I’ve been discussing this mind-bogglingly kickass quote from Mr. Stephen Fry with folks over at Rise of the Center and thought it would be a disservice not to share.
My favorite is when people claim something is offensive on behalf of someone else. e.g. “That’s offensive to…” as if they’ve been dubbed some authority on how people feel. Another gentleman by the name of Brian Keegan made this excellent point.
“Getting offended has become some sort of a skill, counterproductive to useful discussion. It’s really a by-product of people trying to ‘win’ a debate versus having a real dialogue. In some people’s minds, you can win if you’re able to successfully brand your opponent as offensive.”
And Mr. Tully Blogg with the conclusion: “Some people actually think that being perpetually indignant confers overwhelming moral authority to their opinions. It doesn’t. It mostly makes them look like ideologues, or idiots, or both.”
So next time you claim offensive on behalf of someone else, realize you’re killing the discussion and probably come off as some sort of oversensitive, ideological nutbag. And if that offends you… Well, start this post from the top and try again.