By Craig Stadler
2018 is winding to a close, and it feels like just the other day we were raising glasses to herald its arrival. Time flies when you are having fun. I was reading through some of my earlier columns the other day and I am bowled over by how much I’ve changed in the 15 years that I’ve been writing this column. I’ve become more mature in many ways but also more curmudgeonly as you have probably been able to tell if you read me regularly. Small things climb under my skin and bug the shit out of me. But there is none more so than the disease of Millenial Entitlement, coupled with Political correctness – a bigger shitstorm than even Donald Trump.
A study a few years go revealed that the most used word in the English language was the word “I”. I would like to submit that may have changed statistically. I think the term “I’m offended”, may just be giving strong chase to the title so long held by the one lettered, monosyllabic “I”. Ten years ago, if someone said they were offended, the standard response was “So what?”. Now we bend over each other to ensure that no delicate feelings were bruised. We pander to every group with an objection and while there is often merit in the complaint, one must remember that offense is subjective and what might be highly offensive to you might be hilarious to me or may leave me truly ambivalent to the cause. But my question is this: When someone says something that offends you, can you show me on the doll where you were hurt?
Now I’m not talking about a direct insult aimed at your person. That is different and there are many studies showing that emotional scarring is often more detrimental than a physical beating, but there is a difference between “You are a dirty faggot” and “So a dirty faggot walks into a bar”. One is a direct attack aimed at a specific person with the intension of causing pain. The other is a (possibly) ignorant lead in to a joke. Now, you may be pulling your hair out at me right now and disagreeing violently. But what if I told you that that was ok? What if I told you that we don’t need to agree and that we can both continue living our lives with no major repercussions? But the second someone says “I’m offended”, we start using words like “hate speech” and the witch hunt is on. If I was convicted for hate speech every time I called someone a cunt, I may never see sunlight again.
How have we gotten ourselves to a point where we have allowed others to have so much power over us? Did we not fight for liberation so that we could stand tall? So why the cowering? Because that is literally what we have become. A society yelling “Teacher, teacher, she said a bad word” at every turn.
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