leg-iron (leg_iron) wrote,

Scales of offence.

Cross posted at the new place. This one is closing soon.

I first came across this tale of despair and misery at Mummylonglegs' place. Dick Puddlecote found it too. The trauma! The horror! The shock and disgust! Tesco sold a card that made a little jibe at ginger-haired people and some hideous bint's children now have to undergo counselling. Tesco must be shut down and all the staff nailed to the front of the shop until they have suffered enough. Which will be never, because the Cheeldren have never been so insulted since the last time it looked likely to get someone in the papers.

All because of a Christmas card and looking at the picture of it, not a particularly good one. Personally I always buy a box of the 'cute' cards and add my own subtitles inside. My favourite was of a badger in a chair, reading a book to a bunch of baby animals, none of which were badgers. Inside, I added 'Mr. Badger thought that maybe, this Christmas, he'd tell the kids they were adopted'.

Contrast this with the reaction of a 15-year-old who was mostly-blinded by an IRA bomb. He met the Queen and Prince Philip while wearing the somewhat bold tie of his Army Cadet group. The Queen asked how much he could still see.

"Not much, judging by that tie," said old Phil.

Compared to a Christmas card insulting gingers, I'd say that was a far more terrible thing. How did the 15-year-old react? Did he demand an apology and compo? No. He did no such thing.

He...got his own back later that year when he took part in an ex-serviceman's march along The Mall for the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations.

As he passed the royal box at Buckingham Palace he flashed a giant Union Jack tie at the watching prince.

Mrs Menary said: 'Stephen said, "If he thought that other tie was bad, then this one's even worse".'

This didn't even make the papers until seven years later when the mother was on TV for some other reason. It comes to something when a 15-year-old, who could so easily have been upset by a jibe at his injury, reacts with far more maturity and humour than a mother of three who simply saw a card in Tesco.

Phil the Greek also had a joke about a comedian's artificial foot. The comedian found it funny (he wouldn't be much of a comedian if he was too sensitive, I suppose) and laughed it off. No offence taken.

Okay, the woman was offended by the Christmas card. I'm offended by racks and racks of mindless magazines in every supermarket and newsagent in the land. Do I demand they all be taken down so I can get my copies of New Scientist, Viz and Stoat Stapler's Monthly without having to trawl through all those menstrually hysterical glossies? No. I just don't buy them. That is the sensible reaction to something that's on sale that you don't want and don't like. Leave it on the shelves. Ignore it. It's not going to follow you out of the shop. Just leave it there and move on.

If you buy the thing that offends you, the store's stock computer goes 'Oh, I sold one. Better order another' and then more of the offending thing appear. It's not a solution. Neither is running to the complaints department shrieking 'Look! Look! Look at the offensive thing! It must be destroyed and you with it!' It does not make you look like a caring parent. It makes you look like a Bedlam inmate on a day trip.

There are far more worrying things in the world than being called names. If a bit of name-calling is enough to reduce you to a gibbering wreck in need of comfort and counselling, then you are a chimp-brained saggy-faced halfwit with the social graces of a slug and all the visual appeal of a hellbender (yes, it's a real thing, also known as a 'snot otter').

If people who have been blinded by IRA bombs can survive a jibe and respond in kind, at fifteen years old, what the hell are alleged adults doing getting upset about a remark concerning their hair colour? If it's that big a deal, buy hair dye. If you like the colour, tell your detractors to get stuffed or better yet, learn to use words of your own and retaliate in kind. It's fun. Try it.

Most of all, try growing up. It isn't as bad as it sounds.

(It seems I'm not the only one playing the 'compare and contrast' game today.)

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