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Losing control — the power of being offended

James Duncan, Design Editor
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Volume 45, Issue 16
News Opinion

This article may not be suited for all audiences

If you have no sense of self worth and can easily be insulted or offended please enjoy the less colorful parts of the newspaper.

Once not that long ago one of the greatest saterical and observational minds of our generation, George Carlin said "Sh*t, p*ss, f*ck, c*nt, cocks*cker, motherf*cker and t*ts." Carlin was always one of the loudest voices about not letting people be censored. So in the spirit of Carlin; Ta da! You are letting me use magic words to make you upset or at least get your attention.

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Last week my column became slightly controversial when we decided to use an offensive word that, in all fairness, was not needed to bring the point across. That said, I still support the use of that language despite the things people said. "The profanity in this column was absolutely unnecessary and was only included for the sake of having profanity in print," stated user John on The Clackamas Print forums. That might very well be true, but in this day and age, the fact that an exclamation can still cause people to get up in arms is actually really sad.

People let themselves be offended. It isn't like a gag reflex that can't be avoided. The act of being offended is a choice. When you choose to be offended and let something ruin your day, or make your heckles rise, you are giving it power over you. If you want to willingly give over the power to control you be my guest, feel offended and distressed, but just so you know you are letting someone you have never met control you. Think how sad that sounds.

Hint: You can stop reading if you don't like it.

Ultimately it comes down to censorship, do you want to be the censor? Do you have the right? Are you so proud to feel like you are the final authority on what should and shouldn't be seen by others? It is one thing to not want to see something for you. There are plenty of things that people do not want to see. Although to say that because you don't approve, it shouldn't be seen is very childish. Where is the line in the sand going to be drawn next? Will new words be invented or old ones just added to the list?

I was very confused when I found out that calling someone a showersack was now offensive. We are the shapers of our world and need to do our best to make it the one we want to live in. Who are we as a people? Do we want to be the generation that decided to bring back a more extreme form of censorship? Maybe one day in a flat gray world with flat gray people someone will look into a blank gray sky and say "Thank the gray that we will never be offended." Without diversity of ideas and an endless barrage of color that challenge the spirit of human kind, we will never change or grow. Just lay back into our little gray box in the cold gray ground.

It has often been the place of college newspapers to print stories that push the boundaries of what is okay and what isn't. In fact you could call it a long and rich tradition. College newspapers are encouraged to talk about drugs, sex and touchy political points. Where better, right? We publish to a diverse group of adults, who we should be able to treat like adults. campuses are often the breeding ground of new ideas. In America most publications are written to be enjoyed by someone who has a sixth grade education. On a college campus the newspaper shouldn't have to tiptoe around the leftover's of sixth grade attitudes about language and its use.

Remember this, every time you stand up and say "This is offensive, I don't want to see things like this anymore," You might as well be banning a book or saying, "We only get sick because that's what god wants. Antibiotics are work of the devil."

There is a place for every voice to be heard. If you don't like what people say or are saying or want to change what is being said, you have to be part of the system to change it! Do you want to say something? Join The Clackamas Print. Through the power of being in the media you will suddenly get to have your own ideas heard. You will not be censored ... much.

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery." - Edmund Wilson

If you would like to comment or start a discussion on any topic, please visit the Print Forum.






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