What is the news all about lately? It seems that every story has an element of someone being offended, whether it be from action or inaction. No one seems be safe from rubbing someone the wrong way. The news headlines seem to be primarily focused on these stories with an occasional peppering of an earthquake or a tornado. As a news columnist, I thought it becoming to fall in line. Therefore, here is another article about how someone got offended.
I did an internet search for the most offensive words and or phrases. Originally, I was going to grab a couple for reference, but I noticed something interesting. The particular search result I came across listed the top 100 most offensive things someone can say. One hundred out of one hundred of these words and short phrases were sexually-based. Isn’t it interesting that the most widely used sales method, to advertise or grab someone’s attention, is based on sex or lustful attraction? Yet, the most offensive terminology is also sex-based. I find it disturbing that everything around us has a sex element to it, but if I were to call foul I am being excessively traditional or close minded. On the flip side, if I were to say something sexually-based to the wrong person, group of people or even within earshot thereof, I am liable to that person(s) if they just so happen to take offense.
If we are inundated with sexual suggestions day in and day out, what is the difference between one person using it versus another? After all, can you think of a group of people that base their entire lifestyle on sex? I can.
Let’s take a look at a television program that contains something someone doesn’t like. I don’t intend for this to be a broad form focus on conservative republican versus liberal democrat, but then again, there is a mindset associated with those two groups; one of them logical, the other emotional. For the sake of simplicity I will refer to my example subjects as right and left. This is not purely political based, but there is no denying the parallels. So, I’m just going to roll with it (understanding, of course, that I may offend someone).
In the first example, a person from the left sees something they don’t care for on TV. Odds are, they are already well stocked, given the nature of these people, but let’s assume they are running low on stock. Off to the local hobby store for poster board, glue sticks, markers, etc. they go. Within hours, their disgust for not the particular show or commercial, but the entire network is displayed in bright colors and bubble font. Next stop, the nearest busy intersection where this person will show off their arts and crafts skills and, of course, the personal offense taken.
In the second example, a person from the right sees something they don’t care for on TV. To be fair, I will dramatize what occurs here as to make it seem somewhat equal and opposite. The person from the right clutches the remote control and depresses the channel up or down button only to find no response from the television at the other end of the room. Again, the batteries have run empty in the controller. Little Jimmy could have acquired said batteries to power his RC car, but I fear the truth will avoid us for all eternity. A few steps later, our person from the right is rifling through the junk drawer in the kitchen, and to his surprise, two fresh batteries await their new home in the infrared entertainment selector. Our person from the right has resumed their position in the family living room, and still uncomfortable with what is being portrayed before him on the screen. Success! The channel has been changed.
Is offense given or taken? I am an advocate for condition of the heart. If you are saying something with an intent to offend someone, in this case it is given, right? What if you are not saying something with intent and the person hearing the opinion is offended? Is that offense taken? I use the term “opinion” because it should be impossible for someone to be offended by facts. I believe that for an offense to occur, in both cases mentioned above, it must be taken. There can be an intent to deliver offense, but if no one is there to sign for the package…
The sweeping craze about the Confederate Flag is disappointing to a freedom loving American such as myself. I recognize the rebel flag as a symbol of the southern Democratic Party that promoted segregation and, therefore, choose not to display it myself. That being said, what that flag means to some, is a symbol of southern pride. We should never be told what we can and can’t say, display, or do. The line is only drawn when it effects someone else, and offense doesn’t count as effecting.
The Toyota Prius wouldn’t exist if this were the case as I am offended by its existence, that, and the University of Michigan scum (Big Grin). Human decency should take over before the offense occurs. However, if it didn’t, change the channel. Isn’t it OK to have pride in something? The White House was all about rainbow pride recently by endorsing some of the most disgusting behavior on the planet. I don’t suppose we will be seeing a Dukes of Hazard reunion on the south lawn anytime soon, do you? NASCAR tracks all across the US are banning the confederate flag from display at the races. I’m not a marketing genius, but I don’t think it takes one to recognize that the NASCAR executives clearly have no idea who their demographic is.
My fellow Americans, the two different mindsets are clear and present. One of them is sweeping the nation and taking over at an alarming rate. The conservative non-confrontational, look the other way, attitude is giving away the country to Britain. The red coats aren’t coming, they are here, and you don’t care. My friends, change the channel when you want to, but get up and fight back when you need to. I’m offended that the left is offended by me and that does not offend the right.