Thursday, January 24, 2013

Do I Really Give a $h*t?

Preface to the original blog

I have just found out that the CBC program This and That is in fact a satire program, creating false news in the media.  The interview that they presented as news, which I commented on here, in fact never happened.

Many of us know of satire groups such as The Onion and enjoy a good laugh when they write stuff.

However, many not familiar with the folks at This and That were duped in not realizing that the people on this program, salaried at taxpayer expense, are attempting to be a poor impersonation of The Onion.

As I noted in a comment at the end of this blog, when the alleged satire / parody is so close to what is really happening or could be really happening, is it satire / parody or just distortion / falsehood?  In a world that needs clarity more than ever, I wonder if there is any real value to such noise.  I also wonder,  if one dubbed references to the CBC over the original audio track and shared it publicly, how lawyers at the CBC would respond.

That being said, I leave my blog as originally written, knowing that “Ms. Bonhart” actually exists in a symbolic way if not a real one.  People who think like this fictitious character are driving agendas in courts all around the world.  The politically correct are threatening to sanitize us to the point where we can’t say anything about anything.

And so the hosts of This and That fooled people like me and others.  I tip my hat to them.

However, the people who are really being fooled, and on a much more serious level, are those who don’t recognize where those who wish to sanitize thought, word and action are taking society.

Such indifference reminds me of this famous Bonhoeffer quote:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

And with that, I present the blog as originally written …. for your amusement.

#1206

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I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. :-)

However, after listening to CBC’s This and That, I was VERY disappointed to hear their interview with Ms. Susan Bonhart, head of the Department of Employee Well Being for the Canadian Federal government.

Ms. Bonhart claims that she has the unenviable position of ensuring that the Canadian federal government workplace is “inclusive of all employees, offensive to none”.

Offensive to none?

If we are going to go on a crusade to cleanse the world of anything that someone might find offensive, then we might as well let the nuclear bombs fly and wipe everything out.

Well, unless you are offended by war, of course.

Some humorous excerpts from the interview:

People will be forbidden to write or say the word “cheers” (commonly used as a close in emails written by Canadians).  Why?  Because “it’s something that people do when they are drinking”.

When people say “Bless you” after someone sneezes, apparently they are really saying “I believe in God – MY God”.  Instead of saying “bless you”, the officially recommended replacement is “Oh no, I heard that”.

But isn’t that what a kid says when another kid has uncontrolled flatulence?  Or is that something else?

BTW, have I offended you by using the word flatulence?

Forgive me – I’m an old fart after all and my sensitivity to the feelings of others is not as well developed as it used to be.

But I digress …. back to Ms. Bonhart ……

Instead of saying “Oh my God”, the official replacements are “Wow”, “Oh!” or “Well, huh”.

I was surprised that she hasn’t nailed the common acronym WTF yet.

Maybe that’s coming.

Some of you just got offended by my use of the word “nailed”. Shame on you for having your mind in the gutter.

Frankly, I’m glad that she gives a rat’s a$$ for cleansing the world of its brutal insensitivity when it comes to language.  It’s time people gave a $h*t about the rights of people who have gotten so sensitive in the world that pretty soon we won’t be able to think or say anything without asking for permission or risking punishment as a result.

Damn it, that’s what all of us oversensitive people deserve.

By the way, I found Ms. Bonhart’s chuckle to be insensitive and I am thinking about launching a class action lawsuit against people who chuckle while discussing important subjects.  I find such actions insulting and my day is totally shagged up as a result.

And I guess if she finds OMG offensive, then she would really not like OMFG.

Oh well.

WTF. :-)

Let’s not limit our cleansing to language

We should also realize that we are not limited to language when it comes to sanitizing our environment.

That blue shirt you are wearing?  Blue reminds me of depression.  Maybe you are poking fun at someone who suffers from it.

Red is a sexually suggestive color.  I wonder what you are suggesting to me when you wear it.  I may be titillated or I may be offended by it.  Hopefully the word titillate doesn’t offend you.

How about that 50th birthday party for a team member?  Well, a good friend of mine died on his 50th birthday and so your birthday party brings back painful memories for me and therefore shouldn’t be allowed.

That chicken sandwich you brought in for lunch?  A vegan would be seriously offended by it.

How about that Tim Horton’s bagel belt sandwich you offered me? The word “belt” reminds me of the corporal punishment I suffered as a child in school.  The traumatic memories you are bringing out in me are preventing me from working.

The sky’s the limit.

Well … unless you are offended by clich├ęs.

There is no end to this slippery slope of stupidity, ignorance and hypersensitivity.

I’d like to sign off with my usual “In service and servanthood” closing but apparently positive-minded closings insult some people.  I have been told that my email closing “Create a great day” is insulting to people who aren’t, can’t or won’t.

I could say “get lost” but that will offend some also.

My first name, Harry, means to harass or carry out attacks against others, so I can’t use my name either because someone may make a connection between my name and bullying.

So I guess I will sign off without saying anything ….

… which will insult the people who subscribe to the likes of Miss Manners.

Damn it – I’m f ████ d.

Instead, I will close with this little ditty from Monty Python – “I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio”.

PS  Take a look at the Federal Government online directory.  Find all the names that you find offensive, such as Dick and others, and send them a note telling them that they are offending you.  That should continue what is apparently a healthy dialog around sensitivity.

PPS I have two colleagues in NYC whose names are Dick Ahnus and Dick Weiner.  I guess I will have to demand that they change their names immediately, since merely recommending them to others sounds like I am making some type of judgement.

PPPS I wonder how Ms. Bonhart’s intentions stand up against a person’s rights when it comes to expressions of faith.  I’m sure the lawyers are exploring that as I write this.

PPPPS I wrote the other day (Two Job Promotion Trends That Worry Me) and last year (For Sale: Courtesy and Respect – No Longer Needed) about how someone in the public sector filed a grievance against me for being too respectful. I wonder how far we are willing to let this charade continue before pushing back on the silliness and ignorance of others.

PPPPPS  I apologize to my readers for appending too many postscripts.

PPPPPPS I apologize to my readers who think my previous apology was a sign of weakness.

12 comments:

  1. I think Canada may actually have an even worse political correctness problem than the U.S. Perhaps you need to tone down the politeness a bit. :-)

    In all seriousness, I learned in my younger bleeding heart years that intolerance is unfortunately a very useful problem. It can be used to implement political correctness. Which effectively controls speech. Which effectively limits thought at least and controls thought at most. Which effectively can be used to re-engineer culture.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't think that everyone who is a member of the "PC police" has such grand goals. In fact, most of them probably believe that they are simply making life better for others.

    The problem is that it takes us down a slippery slope. You can't engineer speech to the point where no one can get hurt, but you can damage free thought. If someone is hurt by "God Bless You" then it stems from something bigger than speech. In essence it stems from THEIR intolerance of anyone who thinks differently and whose thoughts manifest as speech.

    So, effectively, political correctness turns a less useful type of intolerance into a more useful type of intolerance for those who want to re-engineer culture.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very strange ....

    After I approved this, it was recommended that I only approve the following words:

    "I think intolerance is fortunate.

    I think that everyone who is a member of the "PC police" has grand goals. Most of them are making life better for others.

    So, effectively, political correctness turns into a more useful culture."

    :-)

    I couldn't resist, Nathan ... and agree with your original, uncensored version. :-)

    Create a great day ... or get lost ... whichever offends you the least ... unless you are seeking to be offended. :-)

    Harry

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  3. Anyone, anyone, who feels they must censor language is totally teak-brained. They are f****ed from that moment, because they cannot have read Chomsky, Piaget, Bernstein, Derrida et al, otherwise they would be turning their energies to less pointless 'good deeds' I despair of my world atimes
    Paul

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    Replies
    1. I spelled it wrong deliberately - in order to confuse the PCSS

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  4. You misspelled f***ed ... there are only 3* and not 4. :-)

    There is a lot to what you say. I censored mine to poke fun at people who are in a knot about censorship.

    When we become afraid of words or give them too much power over us, all is lost ... including the richness of many writers.

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  5. Lol another This is That victim! Don't feel bad man, many have come and many have gone. Good on you for having a sense of humour enough to identify yourself as falling for the ruse. Five stars on the original post too! Very true!

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  6. Concerning your preamble, I fell for the same type of thing just yesterday and had to delete a post from Facebook today. There was a satirical piece in the New Yorker online that jokingly claimed that Rand Paul demanded Obama resign over Beyonce lip syncing at the Inauguration. I totally fell for it because it looked like a real article and was consistent with the type of rhetoric we have been seeing in Washington DC for the past several years.

    You and I couldn't have fell for what we fell for if it wasn't for the fact that it was so close to the reality that we've unfortunately already experienced.

    You get a pass. Also, thank you for making me feel better for doing it. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You raise an interesting point.

    When the alleged satire / parody is so close to what is really happening or could be really happening, is it satire / parody or just pure distortion / falsehood?

    Look at the liable nature as well. If I took the original recording and overdubbed "Microsoft" or any other corporate entity then I get sued for liable.

    That would be an interesting experiment. Do the exact same thing but dub references to the CBC (the creator of this work) onto the audio. I'll bet CBC lawyers would be all over you in a heartbeat.

    True satire / parody as defined is one thing .... however the creator of stuff like this, the stuff being a weak, immature attempt to fool people, is a poor reflection on people who follow this for entertainment.

    The fact that such people have a large following that enjoys this is a reflection on the people who follow them ... many of them who have little of excitement or value in their Life and so they choose to enjoy the fallibility of others.

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  8. Great point. Also, you could use satire to manipulate people to certain ends. For instance you could convince people that Sarah Palin actually said that she could see Russia from her house. It's easy to mix up the caricature and the individual being caricatured (especially when it's close).

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  9. Good point .... maybe it's already happened / happening!

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