The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Aiming to offend - caution, contains profanity

It is impossible to not cause offense. Impossible.

No matter what you do, someone will be offended. 30+ years as a word slinger have taught me that I can write "a black cat crossed the road" and someone will call me a racist.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chwoops.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot harm me. Harm. Not hurt. I see a real difference there.

You may disagree. Tellya whut monkeybutt,

You write 10+ books, contribute to 40-something history books, edit & publish a series of history books, produce a dozen or so books for other people, edit book manuscripts and have 10,000+ articles (and counting) published around the world, be physically attacked for what you write, be threatened repeatedly with lawsuits for what you write AND survive an assassination attempt (or be killed by an assassin) for what you write THEN you can come talk to me about words and hurt and harm.

I generally object to using profanity in public settings and in places where kids happen to be, but today I do not care. Some things must be said. If it causes offense, then offense needs to be caused. This world is not fair and does not care that you suffer butthurt. Get over it. Move along.

I ask, is it fair for you to lash out because of your butthurt? Is it fair for you to offend others because you were offended? If the offense was incidental, who is really at fault?


Had one person, who was offended, tell me it is not the intent that matters, but the result. Monkeybutt, you're right when you are dealing with things that cause actual measurable harm. Butthurt is not a measurable harm by my standards. YMMV. Yes, tort does allow for butthurt. I can agree with that ONLY when there is measurable other damage.

Understand this world will not conform to your expectations and you have two basic choices:

Live with it.

Exit stage whatever comes next.


You do have the right to express your butthurt. I will support your right to whine with everything that is within me. I will also laugh about it.

Why today's rant? I login to FB, the source of all butthurt in the world, and one of me buds has posted this.

"I am tired of trying to figure out just what the hell is going to offend people and then trying to avoid posting that shit. It's too much work. Maybe, MAYBE if I had a complete list of what's going to offend everyone...
It was an image of Elmer Fudd, a cartoon I identify with, shooting an idiotic female cartoon who was taking a selfie of herself doing that godawfully stupid duckface pose. It was an obvious play on the Elmer/Bugs/Daffy rabbit season/duck season storyline.
Judging by the 15 or so private convos that were aimed my way, this image is offensive.
I am fucking lost here. I grew up with those cartoons. They're what led to my nickname and interest in opera. But all I'm hearing is "gun violence against women isn't cool." Well no shit!
I need a nap..."

Not telling you who posted it as I don't have permission to reprint. However, as a journalist and in the interest of telling news, current topics and journalist commentary, I am sharing it. This is copacetic under copyright law. Further, I invoke the same First Amendment rights to reprint the offending toon.

Those taking offense saw this as violence against women. Lemme state categorically - Violence against humans is flat wrong. Period. However, those taking offense at this toon need to take a chill pill. Those taking offense will, I can guarantee this, laugh their collective ass off at things other people find offensive. 

I can find plenty of other things far more offensive. I shan't include them. Yet. – Bugger it. Here's one that offends me so much ...

The picture is not offensive. What it represents drives me into an incoherent rage. If the cartoon offends you and but what this child went through does not offend you, your priorities are seriously f'd up. If you support bombing children (past presidents, current POTUS, Trump & Clinton do), please never speak to me again.

Anyway, the people who are offended by the cartoon...

It is absolutely NOT cool for them to be offended, but entirely appropriate for them to find humor in something that offends others. Hypocrite much?

Just for the record, me bud who posted this is quite possibly the most gentle, forgiving and wonderful person I've ever met who had an IQ over 100. Well, he and Grandma are in a dead heat for that title. He goes well out of his way to avoid causing offense, but admits he can't do it anymore. He will read this. To him I say - You do you. Maybe those who suffer extreme butthurt need to be excised like a festering boil.

"To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion - that is a right. That is a freedom," he said.
"The freedom to criticise ideas - any ideas even if they are sincerely held beliefs - is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.
"And the law which attempts to say you can criticise or ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed.
"It all points to the promotion of the idea that there should be a right not to be offended. But in my view the right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended.
"The right to ridicule is far more important to society than any right not to be ridiculed because one in my view represents openness - and the other represents oppression."

No doubt this post is going to offend people. Excellent. If you are offended, please send me your name so I can mark it off my list. It is my goal to reach out and offend every person on the planet. (This goal does have some arcane rules, which I will not explain here.) If you'd care to tell me how you are offended, I will be glad to laugh at that as well.


  1. Ben, you have my permission to reprint anything I say. I trust you.


Hi. I welcome lively debate. Attack the argument. Go after a person in the thread, your comments will not be posted.