Here’s some advice I read in the news paper recently. “ Don’t quote
The Office without explaining the context”. From my recent experience
even providing the context won’t stop some people being offended. I
recently wrote an article on this web site about the reaction of some
views to the karaoke scene in the Gavin and Stacy Christmas special.
My point was those complaining were ignoring the context and insisting
some words should never be used because they were deeply offensive.
My reason for writing the Gavin and Stacy piece was the criticism
and censorship that followed a previous piece I wrote entitled “ A
managers arrogance is one of the things that make them successful”. In
this piece I quoted Mohammad Ali and it was his use of the N word that
some people objected to. Again ignoring the context which was Ali
making fun of white supremacists who were prepared to pay large sums
of money to see him fight in the hope he would be severely beaten, and
inso doing we’re making him rich.
Following a complaint and at the request of the site moderators I
removed the offensive word and replaced it with the first letter N.
However I was contacted by the moderator again this time to say
following “ more complaints” they were removing the whole sentence. I
was disappointed but accepted the decision whilst suggesting that the
policy was reviewed to take account of nuance and context rather than
a blanket ban on prescribed words. I suggested that this might be a
debate they could lead on this site.
So far I have heard nothing. But I have been prompted to raise
the issue again following a piece in today’s Guardian by the comedian
Ramesh Ranganathan using a different example but asking the same
question. Are we becoming a society were ,” people feel increasingly
righteous about being offended”.
Blair Mcpherson www.blairmcpherson.co.uk