Intercourse the Penguin!

Films with the most prolific use of the word fuck:

  1. Tigerland (527)
  2. Nil By Mouth (470)
  3. Casino (422)
  4. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (399)
  5. Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat (347)
  6. Another Day in Paradise (327)
  7. Summer of Sam (326)
  8. Twin Town (320)
  9. Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen (313)
  10. Narc (298)

The winner, Joel Schumacher’s 2000 infantry-training drama Tigerland, packs 527 fucks into 100 minutes, for a fuck-per-minute ratio of 5.27, or one fuck every 12 seconds. (“Damn it, Cantwell! Shit, man. Shit! Fuck, I don’t even know you, man! You sittin’ there telling your fucking stories. You make me want to fuckin’ cry! What’s that about?”) Schumacher got a lump of coal that Christmas.

Down in Front

George Bush and Dan Quayle are famous for fractured oratory, but the godfather of political malaprops is Sir Boyle Roche, an Irish member of Parliament in the 18th century. Highlights:

  • “Mr. Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I’ll nip him in the bud.”
  • “While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.”
  • “All along the untrodden paths of the future I can see the footprints of an unseen hand.”
  • “He is the kind of opponent who would stab you in front of your face and then stab you in the chest when your back is turned.”
  • “We should silence anyone who opposes the right to freedom of speech.”
  • “I answer in the affirmative with an emphatic no.”

The best I’ve seen: “It would surely be better to give up, not only a part but, if necessary, the whole of our constitution, to preserve the remainder.”

Jack the Ripper

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FromHellLetter.jpgThis is the “From Hell” letter, sent by Jack the Ripper to the president of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee that was pursuing him. He included a bloody fragment to prove his identity:

“I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman and prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer”

Whoever he was, Jack certainly had a flair for dramatic horror. But much of his fame is really due to newspapers, which were becoming popular at the time. His crimes, which combined sex, violence, mystery, class warfare and police ineptitude, were tailor-made for cheap sensation. (In fact, it was probably a journalist who invented the “Ripper” nickname.)

Casebook: Jack the Ripper has gathered examples of lurid accounts from as far away as Poland, Jamaica, and Mexico. “All London is ringing with the horror of the thing,” writes one New Zealand editor. “The woman who reads, with hair standing on end, the details of some fresh outrage to-night cannot feel sure that on the morrow she may not be the next victim.” The whole episode is a low point for responsible journalism.

BTW, today the Ripper’s story has spawned a rather unwholesome fanbase, with concentration games, crossword puzzles, and fan fiction. Somehow time can make even serial murder seem quaint.