Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Are We Too Easily Offended?

At home in Fort Worth...

The restrictions to Sandy's and my travel caused by upcoming surgeries give me time to ponder certain things, whatever good or ill that brings.  We have only three trips scheduled for Phannie through November--all of short distance and duration, so I will have plenty of time to fill blogging space with something other than my usual blather about our travels.  This 'something' will include, of necessity, a greater reliance upon philosophizing.  (Don't laugh; my philosophy is worth every nickel you pay for it.)


This has its risks, however, as philosophizing, by its nature, requires its practitioner to offer opinions, some of which may differ from those held by readers.  Mindful of the risks, I am very careful to avoid issues known to be polarizing, such as religion and politics, although I have strong views on both.


Why take any risk at all, one may ask.  Well, for the same reason a newspaper editorial column is more interesting to me than the stock price page.  As stated in a recent post about blogging, I find a writer's thoughts and impressions about a subject likely to be more captivating than the the subject itself.  As long as the opinions I express do not include negative personal comments, there shouldn't be any problem.  Or so I thought.


I recently learned that a respected blogger whom I follow (and who followed me) was offended by something I wrote in my post, "Getting on the Blogging Tips Bandwagon" and unsubscribed from my blog in a huff.  I was mystified as to what had set him off, but I later found out that he didn't like my opinion about the kinds of posts I find interesting.   Mind you, I carefully avoided mentioning any blog or author by name in my post, but he must have thought I was writing about him.  (I wasn't; his blog is very well done and one of my favorites, about which I've left only positive comments.)


Instead of leaving, I wish he had left a comment with a differing opinion as others, like Rick, occasionally do.  I covet these as an intellectual exchange in which I may learn something.  But just to high tail it because I expressed an opinion--I don't get it.



Please excuse the rant, but have we reached a point where we are too easily offended?  Perhaps we have, and I think it might be attributed to our national obsession with political correctness.  In many cases, it is modeled to us via television that disagreeing with someone is impermissible if that person is of a certain color, orientation, origin, politic, religion, etc., etc.  Must we now be careful with bloggers, too?  I guess my erstwhile blogger friend didn't zero in on the premise that my post was merely an 
O-P-I-N-I-O-N!  As far as I know, I'm still allowed to have one and to express it.


I certainly wish the offended blogger had hung around because I was proud to have him as a subscriber; I still read his posts and will continue to do so.  But then, I'm not easily offended.    





19 comments:

  1. well now Mike..I do believe that as human beings some of us do 'wear our hearts' on our sleeves..and feelings can be hurt..words can be said....or you can be 'banished' to the abyss in blogworld..also known as being removed from someone's blog roll..or not being a follower anymore...just for having a difference of opinion or not being able to voice you opinion as you would like..or it is taken out of context..
    kudos to you my blogging friend for voicing your opinion..it is a thin line and alippery slope and sometimes you fall off and get run over by a bus!..

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  2. now I have read my comment again..does it really make any sense?..geesh..
    I do hope that your 'offended reader' comes back..you write a fine blog filled with your thoughts and ideas..we can all agree to disagree..are we not all adults?

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  3. I believe that, due to political correctness, we have developed a class of people that look for reasons to be offended. Then they use this, mostly imagined, offense to draw attention to themselves. Two extremely good examples of this are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

    I believe you should express your opinion without regard to political correctness, which is nothing but censorship anyway.

    JC

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    1. JC, just to show we all look at things a bit differently, the two individuals I'd mention who look for reasons to be offended all the time are Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity - real crybabies!

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  4. Great blog, Mike, and I will gladly continue to pay what I've paid in the past for your excellent philosophizing!

    There are a handful of bloggers out there who take every opinion personally even when it may have nothing to do with them. Paranoia is not a good issue to suffer from when one is writing a blog for public consumption.

    To try and avoid this situation, I often name the blogger I'm talking about if I feel the need to write a different opinion about something they've written. That way, there's no mistake about who I'm referring to. A lot of folks don't like this either. But, personally, I'd rather know if someone is upset with me rather than trying to guess.

    I hope others read this post and realize it's o.k. to offer a strong opinion once in a while as long as the author is willing to accept some blowback. Like you, I welcome it.

    As for the blogger who left in a huff over your earlier post, it's his/her loss as far as I'm concerned.

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    1. You can pay Mike using Paypal, I'm sure. As you say, Rick, he's worth every nickel you've paid. Well said.

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  5. The answer is very simple really. There's a little box up there in the right hand corner (well, unless you're using open source like Ubuntu, but we won't go there) and all a person has to do is CLICK ON IT. Go ahead. The person who created the web page won't feel nary a thing.
    Actually, I probably didn't need to worry about anyone being messed up by open source, since someone so easily offended is quite likely not bright enough to use it in the first place, but that too is just my opinion.
    Worth every penny, er... nickel.

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    1. Hey, I'm not very bright and I use Ubuntu which is very much open sourced!! And I have strong opinions and often rant all over the place, but then I guess you already know that since you are a reader...LOL

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  6. It is a shame that someone out there felt offended enough to stop following you over an opinion that you expressed. It never ceases to amaze me how childish we adults can sometimes be.

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  7. It's your blgo, you have 100 percent freedom to writ what ever you want

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  8. Love your opinions. We out here are all enlightened by them and are prsuaded to explore a different perspective. Keep it up.

    Bev in NS.ca

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  9. I read an opinion a while back that said political correctness would be what does our country in and I believe it. Also don't engage in it. Calling a spade a spade is less confusing & if someone doesn't like it, well, that's their problem. I don't have much use for organized religion or politicians either. My idol is the cartoon character Maxine....I want to be her when I grow up and at the age of 60 I'm working on it.

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  10. Excellent post, and it is your Blog and your thoughts. That's why we write it. We don't have to agree with your opinions, after all they are your opinions not necessarily mine. We can agree to disagree and that works for me.

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  11. I've noticed I've had two followers drop from my blog in the last month. For the life of me, I don't know what I said that would be offensive. I never gave it much thought as to why they dropped. You now gave me something to ponder. NA, not worth it!

    I don't think a lot of people are really offended, it is more that when they push for an apology or changes, etc, it is for power.

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  12. Mike totally agree with you, I would rather have a negative comment, to let me know someone didn't like what I said than to have them jump ship without a goodbye.After a 30 year career in Law enforcement, I tend to avoid confrontation now as a matter of course. But I f i do offend somebody, please somebody let me know. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

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  13. I like any blog, yours included, that challenges me TO THINK. I am also sure some of my blog entries offend somebody sometime. My view is that we are grown adults and by now we should agree to disagree agreeably, as needed. Keep writing in the manner you have, and many of us will continue to enjoy your blog.

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  14. I actually prefer blogs with some opinions in them. I like the exchange of ideas in addition to pictures and trip tips. The former seem to generate more substantive comments which are also very interesting to read.

    Thanks to Bayfield Al on whose blog roll I am not, for sending me here.

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  15. All opinions will be accepted by this reader as yours to express... I may or may not agree, but perhaps you will make me see things in a different light.....! So keep up the good work..

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  16. butterbean carpenterJune 30, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Howdy Big Daddy of Cowtown,
    You're so right about people being tooooo PC, nowadays, but thatz because they wear their britches too tight; like they're painted on!!! In west Texas we just let it ALL HANG OUT and don't mean to upset nobody nohow... Of course if you're the President and happen to have a 32"waist crammed into a pair of 28" pantz then I conclude itz enuff to get you kinda unruffled!!! Writing that made me squirm!!! That ain't political thatz my O.P.I.N.I.O.N....Thank you!!

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