* Warning: This column contains explicit language.
When Jarvis Cocker sang, "Let's be perfectly clear boys and girls, c**** are still running the world," he was taking aim at the winner-takes-all capitalism that has driven the world to new levels of inequality.
"C***" is a perfect word for this type of moral outrage, being the last line of linguistic attack, just this side of bloody revolution.
In the past week the word that no one is allowed to say has been on everyone's lips.
As have the names Willy Moon, Jeremy Clarkson and John Campbell. All are c**** in their own right.
So, I hear you asking, what sort of c*** is The X Factor judge Willy Moon? I would say he is an 'FC' or 'funny c***'.
In an incident widely reported in the press, Willy lost his cool at a woman in bakery and allegedly called her a "c***" in retaliation to some sort of parking space skirmish.
As an avid lover of sausage rolls (the smaller ones, not those disgusting giant versions) I could easily get into a tizzy if some nobody impeded my passage to the pie warmer, so I feel compelled to cut Mr Moon some slack on this front. He also showed immense bravery, worthy of a Victoria Cross, by insulting a middle-aged woman as he allegedly sprayed his "C-word" over the sally lunns and cream filled donuts.
The middle-aged woman is not a species to be messed with, and Mr Moon was lucky to escape the scene with his dangly bits still attached to his gangly body. And what judge would convict the woman of GBH if she had detached his wedding tackle with her nail scissors and placed them in the warmer next to the savories, just below the mince and cheese? "Not guilty" the jury would yell.
She also deserves props for ending her letter to Willy with the sign off: "The woman you called a c*** this morning at 9.15 at The Bakers Cottage in Kingsland (in case there are any other women you have called this today)."
Though who can deny the comedy of Willy's recollection of the events as well: "I seem to recall someone was behaving like a c*** and getting called a c***."
Jeremy Clarkson on the other hand is an RC or a 'right c***'. You have probably noticed that his career is based primarily on this fact, but this week he has possibly come to the end of the Top Gear road after allegedly calling his producer a "lazy Irish c***" before bopping him on the nose with his fists.
His first crime is to mislabel us Irish as lazy, as even the dimmest among us know that stupidity is our national trait. Largely celebrated as a maverick joker who values jolly japes and anti authoritarian larrikinism, the incident reveals Clarkson as a pampered egomaniacal dictator, corrupted by the immense power that he has amassed. He is the angry lord of the manor flogging his Irish peasant servant. He has become an Idi Amin, a Saddam, a Jake the Muss. "Cook me some f***ing steak and eggs! Or I'll make you drive a Mon-de-o!" He may as well have bellowed.
The other parts of the story that increase his C-rating are the words "helicopter" and "drinking rosé" though the latter offence was downgraded to the more bloke appropriate "red wine" as the story unfolded.
Like Clarkson, John Campbell is also fond of red wine and cars, though with regards to the latter, only so much as they help fund his nightly current affairs show Campbell Live. And like Clarkson, Campbell is also a bit of a c***, but there is a world of difference because he's a 'GC,' or a 'good c***'.
His nightly show has just reached the 10-year mark, a remarkable feat for any show, but more so for one that has been so hell bent on maintaining a notion of public service. That's right, JC the GC appears to actually give a shit.
There's always been a sense of humanity and a connection with ordinary New Zealanders on the show and that has put it above its main competitors. The late Sir Paul Holmes had something close to the 'the common touch' for a while, but he eventually evolved into a reactionary insider complete with a Clarkson-like column in a Sunday paper. Perhaps it's inevitable that fame and money will eventually turn you in to a Clarkson, a Hosking or a Henry, but so far Campbell seems to have avoided this rule of nature.
It's true that you can switch between our two main 7pm shows and find magic or mush. That Campbell Live seems to have more than its fair share of the magic in the past decade is something nearing a solid concrete fact rather than mere opinion.
That TVNZ has the most successful show at 7pm, in terms of ratings is also not in question, (any show that follows their behemoth 6pm news is of course delivered a super sized audience) but a slither of shame must be felt somewhere in the bowel of TVNZ that it was Campbell Live that has been providing the closest thing to a public service for the past decade, and not their own 7pm show.
Like other fellow, and possibly shallow, Aucklanders, I may have groaned the words "not another earthquake sob story" while watching Campbell Live, but the relentless dedication to the aftermath is as undeniable as it is admirable. The ongoing focus on childhood poverty and the recent illumination of Zero hour contracts reveal a show that has a heart and a sense of purpose and an affinity with the powerless.
But handwringing right-on-ness can only get you so far. It's Campbell's joyful enthusiasms, (and his tears) that are key to making this decade old institution, so compelling, so essential, and so bloody marvelous. What a GC.