In a previous post, I mused about the incessant swearing in the premier episode in the new HBO comedy Veep and wondered how normal it was. The comments from people familiar with that world suggested that it was quite common for people in high levels of government to swear all the time.
It turns out that the creator of Veep is Armando Iannucci and he seems like the British counterpart of Quentin Tarantino in the swearing department, even more so in fact. The idea for the TV show came from Iannucci’s 2009 film In The Loop, a comedy that deals with how the governments of the UK and the US conspire to start a war by manufacturing a bogus case for invasion by manipulating evidence and riding roughshod over those who think the evidence is weak. Sound familiar?
The plot is, of course, a thinly veiled satire of the events that led up the invasion of Iraq, seen more from the UK side, with the evidence provided by an informant of doubtful credibility named ‘Iceman’ (Curveball in real life) is used create a pretext for war against un unnamed country (Iraq in real life), with the careful analyses that discounts the evidence being doctored by the British (‘sexed up’ in real life) to eliminate doubts, and then used to win UN Security Council approval for action.
The film is fast-paced, oscillating between London and Washington, and is quite funny but the swearing is extreme and unrelenting. If true to reality, it suggests that high levels of the British government indulge in it even more than their US counterparts. I found that after awhile, I did not even notice the swearing, it becoming just a blue background blur.
Here’s the trailer for In The Loop.