The Gross National Debt

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ready. Aim. Poot.

Some years agone, I published a guest column in the newspaper I run. Me bud Ang wrote it. It was about raising boys. She used the word "poot."


One reader was so upset by this word, she called my boss and raised hell for a while. End result, Ang was not allowed to write any more columns.

W. T. F.

Kids cartoons use the word poot. Most evening sitcoms use words a WHOLE lot more harsh. I'm standing out on a limb here (a limb big enough to park a truck on) when I say this woman who complained is a Baptist. Possibly a Methodist. Regardless, I'm willing to walk further out on the limb and say this woman has a KJV Bible in her possession.

1 Kings 16:11 - And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.

She was mad enough to try to get me fired over the word "poot" but "pisseth against a wall" wouldn't cause her even a minor heart palpitation. Why? In the Bible of course!


Had another reader call last year and vent hellfire and brimstone on me over a picture. The high school cheerleaders, for Breast Cancer Awareness, made banners. A published pix had the words "Save the TaTas."

Really? Yes, really.

Poot & TaTas then!

In this vein of offense, I am reading Lewis Grizzard's book, "I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962 and other nekkid truths." When he wrote it, the late Lewis knew it would offend people. He wrote as much in the book. He wrote that several times. He also said he didn't care.

If Grizzard tried to publish this book today, he'd be more hated that Clinton and Trump combined.

It's making me laugh out loud nearly every page. One, maybe two other books have managed to do this. Some people would demand the book be burned.

Here's the truth, as explained by Rowan "Mr. Bean" and "Black Adder" Atkinson himself.

Indeed, we absolutely MUST be allowed to offend each other. Or, at least try to. (I'm certainly trying massively hard to offend every person on the planet, but some people are making it damn near impossible).

Here's why we must be allowed to create offense: 30+ years in journalism have taught me that no matter what you or I say, someone is going to be offended. I can call a cat black and someone will say I'm being racist. Some people simply look for reasons and ways to be offended.

If we are not allowed to offend, we have no free speech.

And frankly, not having freedom of speech offends me more than you can imagine.

If that offends you, please send me your name so I can mark you off my list.

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