Burriss: People offended by almost anything
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:26 pm
By LARRY BURRISS
Over the last few weeks several comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, have lamented the fact they don't do college shows any more because students are too politically correct, and take offense at almost any statement, sketch or speech.
Unfortunately, he is correct. Say almost anything, and someone, somewhere, will take offense. And then, unfortunately, the speech will probably be shut down, and the speaker fired, ostracized or hounded out of the supposedly free and open marketplace of ideas.
But what if the speaker is offended by those who claim to be offended? Well, those people, and the people they represent, don't seem to matter. It appears it is permissible to offend some people, but not others.
Of course words change meaning all the time, which means everyone has to keep up with all of the changes. And woe to the person who slips, and uses a word that was permissible yesterday, but today isn't...and it's not just college campuses. There is currently a movement in the World Health Organization to change a whole group of disease names because some people are offended by names such as Spanish flu, monkey pox and Lyme disease. Apparently the group thinks the names Spanish flu and Lyme disease will decrease tourism in Spain and in Lyme, Connecticut, and that the name legionnaire's disease will offend military veterans.
I've always been curious about who is making these kind of decisions about what is permissible and what isn't. I'm guessing it is the person who shouts the loudest, or threatens the most lawsuits, or claims to be the leader of this or that group which generally has no real leader in the first place.
I also think many of these people have no idea why they are supposed to be offended, and I also suspect they say they are offended because someone told them they were supposed to be offended.
Which only shows most of these people can't, or won't, think for them selves.