Still, reading the list of band names that no longer provide any shock value is reason enough to click on that link. Because Petridis is right in that it's not at all shocking. It's just kind of funny. Some examples? Fuckpony, Swamp Fuck, the Fuckin' Shit Biscuits, and Holy Fuck.
In fact, three of the bands up for this year's Mercury Prize (an annual music prize for the best album from Ireland or the UK), include the word in their name. So if the point is to make your band stand out . . . well, that point is now moot.
The idea that a word that held such weight just two generations ago, would now do little to make even a nine-year-old blush, is pretty interesting. I dug a little further into the Guardian website to see if there was any other word on the subject, and found a 2002 article by Jonathan Margolis, exploring the cultural significance of fuck.
Apparently the word first appeared in a 1475 manuscript, and even back then, was meant to be offensive. When the Sex Pistols uttered it on live television in 1976, it still caused an uproar. But then, something shifted, and by 1997, the word had fallen in rank. "When several broadcasting organizations produced a ranking ofwords by severity, fuck only came in third, behind cunt andmotherfucker."
The article continues, "Further verification that fuck is, well, fucked, comes from AndreaWills, the BBC's chief advisor on editorial policy. 'In research, 50%or more people said the words that should never be broadcast are cunt,motherfucker, nigger, Paki and spastic. Young women also don't likewhore, slag and twat. But fuck wasn't on the list.'"
So what's a punk band to do?
Well, if the intention is to shock, you might just be fucked. Although no amount of Vagina Monologues will stop me from cringing at the C-word . . . so maybe that's your key.
Then again, it's hard enough these days to find a band name that's not already taken without wasting time worrying about if it will cause authorities to sweat.
What's next, Fuckin' Shit Biscuits AKA?