Monday, 20 October 2014

The subjectivity of taking offence

David Innes from Perth (Australia) giving the reverse victory salute.
Is taking offence to something a subjective experience? Could it be said finding something offensive is just a personal choice?

It certainly appears that what others find gravely offensive can also not be considered by another group as such. Or indeed, what was deemed to be offensive by past generations is no longer considered to be such today.

For Example: You are a bloody idiot and your mother wears army boots.

“I find that insulting” a cry is heard. “My goodness! That is just simply offensive” an exclamation is made. “How dare you say such a thing” cries another. “Wont somebody think of the children!” shrills a woman.

What! A woman you say?  Oh sure. It would be a woman that shrills about children. Women aren’t the only ones who get hysterical you sexist pig!!

Pig? How dare you label him as a pig? That is simply rude! Pigs are mighty fine animals. Unlike boorish chauvinists, pigs provide us with a diverse range of products from insulin to delicious bacon to go with my eggs on a Sunday morn…

Oh my GAWD! Eating bacon is simply evil. As a vegan I find your eagerness to murder and devour innocent life horrendously offensive and a direct crime against nature itself! It’s people like you that make this world a tremendously wicked place to live in.

People like you? It is that kind of hurtful generalization which fuels the hatred of xenophobic "us and them" divisions! I demand a retraction of your words via an apologetic admission of guilt in a form of a novel for everyone on this planet to approve.
What? Just everyone on this Planet? What about life on other planets you…you other-planet-species-ist! Your disregard of what other life forms feel or think outside this planet is deeply disturbing. We demand a committal hearing of epic proportions, to accommodate new laws, to prevent further outlandish remarks from being uttered, against potentially possible existing life forms, that may or may not understand, the pure bigotry of which you so casually utter within infinite space.

So yeah…

David Innes
Perth, Western Australia

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