I just saw The King’s Speech, a movie about a man with a stammer and a crown. As the King of England, George the VI could bloody ill-afford to stutter. He needed to cure his affliction so he could not only perform his functions as the ceremonial head of the English Empire but to also keep his weekend gig as a part time deejay at a golden oldies station.
With the help of an unemployed Australian actor (not Mel Gibson) turned speech therapist, King George, a/k/a “Bertie” embarks on an intensive schedule to overcome his stutter once and for all. In one particular montage that didn’t involve eating raw eggs or slamming his fists into frozen sides of beef, Bertie and his therapist, Lionel Louge, perform vocal exercises, repeat tongue twisters, waltz about the room and sing out of an open window. They argue. They shout. They swear… a lot.
With the word play, shouting and constant swearing, I wonder if King George may have benefited from Hip Hop. He could have hired Flavor Flav or one of the Beastie Boys to be his therapist. But that would have been a blatant anachronism. Plus, I think Bertie would have made a terrible rapper even with the pimped-up crown. Braggadocio was not his style. His whole life was about staying out of the limelight and keeping quiet. He only became king because his older brother abdicated.
At that point King George could no longer remain in the cool shadows. He needed to step into the heat and overcome his fear of public speaking. If you want the slightest understanding of the task, try writing backwards with your non-dominant hand while tap dancing. I’m sure you will start with a lot of swearing.