John Howard: 'You are not forgotten, your loss is not forgotten,' Bali Bombings 10 year service - 2012

Ten years ago, twenty million Ausralians in a sense extended their arms of comfort to those who had lost so much, on that terrible night, and who in other painful ways, were victims of a foul and evil act of mindless terrorism, that could draw no comfort or support, from any religious or ideological belief.

And today, a decade on, we renew that offer of comfort and compassion, and struggle to understand the continuing pain that so many of you must feel.

That terrible night and the days that followed tested the character of our nation, Australia.

 and it passed that character test with flying colours. We saw in those days, those two great qualities that our nation has; strength but also tenderness.

The gentle efficiency of those who medically evacuated in 37 hours 66 badly injured people.

And those who were responsible for this terrible deed may have hoped a number of things; they may have hoped that they would have driven Indonesia and Australia further apart.

Instead of that, they brought Indonesia and Australia closer together.

Within minutes of the explosions, the commissioner of the Australian Federal Police was in touch with you sir, then in charge of the Indonesian police, and the days and weeks that followed, the cooperation between Australian and Indonesian police meant that those responsible for committing this terrible act were brought to justice.



Steven Pinker: 'Unfortunately the 'f*cking' in 'f*cking brilliant' is an adverb', The Science of Swearing - 2008

10 September 2008, Warwick's, La Jolia, California, USA

I'm going to switch now from cognition to emotion, and the puzzle of language that I'll start with comes from an event five years ago when NBC broadcast the Golden Globes awards on live television, and accepting an award on behalf of the group U2,  Bono said and I quote: 'this is really really fucking brilliant'.

Now the networks did not bleep out the offending words, and the switchboards lit up and the case went to the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, which has jurisdiction over the airwaves. In considering the matter they decided not to fine the network, because according to their guidelines, indecency is, quote, 'material that describes or depicts sexual or excretory organs or activities' and the 'fucking in fucking brilliant' is 'an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation'.

Well a number of conservative politicans were enraged, and they filed legislation designed to close this loophole. I downloaded one of these bills from the uS Congressional website, and I'm going to read it to you right now:

House resolution 3687 - The Clean Airwaves Act

The House resolves that section 1464 of Title 18 United States code be amended (1) by inserting (a) before 'Whoever and (2) to the term profane used with respect to language includes the words shit, piss, fuck, cunt, asshole, and the phrases cock sucker, mother fucker and ass hole, compound use, (including hyphenated compounds) , of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle and infinitive forms).

Unfortunately the fucking in 'fucking brilliant' is an adverb, and that's the one part of speech they forgot to include.

This is a brilliant lecture on what swearing is about. If anyone has a full transcript I'd love to post it.