Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A tale of two blog posts

SMH blogger Jack Marx can be a little inconsistent, but every now and then he absolutely nails it. Monday's post, ‘The charge of the lite brigade’, was a pearler. Marx opines on the nature of ‘offence’.
I'd like to talk today about this notion of "offence", the concept that one can be personally assaulted by an idea articulated by another. Offence is quite different from anger, an emotion that is commonly, though not exclusively, the product of offence. You don't get offended when some thug takes a swing at you, or some idiot with a ladder on his shoulder keeps changing directions and hitting you in the scone. You get angry or frightened or both, but you don't get offended - it's way too late for that once the violence has already begun. Offence is what occurs in the mind before a fight has started, and whether it is upgraded to something more serious is entirely dependant on the offended. Offence is the mother of the brawl, which is why it's so pathetic that the offended are the first to run to papa once the blood starts to spill. They are troublemakers. It should be an offence to take offence.

It's significant that the offended commonly refer to the fact that they've "taken offence", rather than been "hit with offence" or had "offence thrust upon" them. There is a decision with regard to offence, as to whether one will "take" it or "leave" it. Being offended is not necessarily a choice, but waving your offence around like a semaphore signaler is a decision for sure, a calculated attempt to take the high moral ground and blow your opponent to hell from behind the battlements of society's burgeoning list of "rights".

I highly recommend clicking on the link and reading the rest of his post. Marx wrote it as a consequence of the abuse he received for the inclusion of Belinda Emmett in his ‘UnAustralian of the Year’ awards.
Belinda Emmett
Died of cancer on Remembrance Day, 2006, which really stole the RSL's thunder. Her passing relatively unheralded, her funeral not sold to the networks, Belinda endured her entire illness with very private dignity, appearing in public only occasionally, quietly poised on the arm of her husband, Rove, her refusal to saturate the market with details of her "brave battle" contributing absolutely nothing towards the public thirst for outpourings of grief. How un-Australian can you get?
Not realizing it was actually a rather complimentary piece, hundred of commenters certainly took maximum offence.

Which brings me to this blog post by the Screechin’ Weasel.
Heart of hate: Merry Christmas from a terrorist's relative ……Editor Andrew Jaspan should have spiked this latest Leunig lunacy…
And what was this latest Leunig lunacy?

Why, it was a cartoon specifically designed to cause offence to warmongers like Screechy.

And it sure did hit its mark.
Posted by txjohn on Wed 20 Dec 06 at 09:52am
Leunig’s madness is beyond description. This is despicable.

Posted by Gray of Melbourne on Wed 20 Dec 06 at 10:09am
That is sick. Very poor taste - I can’t believe anyone would allow for this to see the light of day.

Posted by Paul on Wed 20 Dec 06 at 10:31am
Leunig is a sick bastard. And the editor at The Age is just as sick to allow this sort of crap on their newspaper. They are both disgusting.
Yer gotta laugh. Wing-nuts offended, right on cue.