Look at that, I’m posting again shortly after my last post. Wow. I’m back in the saddle, it appears.
OK. It’s time to talk about what is offensive.
This post is influenced by a series of tweets I made, and then a poor choice of words a few days later.
To wit, those tweets deal with my “All hail zombie Jesus” comment in the Barrhead Leader in the spring of 2012.
The thrust of them is that I’ve always felt that it’s not my fault if you’re offended. If you think something is offensive, it’s your responsibility to deal with it.
Life isn’t fair and you aren’t going to be able to go through it in a bubble so as not to have your delicate sensibilities damaged.
At least that’s what I always thought.
I think what else made me so unsympathetic and unrepentant about the impact the ‘Zombie Jesus’ comment had was that I didn’t know the people who were offended personally. I couldn’t tell you any of their names (except for those who wrote letters, whose names I can’t remember), nor did I care.
Harsh, and probably not conducive to a successful reporting career in a small town, but it is who I was.
But recently I made what I thought was a funny comment to describe women: “long hairs.”
It made sense and makes a lot of sense, when you think about it. On average, and stereotypically, women have long(er) hair (than men), a point driven home when you live with them and their hair clogs the drain in the shower.
[Incidentally, the last time I lived with women, I actually had the longest hair in the house.]
Well, this comment didn’t go over very well with the woman I would consider my best friend.
Acknowledging now that you can’t get tone in a text message, from what I was reading of her response to my use of that comment, I assumed she was right royally pissed off and I had jeopardized our friendship.
I was so worried, I fretted about it all the next day, until we talked on the phone last night.
In the lead up to the phone call, I was thinking about my thoughts on the ‘Zombie Jesus’ hullabaloo, and how the situation changed when it came down to someone I actually knew.
Those people offended by my comment in Barrhead were just ‘other people,’ ‘faces in the crowd,’ or ‘humourless Christians.’
But my ‘long hairs’ comment was said to someone I know, love, respect and care for.
It’s kind of funny what difference knowing who you have (allegedly) offended makes — when you don’t know the people personally, who cares; when you do, you realize the impact your words have.
So, I guess the long and short of this is I will be trying to curtail my language and offensiveness. And please call me out on it if you see/hear me using it.
Or not. I don’t really give a crap what you think.