Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This post may be offensive to dumb people, minorities, anyone with a working knowledge of English grammar, the MPAA, and people who speak Spanish

I feel like I am being stalked by...an idea? The idea that what you say can bite you in your ass so hard you'll cry for your mama.

See, the other day, I was listening to the radio (yes! The plain old radio! They still make that!) and it was discussing some wording on the census form. I filled out my census papers pretty quickly, and I was a little disappointed to see that all that hype and YOU MUST FILL THIS OUT OR WE WILL SEND ANGRY BEAVERS TO DESTROY YOU was just because they wanted to know that 2 white people live in my house, and we own the house. Let down, much? Anyway, I didn't pay attention to the other blanks. But apparently one of the blanks for ethnicity lists black/negro/african-american. And ya'll? Apparently the people who would check that box are PISSED. To tell the truth, I get why they are in one way (negro? really?) on the other hand, isn't that the Spanish word for black? And don't Spanish speaking people also fill out these forms? Couldn't you be black and only speak Spanish and live in America? But the only way that works is if there is a Spanish translation for all the boxes, and while I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, I did not notice any "blanca" option for the white people. I get that not all black people are offended by it, but I can see where it might be a little thoughtless to put it on the forms.

Then, I was listening to the radio AGAIN ( I do that) and some guy calls in to ask the hosts how in the world they put up with all the ignorant dumb dummies who call in. Because the hosts of the show are originally from somewhere like Ohio or something, and apparently there are no dumb people in other states, they all live here. And we're in the South, so we're used to being called dumb. If you look at test scores and whatnot, its even true. BUT. The guy says he is from New Jersey. We are a little oversensitive on the issue of being considered dumb. Its a little bit like bitching about your mama, and then beating the crap out of anyone who isn't your family who dares to agree with you. And wasn't there just a REALLY, REALLY popular show illustrating the various types of dumbasses that can be caught in the wild in New Jersey? So, long story not even a little bit shorter, the guy goes on to plug his band. The band promptly fires him, because holy shit are people pissed about this guy calling us dumb.

And then I get home and my husband is watching This Film is Not Yet Rated. Which you should also watch. Its interesting. On the one hand, I think we need a more European attitude about certain things in movies. For instance, nipples? Not a big deal in Europe because they don't make them a big deal. I think that we should be able to use our common sense to determine if a movie might have content we might find offensive (also, I know some fundamentalist Christians who are offended by Disney movies, so I'm not sure the ratings really matter that much anyway). I think it was a good idea when it was intended to let people know that there might be language they would prefer not to hear, or something they'd prefer not to see, without actually making any judgments on that content. But what happens is, they can keep the general public from seeing a movie with the ratings and they can make the director change scenes in order to get a rating they can show to general audiences. Which is at least flirting with censorship, if not out and out tongue kissing it. Plus, I'm pretty sure that I can use deductive reasoning for the most part. If Quentin Tarentino's name is on a film, its going to be violent. John Waters makes films with sexual content I might not want to explain to my 6 year old. Guy Richie films use cuss words (oh noes!). Anyway, the whole thing is trying so hard not to offend people that its offending people and maybe even violating their Constitutional rights.

So I'm pretty sure the universe is telling me to try not to put my foot in my mouth, and also that getting angry about every little thing someone says is a HUGE waste of energy, and also that getting offended too easily leads to the MPAA. Or something like that.


  1. I hate PC-ism. I think we should go back to being generally offensive. Because (a) it's more fun and (b) people are too uptight and (c) it's just fucking ridiculous how sensitive people are. I mean, really. I get that some things are probably better off, like, being culturally taboo, but trying to pacify the super pious people is just kind of annoying. There, I said it. The end.

  2. Damn! I already sent the census thing back in - did it really say 'negro'?

    I would like to be referred to as an Astral- American from now on. I think that automatically means you're famous.

  3. I haven't done the census thing yet but holy cow. That's pretty bad. BTW, I listen to the radio too. Weird. I didn't know people other than me still did that.

  4. Maybe "negro" is making a comeback. Like the mullet.

    When I was a teacher, "retarded" was an option on the special ed forms. With how angry people get over that word, the school system still hadn't caught up with the times. Crazy.