Monday, 10 March 2008

"That Offends Me"

I can't provide a link to the story that inspired this article, but here's the jist of it: In Ireland a restauranteur successfully sued a critic for an unfavourable review that was published. On appeal by the paper it was printed in the judge overtunred the ruling and ordered a retrial.

Have we become that weak now? Have we become that wet and soppy about our feelings that we can't even stand up to a little criticism? By a professional critic? Good grief. First it was the religious that whined incessantly about having their feelings hurt. Then ethnic minorities. Then sexual minorities. Now its everyone else. Muslims whining about Muhammad being defamed. Catholics crying about Jesus being blasphemed against. Homos moaning about someone using the word faggot or blacks pissing about being called "articulate" (apparently it's a backhanded compliment because white people secretly think they all still "Tawk'en lik'en dis Masser')

I hate to break it to anyone who doesn't know this already, but having your feelings hurt is aprt of life. You will meet people in your life that for some reason unknown to you, will just not like you. And there are some people you will meet that you just can't stand. Now that goes for EVERYBODY and just because they happen to be black/Jewish/gay will not make you a racist/snti-Semite/homophobe. It just makes you normal. (Unless everyone you hate is black for example, then you've got problems).

The most unbelievable thing about this farce of a trial is what it is essentially saying; that a review by any critic should only be favourable, lest it seem upsetting to the person/institution it slanders. Now, with retaurants, art, theatre, film, music, everyone is entitled to their opinion. And if one person happens to think that you're food/film/play/album/painting/book is the artistic equivalent of Pol Pot, then they have the right to say so.

I thought everyone was entitled to their opinion? Apparently not if it might tread on any toes. As the great Steven Fry said: "It's now very common to hear people say 'Well I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more - it's simply a whine; no more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what."

This more or less sums up my whole theory on the matter. People whining about offence are people that are merely seeking attention for other like minded saps. Quite frankly if someone wants to hate me, my work or who I am, I don't care. If a critic has a problem with a book I put out then good for them. I may not agree with it, but good for them for having an opinion. I certainly will not whine about their unfair judgement, or as so many "celebrities" do these days, attack the reviewer as being a wanker. Get over yourself. You are not prescious or special, you're just another human being. We all have feelings and we all have opinions, and the sooner you learn to let them get hurt and grow from the experience, the better.

1 comment: