(unprofessionally done by me and my free clip art)
Recently, there’s been a lot of stories in the news about end-of-times/doomsday happenings. Dead birds falling from the sky, fish and crabs dying. Then there’s the you-can’t-be-serious stories that have reported this past week or so. Which means, I have to ask…
WHAT HAS BEEN PUT IN OUR WATER!
And, just as a warning to everyone. What started as a post for Wacky Wednesday with funny/weird stories has become a bit of a rant from a sick person on censorship and freedom of speech. The first story about the new astrology I found funny. And, there’s a funny picture at the end of the post with cute puppy dogs if you want to look at them. But, somewhere along the line, I found a couple of stories about censorship, not wanting to offend and political correctness. Even though the censorship may have been done with the best of intentions, we can’t try to censor words out of existence because they are offensive. What we can do is make it a learning opportunity.
So, if you choose to not read the rest of the post, no offense taken. (But check out the cute puppy dogs at the end.)
OK, here’s the funny story. Did you feel different last week? For a while, a lot of us had new astrological signs. This was a big news story! There was even a new sign called Ophiuchus (Nov. 30 to Dec. 17). It was horrific! Some people were upset! Some didn’t want to change signs! Or worse! Some people just didn’t care!
How can you not care about your daily astrological musings? Do you think some of these things are fake or for entertainment purposes only?
Anyway, Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle wobbled the world of astrology by talking about how the earth has wobbled around its axis, shifting the zodiac signs.
Kunkle, who claims to not know what is his astrological sign, is now saying he was misquoted. Do you feel like your old self now? I guess silly season in the media can be anytime.
And, here’s the stories on censorship and freedom of speech. Feel free to wobble on by if you’re not in the mood.
Now, I understand that over time, we personally and as a society, make changes that hopefully make us better people. We progress, slow as that may seem. Language is one of those areas. The written word can evoke powerful emotions and ignite the imagination.
But, what is going on with someone feeling the need to change Mark Twain classics. You can’t do that!
You don’t like racial slurs? Good! But, that doesn’t mean you ban the books or take out words that are now considered offensive. What you do is use it as an opportunity to teach. When I was young I and came across a word I didn’t know, I would either look it up in the dictionary or I asked someone. There will always be something that will make us uncomfortable. Something we really don’t want to talk about. But, we need to talk about these things, learn from them and move forward.
Do you know who the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council is? This is from their website:
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) is an independent, non-governmental organization created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to administer standards established by its members, Canada’s private broadcasters.
The CBSC decided that the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing” can not be played in Canada in its original form. What happened is that a member of the LGBT community found the use of the word “faggot” offensive and wrote a letter of complaint to the CBSC. Here’s a link to their decision.
Now, let me be perfectly clear about this. If anyone feels that something is offensive and should not be aired, they absolutely have the right to submit a complaint with their reasons. I also understand that when people have been discriminated against, they will have different life experiences and those experiences help form the character and beliefs of a person. That can never be taken away from someone and we should never try and dismiss the person by making them feel bad, wrong or tell them that they are being oversensitive. We are who we are because of our life experiences and need to respect that we, first and foremost, are all individuals no matter what race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever other label we use to define ourselves.
Words are a part of our lives, offensive or not. We can’t ignore them, sweep them under the rug or not talk about them in the hopes that they will fade away. We communicate with each other in so many ways and unless we evolve into a wonderful utopia, there will always be people being offensive and people being offended. But, we can’t hide behind censorship in the hopes that whatever is causing our uneasiness will go away.
Here’s a couple of opinion pieces about the decision and freedom of speech, one from the Times Colonist and one from TheChronicleHerald.ca.
Well, this is the hopefully not-too-jumbled ramblings of a sick person who’s been taking cough syrup with alcohol and is groggily getting off the soap box. So, check your water and maybe put tin hats on your loved ones. Who knows what else is being directed our way in the interest of protecting us from ourselves.
(image via nippertown.com)