Today I am offended. I am.
Not at something that affects me personally, or that has any actual impact on the way I live my life or feel about myself – but because I take offense in the amount of offense people are taking in life right now. Cancel culture, if you will.
You see, my pet peeve about this whole thing – is that it makes. No. Sense. It doesn’t. Not to me, at least. I’ve been brought up my whole entire life knowing that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Actively. It was knowledge shared with me from a young age. Imprinted into me all throughout my school life, and often underlined during my professional career.
So the fact that people these days manage to take so much offense at words, phrasings, song lyrics or internet rants on the virtual www is a complete mystery to me. And what boggles me even more is that, in our current age, they actually feel like their personal offense has power. Weighs in with the weight of the world. And grants them the human basic right to apparently have it changed. The offense of the few suddenly outweighs entire cultures, years of tradition, and about 99% of the rest of the world population. HOW?!
It’s insanity. A song for a yearly kids-event here is currently under fire for containing a word that in the SLANG of an ENTIRELY different language (Indonesian on Bali) than is spoken here – means sex. Yes. You are hearing me right. People are on the stands to ban a Dutch children’s song – for containing a word that on the COMPLETE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD…..means sex. LE GASP!
Ik ben hier en jij bent daar (I am here, and you are there)
De jiggyjig doen we met elkaar (the jiggyjig we do together)
And to make matters worse – there’s actual schools that yielded to this insanity – and proceeded to ban the song from their celebrations. Whut, the, flying, fuck.
I think people are managing to take things way too far without taking into consideration what they’re actually doing. They’re taking too much pleasure in the fact that they CAN, to really ponder whether they should, anymore. We’ve become such a self-important bunch in our world of luxury that we use up the little time we have to obsess about things that shouldn’t even play in our mind. Because we have…nothing…better….to….do.
We have evolved so far onto the scales of Maslows pyramid that we no longer have to worry about silly things like food, and water and surviving as much – and are now slathering ourselves in the self-righteous quest for self-actualization. Over the bodies of the world before us, if we have to, I suppose.
Can you imagine someone from the Middle Ages worrying about the fact that the words ‘dewy rose‘ in the song of a bard might refer to their cheating wives’ nether region, to then proceed to have that song banned?
No. They were too busy worrying about what food they’d find to put on the table for their 12 greasy kids and dealing with their teeth, hands and feet rotting off from various uncureable diseases to worry about such meaningless bullshit. Hell, If you told those people that we’re actually banning words these days they’d be like ‘What?! You can do that?!’ like the true paupers that they were. Instead of instantly trying to get the word pauper banned themselves for referring to their decrepit state as poor little mongrel.
It’s not a thing. It shouldn’t be a thing. And no matter the case that CAN obviously be made for some (now banned) words and aspects. And even with the validity of possibly some of the complaints being blatantly clear – the fact that they have opened doors for our current day cancel culture sickens me.
What’s even worse is that I even find myself obliging most of the time – because I’ve found it easier to comply than to engage in fruitless discussions with people that are in tunnels so deep that they only see the ass in front of them that they think they’re licking. Possibly hoping it’s their own, for increased pleasure. I mean – have you ever tried talking to one of these cancellers who is fully convinced of their own ‘right‘? I’ve had more meaningful conversations with walls, honestly. And more chance of budging those with reasonable arguments, as well, I think.
So when I call a housekeeper an ‘interieurverzorgster‘ or ‘domestic worker‘ even though what they’re doing IS in fact housekeeping, because the previous makes them sounds ‘cheap‘ and makes them feel like they’re of lower class? I feel offended. Or when someone mentions the janitor in our company building as ‘director of facilities management’ (they actually fucking do that) I cringe. And when someone in my vicinity suddenly becomes very outspoken on the importance of banning ‘Zwarte Piet‘ (From my vocabulary) or push for deleting kids-songs containing Urban Dictionary-worthy terms while listening to Cardi B songs in their free time – I unfriend those motherfuckers.
You WILL still find me dressed up as a cowboy or an indian during carnaval and I will still eat the over 200-years old European delicacy we Dutch call ‘negerzoenen‘ without jumping on the hype-wagon and just calling them ‘zoen‘. And the moment the company that produces ‘Jodenkoeken‘ actually yields to popular demand and rebrands these delicious cookies – I will learn how to bake them my damn self.
Because if words that have been in our language so long that they’ve lost all true offensive meaning (because the people that once meant them as offensive have died so long ago that their descendants don’t even realize they were meant as such anymore) are suddenly rebranded as offensive? I refuse.
To put it more in terms that will REALLY get ya’ll activists fired up: Check your privilige – you’ve not earned the hardship to even be offended by it. And the people that were – are long gone.
If concepts and traditions that have brought people together for centuries, regardless of their once horrendous-origin-now-completely-lost-to-history, suddenly need to pave the way for inclusive maniacery? I refuse.
If songs and poems and blogs and writings must be banned for their icky topics? I will make sure I start writing them – because conformity and peer pressure is what made all of these horrible things normal in the first place.
If we cancel everything – we’ll have to start taking offense at other things. And if they move on to body language and banish the eyeroll? I’ll be doomed.
Sorry if that offends you.
Wait. No. Not even slightly.