Joe’s Crow Country
PUBLISHED: 17:32 07 April 2011
AT 8.30am, on a cold, wet midweek morning when I’m tired and hungry and require an uneventful as possible journey to work, the last thing I want to witness when I step outside my front door is a mother loudly swearing at her 5-year-old child to get out the road.
Particularly as there was no traffic anywhere nearby, a lot of people I’m sure were still trying to sleep, and the poor kid could barely stand up because of the wind.
The word she used was the most common term of the foul-mouthed kind, and one to which I am immune to by my age – in most situations.
It’s up to this mother if she wants to swear in front of her children. No one can tell her she’s not allowed to lambast them with verbal insults within her own four walls, whether you agree with it or not.
But as she is passing through my street, at the top of her voice and at that time of day, it cannot be excused.
For some people swearing is part of the everyday vernacular. In pubs, on buses, most offices, building sites and any workplace where the public are not dealt with, swearing is commonplace. As long as it’s not aggressive, personal or antagonistic, then this is fine by me.
A day doesn’t go by when I don’t listen to a song, watch a TV programme or hear a friend frustratingly mutter a curse under their breath, but in some circumstances, swearing is an invasion of privacy.
If I incidentally overhear an otherwise well-mannered conversation that uses swear-words frequently, but doesn’t involve, insult or concern me in anyway, then I’ll turn a blind eye. I’m sure I’ve done this sort of thing myself.
However there are inappropriate times and places that I don’t want to hear the F-word. Early in the morning at that volume and in a public place, is one of them.
I will offer a defence of sorts for Wayne Rooney, who has just been suspended for two matches for swearing directly into a TV camera after scoring his third goal against West Ham on Saturday.
Firstly, I’m not a Manchester United fan, and I don’t like Rooney’s attitude or character. Some of his on-field behaviour, like criticising England’s fans after a poor performance during the World Cup or winding-up fans of his boyhood club Everton, is disgraceful.
But having been booed for the best part of an hour at Upton Park and condemned by the media for playing badly for most of the season, I believe his outburst was aimed at those that have doubted him, and that he was caught in the heat of the moment.
Sure, he probably should have been celebrating joyously, but I think he let out some angry frustration by telling journalists, and all those that had booed him, where to go.
I also don’t believe, as some have suggested, that he “seeked out” the camera to shout into it. The cameraman placed himself right in front of Rooney and begged for a response.
Rooney is a working-class man who has been given anything he wants since he was 16-years-old, and this means he sometimes doesn’t know how to act.
He has never learnt to conduct himself properly, and given his continued angry approach, I doubt he ever will. He should have vented his anger in his post-match interviews, when he wasn’t so worked-up, rather than invading the privacy of millions of viewers.