Tag Archives: offence

The new morality

You know what? I’ve had it right up to here (indicates back teeth) with the sanctimonious, self righteous, arrogant majority which has bought the idea that it only needs to complain of having taken offense at the thoughts, beliefs, words or actions of another for the “authorities” to issue edicts or pass bills outlawing the “offense” of the accused culprit, and subjecting him to broad public outrage and censure.

So well trained to cast narrow, officious eyes on everything, even works of art are now under attack, and the nudity which never offended the Victorians now offends the delicate sensibilities of a schizophrenic public which finds no fault with the manipulated images of near naked nubile females suggestively posed to sell “the product”, but colours with embarrassment and mortification at the sight of a woman discreetly feeding her baby.

As though completely missing the point of Farenheit 451, and ignoring the warning signals which point to a future of extremely limited possibilities in which every movement, every utterance is examined by a fascist rulership having the power to punish any deviation from the permitted, ordinary people, losing or never cultivating the capacity for rational analysis and reflection, imagine that by eliminating everything which offends, a perfect or better world will result.

What the hell happened to people who leapt from the generally lauded sentiment which was proudly owned to the effect that one might not agree with what another says but will defend to the death his right to say it, to the position of proscribing a number of topics for public discussion, even limiting the permitted viewpoints on the subjects which remain open to debate so that they fall only within a narrow range, outside of which universal condemnation falls on anyone daring to express the maverick view.

I’m pretty much constantly offended by the things I see and hear in this world, but I’m here to tell you I’m still alive. It won’t kill you to be offended. Furthermore, as far as I can tell I haven’t been damaged personally by the offense I took at anything, and I’m reasonably sure you haven’t been either. The likelihood of our being damaged by something over which we’ll take offense in the future is extremely slim, I’m sure you’ll agree.

What a ship of fools we are. The ruling elite, skilled in social engineering, are witnessing the success of their experiments and have good reason for celebration and self congratulation. While waiting for the world to wake up I have become tired, and am almost at the point of saying I don’t give a damn anymore.

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Dare to be indifferent.

We live in an increasingly censorious world, I’m sure you’ll agree. We seem to be all caught up in a fever of outrage at what “other people” do, well, not I, and not you perhaps, but all those “other people”.

It begins with outrage over what most reasonable people would consider an atrocity, such as obligatory cliteroidectomy for example, and a few people work themselves into the ground to try to have it outlawed. Then another thing of which most reasonable people disapprove becomes the focus of an adversarial campaign, such as the fox hunt. Now larger numbers, because cruelty to animals always attracts a bigger crowd than cruelty to humans, do everything they can to force an end to the hunt.

Buoyed by the effects of collective pressure, a number of traditions and cultural amusements of which the many disapprove, though they may live across the planet, come under attack, and everyone’s encouraged to make a big song and dance about each issue.

The Spanish have held the tradition of the bullfight for many centuries, and a whole culture, including the flamenco dance and the music, the costume, and many other integral facets, is built upon its traditions. It is now threatened by a vocal and outraged majority from around the world for whom it is an abominable offence.

Now, I’m not saying that I think bullfighting is okay. But my attitude to it and to the multitudinous other things which I abhor is simple. I won’t participate.

A highly successful anti smoking campaign designed by governments and other organisations and driven by insurance companies is gaining ground all around the globe. Delighted by this tendency of people to round on one or another group or individual, and to buy into the overblown rhetoric, and to be whipped into zealous opposition, and to identify with the many, governments and organisations routinely co-opt “the public” into demonising any group they’d like to subdue or destroy.

But in this fervour of disapprobation and censure over issues largely affecting the complainants not one iota, a great many things which distinguish one culture from another, and which bear witness to traditional ways in each culture and different ways of seeing life and death and experiencing the world are being lost. And what do we have in return?

Here’s what we have in return: a growing global culture of Coca Cola and back to front baseball caps. Of fast food and corporate logos. Of degenerating music prostituting itself to lurid display, of narcissism and sarcasms and trickery and lies. And this same culture which deplores cruelty to animals in fox hunts and bullfights consumes the fast food of the giant corporations which keep animals as prisoners destined for slaughter. This same culture which will not abide a smoker within eyeshot loves its street side cafes and the passing poisonous traffic.

I know it’s hard to grapple with these things, to be torn between one argument and another, and the reason is that life in this world is not simple, and cannot be conformed to the ideals of lofty disengagement. People of differing backgrounds and traditions will inevitably have a view of life and life’s conduct which will not conform to another’s, and will resent any coercive efforts to make it do so. Likewise individuals who have a singular perspective and expect to express their response to the world according to their own view and after their own counsel will resent the judgement and pressure to conform to those of the majority.

Once people get involved in repressing or banning the conduct of others on the grounds that they find it offensive, regardless of how noble or righteous the argument, the more easily they’ll be induced to campaign against other “offences” of others, and in almost no time nothing will be permitted which gives offence to any. What a wonderfully obedient, cowed, homogeneous and obsequious global society we’ll be.

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