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George Will: Not Being Offended Is New Entitlement (But Only For Progressives)

Every now and then, George Will comes up with a notion that is true and only true on a one way street:

In one way, Mr. Will is VERY correct on the Duck Dynasty flap in that the free speech issue is really a matter between Phil Robertson and his employer (who has been less than honest about it all according to reports).  In another – not being offended is a new entitlement…well, for who?  And about what?

I’ve got news for Mr.Will, a lot of Americans are offended by a whole lot of stuff out there – and we are labelled for expressing such opinions.

Try being a classical music lover – and I mean lover – sometime in the United States.  I’ve heard both progressives and conservatives call Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, one of the most gorgeous sincere sacred pieces ever written, crap, a dirge, boring, awful, etc.  The same with other pieces that stir souls – and are part of the standard repertoire because they do so and have for centuries.  Does this offend those of us who perform and love this music?  Yes.  Are we allowed culturally to express that to the hating party?  No.  Same with opera, chant and various traditional church songs.  (Although, there is a growing consensus among musicians that John Adams is not worth our time.  Plus, the theology is bad.)

The reciprocal of that is true as well.  Many of us are offended by music genres ranging from rap to country to heavy metal.  What we are labelled is “intolerant” for having a problem with calling semi-organized noise music and choosing to spend our entertainment dollars elsewhere.

A good number of us out here, granted mostly women, are offended that NFL cheerleaders, and the crews that keep the ice surfaces maintained during NHL games have bare midriffs and wear skimpy outfits.  The guys tell us to grow up and we don’t have to look.  Doesn’t change that it contributes to the objectification of women.  (So do skinny jeans and leggings without a long enough tunic over them, but we aren’t supposed to notice that, either.)

Christians are not permitted to be offended by “art” that defiles treasured symbolism, beginning with “The Last Supper” scene in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, and climaxing in some dingbat dipping a Crucifix in urine.  (Won’t get into what Catholics aren’t allowed to be offended by.  A lot of it is reflected in the paragraphs above, but the inside battles are even more stark.)

We’re told that if something on television offends us, we are free to turn it off.  Many of us have done just that.  (And just what ARE the ratings for programming that celebrates homosexuality, progressive themes and other material that reflects the opinions of the networks and not the audiences?  On cable NOTHING beat the show that prompted this discussion.)

And that doesn’t even touch what a number of my fellow Americans consider appropriate holiday decorations to be.  (Hint, if it can be seen from space, it’s WAY over the top.)

So, Mr. Will might want to rethink his statement that not being offended is the new entitlement.  Certain factions in the progressive wing of the culture may piss and moan when coming up against someone who sticks to tradition and makes no apologies for it, but those of us who are offended by insults to that which we enjoy and love which just happens to be something other than “modern,” yeah, we’re just labelled intolerant.

Doesn’t make the insult any less painful.

Go figure.

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Categories: American Values, Politics, Progressives

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13 replies

  1. Reblogged on International Infotainment Consortium.

  2. Evidently Mr. Will and Mr. Wallace agreed that the Duck matter is not a First Amendment issue. It appears their liberal side may be coming out of the closet.

    • Actually, in the strictest sense of the law, they are correct. This was an employment matter. Many of us keep our political opinions to ourselves at work and our identities quiet just for this reason. In A&E’s case, they knew ahead of time of Phil Robertson’s opinions, so they can’t say they were shocked. It was really more of a set up because the original plan to make fun of the religious right backfired. They aren’t happy. That does not mean that Mr. Robertson’s rights were violated. None of us have seen the contract, so we don’t know what it says about what he can or cannot say.

  3. Oh what the hey… So about ten years ago me and some co-workers went out to a local San Diego tourist trap called Bandini’s where they serve margaritas in glasses that resemble goldfish bowls. About two hours in, somebody asked me about my plans for the weekend. I said something trivial about my partner and I going to go see some show or something (I really can’t remember what it was), and a co-worker looked straight at me and said “Well when he’s dying of AIDS, don’t say you weren’t warned”. The conversation stopped. Fifteen people were looking at me and I can’t even remember what I said, but I’m sure it was stupid, and we all got back to our yummy margaritas.

    As we were leaving my boss put his arm around me and said, “Say the word and he’s gone”, and I said, “Fk no. He’s been drinking and I’ve heard worse”.

    Over the next ten years we’ve actually had to go on more than a few business trips together. Just the two of us. We’ve even debated politics, and had a good time. Then, at a company picnic, I was talking to a good friend who was a woman who worked in contracts. I’m standing next to the VP of engineering, with a freakin’ football in my hand, and as she walks away the same guy walks up and says “So is she the kind of lady who could convert you?” I was thinking about how many “No, but your wife” comebacks I could say, but as my the VP looked at me with what I think was sheer panic in his eyes, I chuckled, mumbled “No”, and feebly threw the ball. Then there were laughs all around.

    I guess my point is that while I agree that A&E shouldn’t fire what’s his name because he doesn’t like the queers (and seriously, he doesn’t like the queers). You’re right that they knew what they were getting. We get Dan Savage and Bill Maher, you get Ann Coulter and the Duck guys. We laugh at each other and have a gay old time. No harm, and al that. Just don’t feign outrage.

    Oh, and for the record, “Suicide is Painless” from MASH is only funny because they made him think he was a homo, and he decided he would rather be dead. Seriously, that’s funny.

    BTW, Merry Christmas, Dave! :).

    • Merry Christmas Andre! Remember the reason for the season.

      “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

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