Would you change your art if someone asked you to? Most artists would say "NO WAY". Well, what if it offended someone? Would you change it then? Put the paint back in the tube and try again? I want to submit a somewhat controversial concept that is particularly important for artists, content creators, and musicians of the world consider.
"If you're offended and it wasn't intended, it's your fault"
Another way of saying this is, it's impossible to prevent others from being offended. Of course you should typically avoid intentionally offend people, but when offense is received without intention, it should be ignored, not appeased.
Becoming offended means you have given way to emotion. You have allowed the words of others to impact your internal state. You should just walk away, acknowledging fools for what they are... but you don't. A nerve has been struck, and now you need your offender to feel it too. What comes next is a massive vulnerability ripe for exploitation, and I'm afraid that politically aligned groups are doing just that, exploiting the offended.
They rally around the hungry, weak, tired, and oppressed. They find offense with everything, encouraging others to join in their rebuke. If you're offended too, you will now side with anyone that shares your emotions in order to validate them. Before you know it, you're in a belief system underpinned by outrage, and rational thought can come and go without so much as noticing its existence.
The reason that members of a political ideology would leverage emotions in this way I leave up to you to decipher. This article is intended to expose its existence, not explain its motivation.
I saw a great example on twitter this morning. A guy wrote a poem highlighting the invisibility of homelessness in an effort to bring attention to the issue. Virtuous. What a nice guy, right? Not according to the publishers, or even to the author himself at this point. The mob descended upon the publishers with speed, forcing them to rebuke the work as evidenced by the disclaimer at the top of the publication:
The language style that was used is apparently the offending element this time, not the words themselves. Cue the organized mob singing their chorus of outrage on twitter, and in the publisher's inbox. In short time, the author was compelled to released a heartfelt apology for the "damage" his poem had caused.
This was a mistake. You see, apologizing to the offended when you haven't intended offense only validates their emotional state. Take this reply to his apology for example:
It's never enough. Someone will always be there to defend other members of the belief system. Jordan Peterson, on the other hand, provided what I found to be a much more rational response to the apology:
Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. Just like the author of this poem, many Hollywood studios have long been catering to the offended as repentance for the guilt they have received from the angry mob.
Selective outrage about diversity, for example, has caused remakes of old movies to change the plot, and history to be tweaked with a politically correct pen. Everyone is terrified of being real. If they are, the mob will come for them. Instead they pander to the outrage by race / gender swapping characters and injecting inaccuracies in historical reenactments.
The gaming industry is doing it too. The latest WWII game in the Call of Duty series has also gone revisionist, adding women to the front lines of historic conflicts in the name of inclusivity. What do they get for their progressive efforts? Labeled sexist.
Major game studios are even hiring specialists to be sure their content will not incite a public hysteria from the activists pushing this exploitative belief system. EA Games hired Manveer Heir to help with Mass Effect: Andromeda. His influence was not virtuously pursuing inclusivity, but selective inclusivity in alignment with his belief system. Manveer would often descend into racist rants himself on twitter. This particular flavor of racism is not in conflict with the political ideology being pushed, and so no media outrage for any of this:
It's not just selective racial sensitivity though. The belief system encircles many specific groups based on gender, sex, religion, and even sexual orientation. The consequences of building a game with this kind of hyper-sensitivity in mind looks something like this:
Needless to say, the game did not live up to expectations for the company, especially since the previous iterations were so well received by the gaming community.
Comedy isn't safe either. The one place where people like George Carlin could be honest about the state of the world and we could all laugh about it... is dead. Comedy was a critical outlet for relieving social tensions. Now comedians dare not speak of such things:
America has been historically known for the richness of its social expression afforded by our unequivocal right to free speech. We have exported more culture because of this freedom than almost any place or time in history, and we have done it through the arts. Sadly, many forms of art are being negatively impacted by the pressure to avoid any possible form of offense. The problem is, the nature of offense is internal, and it is impossible to prevent offense when speaking factually.
We need to be allowed to laugh, and to share our true thoughts and feelings with society. The pressure to silence this is just another form of censorship. Luckily, a fantastic show on BBC comedy has imagined a support group for the offended:
In all seriousness though, this highlights why an open Bitcoin (Cash) blockchain is a technology who's time has come. The world needs now more than ever, a social outlet that cannot be manipulated in this way. You can't revise history or demand a retraction when it's recorded on an immutable public ledger. The more pandering the institutions of the world engage in, the stronger the use-case for immutable social discourse.
BTW, this article is absolutely not intended to offend any particular group of people :)
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