice-President swore on live TV. The “F” word. Dear God, someone hide the kids.

I’m not a huge fan of swearing. Not because it offends me, but because I think it’s just lazy. The English language has millions of words – use them. However, I do think swear words have merit.

For example, let’s say I’m enjoying a nice cup of Tim Hortons coffee. It tastes so good; I’m on a ride to flavour country. All of sudden, the cup slips out of my hands, and falls right on my lap. What’s the first thing that comes out of my mouth? I would start with a scream, and then let out a big “fuck!”

I’m hurt, pissed off, and sad that my coffee is gone, so a curse word is well warranted.

I’ll give you another example. I’m watching a favourite show. It’s the season finale, and during the final minutes something shocking happens. The season ends with a cliff-hanger. I’m left with all sorts of questions on what I just saw, and I’m going to say “holy shit!”

Back to Biden now.

He was on the verge of introducing the President of the United States, who was about to sign one of the most important bills in history. That is exciting. History was going to be made, so Biden hugged Obama and let it out. “This is a fucking big deal.”

I agree Joe. This is a big fucking deal. A part of me wished President Obama had responded “hell yeah this is big.” Because it was, and I don’t blame Biden for being excited.

What it boils down to is the fact that it’s a word. One word. Everybody swears, some more than others. Was this a story such a big deal? For comedy shows and comedians, yes it was. It’s great material. But for the mainstream media to run with this story, and to overshadow the true story of the health bill… that’s the joke.

It’s a big fucking joke.

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