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Where do we draw the line between satirizing something and causing intentional offense?

1 min read

The subject of this article is very similar to the subject of my first essay, where I discussed the subtle differences between a satirical cartoon that may not be too offensive and a completely offensive image that no one in their right minds would like. The author of this article, Ishmael N. Daro, condemns many of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons as highly offensive to Muhammed, the primary deity in Islam, and claims that the shootings have made such cartoons even more prominent. Those that would have normally deemed such cartoons as in poor taste have begun to flaunt them and present them, no doubt in defiance of the shooters, but such an increase in presentation has a negative effect on Muslims everywhere. Images such as this: 

 

and this: 

are undoubtedly offensive to Muslims. As a result, we must remember that the shootings and most Islam-based terrorist attacks are perpetrated by an extremely small percentage of the Muslim population. In the same vein, such offensive cartoons are created and distributed by a very small percentage of news outlets, and we must therefore be careful not to adopt what were previously outliers into our normal distribution. 

Who is Paul McCartney?

2 min read

When Kanye West published his new song "Only One" on New Year's Day, apparently some people thought that the accompanying artist(who played the keyboard in the song) was a fresh new talent that would soon experience success for having been in a song with Kanye West. That "fresh new talent" was actually Paul McCartney, the (supposedly) world famous member of the Beatles. The author of this article argues that not knowing of the Beatles is okay. If you were raised in a family that listened to nothing but 17th century classical music, can you be blamed for never having heard of the Beatles? However, while the article was interesting, it was a comment in response to the article that really caught my attention: Steven Acker responded with: 

"Ask these young people if they know what the Civil War was or, for that matter, why America fought in World War II. Ask them to define socialism or communism. Ask them who their congressmen are. Ask them who wrote the Declaration of Independence and why. Ask them to describe the Bill of Rights. MOST OF THEM WON'T HAVE A CLUE. They won't know who Gershwin was, or Picasso, or even Mark Twain, let alone Paul McCartney. As very well-written as this article may be, its writer is missing the Big Picture entirely."

I thought that this comment was a bit unfair. While It is true that some young people may not know about all of these things, most of the aforementioned things are taught as part of a general education curriculum in middle and high school. I can distinctly remember learning about the Civil War, communism, socialism, and the birth of our country in my American History class, among other things. On the flip side of the coin, it is probably true that just as many adults cannot describe these things in the same way that some young people cannot. 

Cis-gender hecklers and "Generation Wuss"

2 min read

"I F*cking Hate @RuPaul" is an article that describes the actions of trans-gender "journalists", or, as the author describes them, hecklers. After reading this article and seeing this image:

which is a tweet by a trans-gender "journalist", I have to say, I can understand where the author is coming from. These online hecklers aptly described as "generation wuss" are easily offended, highly argumentative, and try far too hard to be politically correct all the time and become very offended when others do not. 

Nevertheless, transgender members of society do possess the same right to free speech as all other members of society do, it just so happens that certain groups may be more vocal than others. This article reminded me of a Key and Peele skit that I watched on homophobia in the office:Key and Peele: Office Homophobia

In the skit, a gay man continues to annoy his co-worker while he is attempting to work. When his co-worker asks him to stop, the gay man accuses his co-worker of homophobia. He continues to badger his co-worker about homophobia, but at the end, it turns out that his co-worker has a boyfriend, and he says "I'm not persecuted. I'm just an asshole." It reminded me of the fact that when people decide to take advantage of a history of persecution, they just become assholes.