Thursday, September 22, 2005

When I grow up too...

Inspired by Zombieslayer's great post when I grow up, I decided that when I grow up too I'm going to make a few rules on controlling who gets to be offended and who doesn't. Why? Because way too many people are offended nowadays. One crotchy atheist suddenly gets offended at a nativity scene that's been standing in the town square for sixty years and makes the town tear it down. (I'm probably stepping on some toes with this one but hang with me.) One lady gets offended by a demonic toy in K-Mart and sues. This must stop!

Being offended is hardly ever helps a situation.

For example, an atheist comes up to me and says: "You dumb, Christian! How can you believe in God that lets puppies eat generic dog food instead of name brand? You're all the same: Stupid, right-wing, bigots who want to bomb stores that sell Cosmo."

I have a choice at this point.

1) Be offended and reply, "You stupid heathen atheist! If there's no God then you shouldn't care if puppies have to eat bad dog food. Because, like the robots in Steven Spielberg's AI except for Halley Joel Osmont, an atheist cannot love!"

Or

2) I can not be offended and stay cool. I can walk away or, even better, say: "Whoa Bro,"-calling a guy bro always defuses the situation a little-"just calm down a bit. I'm sorry you feel that way. Let me buy you a non-alcoholic beer or a glass of non-fermented wine."

I'm in good company in my quest for non-offense: Jesus was against being offended. He even said that if someone slaps you in the face (a very offensive act when I last checked) to turn the other cheek!

So here's my rules to regulate offense:

1) You can be offended if you are willing to die to remove that which offends you.
Allowed:
Osama bombs New York and that offends me so much that I'm willing to die, if necessary, to make sure that something like that never happens again. In this case I'm allowed to be offended.
Not Allowed: Someone insults me on my blog. I may want to be offended but I'm not willing to die so that person will never post again. In this case I just have to laugh it off and write a smiley face in my reply :) or quietly delete the post.

2) No one is allowed to be offended on
behalf of someone else.
There's an awful lot of this going around these days.
Not allowed: I remember when me and my Mexican family were jokingly calling each other "wetbacks" and a non-Mexican friend took offense at that term because he thought it was demeaning of Mexicans. Sorry, bro, but that's not going to fly.
Special Exceptions: You are allowed to take offense on behalf of someone who is too weak to defend themselves, if physical harm is being threatened to that person. For example, when I was about ten years old, my younger cousin Walker was happily swinging on a rope swing in our yard that was attached to a tree. Suddenly an evil kid, who happened to be over at my house, ran up and shoved Walker headlong into the tree, making him crash into the dirt. I don't think I've ever been so offended. I just remember rushing to injured Walker's side all the while shouting abuse at Evil Kid. "I was just giving him a push," Evil Kid innocently explained. "Oh, yeah right!" I remember screaming. It was the meanest thing I could think of.

3) Absolutely
no indignation. Indignation is offense's evil little brother.
Unlike offense, there are no excuses for indignation.
Example: When I was a kid my school principle was really mean and I was deathly afraid of her. (Actually I was homeschooled all my life so that's not true but it's easier to explain than the truth.). One day I was walking down the hall and I saw a large crowd of kids pressed around a cardboard box. They were giving away free t-shirts. Seeing as my mother always made me go to school naked (not true either but this story is sort-of fictional) I desperately wanted one of the t-shirts so I could cover myself. I made my way through the tight crowd of kids. They were packed around the box of t-shirts like sardines and it was tricky to squeeze my way in. "Excuse me?" I heard in my ear. I turned and my stomach did a backflip: There was my mean principle standing next to me. I had accidentally jostled her in my hunt for a t-shirt and INDIGNATION was etched into every line of her cruel face. I fell to my knees and begged for mercy but according to my rules her indignation was Not Allowed! Sorry.

4) You're allowed to be offended if someone's is talking in a movie theater during the movie.
In this case you're totally allowed to be offended but when I'm running things you won't even need to be offended for long because if anyone talks in a movie theater they will immediately be apprehended by my special task force. They will be sent to jail for 30 days and their movie-going privligies will be revoked for 10 years. If they repeat it's jail for life, baby!

So that's all. I've kept it simple with only four rules. I'm looking forward to growing up. What with me and Zombieslayer's new rules, things should be shaping up pretty quick.

9 Comments:

Anonymous walker said...

this POST was offensive, you big jerk! who are you to tell me that i can't be offended any time i darn tootin' feel like it, HUH?!

just kidding (or "j/k," if you prefer). first of all, i laughed really hard at your story about "evil kid." (levi's readers: that same evil kid used wipe his toejam on his jeans. i am not kidding, and i just gagged while typing that.) as i recall, cousin, that was not the only time you have picked up an offense on my behalf. your chivalry is appreciated.

i won't specify all the parts of this post that made me laugh, because i was chuckling through the whole thing, but i think you are making a really good point here. your first paragraph summed it up very nicely. i will also humbly say that you are MUCH better at not acting "offensivly" than i am. i guess a person can't control what offends them, but one can control how they react. anyway, good, thought-provoking post.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous walker said...

p.s. i really liked your remark about "bro" deusing a situation. whenever i start fights (not serious ones, mind you) with my friends, and i start to get beat up on, my favorite thing is to yell, "IT'S COOL, BRO! IT'S COOL!" you have to yell it in a "thuggish" voice.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Tia Me said...

Good post, Levi. I'll get Joe to sit down and read it. He shares the same frustrations you do, one of which is always having to be so verbally p.c., (especially when one works for a corporation.)Gosh, I hadn't thought about the Walker/ swing incident in a long time, and never realized you were so scarred by it. Very sweet to hear you talk like the big, protective older cousin though. Once Jack gets over abusing Beau, I wonder if he'll be like that too?

5:15 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

This hands down wins best post of the day.

By the way, thanks for putting up with all my questions about Bizarro. I'm glad I have you to answer my comic book questions. :)

9:35 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I want to write a "when I grow up" post!
Levi, that was so great. It was thought provoking without being a big heavy post--just the reason I enjoyed ZS's post too.
I especially enjoyed the Walker story.
I'm left wondering if I know "evil kid".

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I often wonder what happened to "Evil Kid". Walker, wiping the toe-jam on his jeans was his GOOD behaviour. Don't you remember his other antics? I could make Levi's blogging audience run gagging into the night by describing them.
Levi, great post. I've noticed one thing that makes me get offended is when I assume stuff. I assume someone doesn't like, love or respect me, my family, my work, etc. because of a remark, look, etc. that wasn't outright, but I build on it, in my evil, pointed little head. Assumptions really make us hurt ourselves and others.
Levi, old athiest men are usually not "crotchy", I won't say what "crothchy" could be, I think you meant "crotchety", no?

10:58 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

I agree with everything you said. First of all, calling someone bro or "bra" as they say down here always defuses any situation. I think our higher ups should use this more often actually.
Terrorist: "Get out of our country or I will continue killing your people"
G.W. Bush: "Woah calm down bro, chill out and lets try to settle this."
Terrorist: "You have humbled me with your simplistic and ghetto speech. I surrender unconditionally."

Well, maybe not exactly like that. But pretty close to it.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

Levi I dropped in from Zombieslayer .. this is good stuff. Darn it --- how come I didn't think of this! Very mind opening ..

4:33 AM  
Blogger Levi Nunnink said...

Hi Everyone,

Sorry about my lack of replies but I was really busy this week and I hardly had time to take a breath. Hopefully things will calm down a bit...

Walker: I was happy to take on an offense at Evil Kid for you. I have stories about Evil Kid that are so gut-wrenchingly disgusting that I can't bear to write them down...

Zombie: I'm happy to answer your questions about Bizarro. Just consider me your source for comic book lore.

Sadie: I don't think you know Evil Kid. He doesn't go to our church or anything. He was more a kid we knew through homeschool circles.

Mom: I did mean "crotchety" not "crochy". Whoops.

Ian: Man that was halarious. I did actually LOL.

liquidplastic: Thanks for stopping by. It's always good to see a new face around here.

9:22 AM  

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