Taking a break from the Tour for a quick rant, brought to you by too damn many news items.
‘Offensensitivity‘ is the punchline of a brilliant Bloom County cartoon from back in 1982.
It could also be the chilling tagline for a recent host of social actions, from both right and left sides of the Culture War aisle across the world. Here’s an essay that frames my opinion in more detail and much better than I can frame it myself.
Here’s another from 1644 and that old hack John Milton, who for some rather base and personal reasons wrote one of the most soaring anti-censorship tracts ever read in English: his Areopagitica. I was fifteen when I read ‘I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue…’ and understood how that applied to real life. I couldn’t understand why so many other people couldn’t. Still can’t.
Life is messy. Life is offensive. Living within a social fabric requires individuals and groups to make compromises and allowances within the boundaries of social requirements. Social norms bend, grow, and evolve just as organisms do, in response to environments and stresses.
Gay people getting married somehow challenges our faith and our path to heaven? Grow the fuck up, get over it, and take a good hard look at your own fragile faith, if it can be torn so easily.
Someone else is better than you, at something that is important to you? Grow the fuck up. Learn from them and improve yourself, or accept that you might not be at their level. Don’t tear them down or try to steal their show.
A book affronts you so much you want to make sure other people can’t read it in school? Stop reading the goddamn book. Stop thinking you’re the Supreme High Dictator telling everybody else what to do, based on your personal triggers. Or better yet, grow the fuck up, READ THE BOOK and see where it challenges or strengthens your worldview. You can learn important things even from books you decide to hate. Write a clear, honest review making your point, not a whiny complaint to the Dean’s office.
Someone makes a joke about your concept of God, or the Divine, or some earthly manifestation thereof? Grow the fuck up and ignore it. God probably does – and if he/she/it doesn’t, well, that’s a rather immature and spiteful deity to be gambling eternity with, eh?
We need, as a species, to grow the fuck up. If we don’t, that might as well be our epitaph.