Monday, 25 October 2010

The danger of being inoffensive.

Jeremy Clarkson is in a heap of trouble over nothing at all again. He was being disparaging about a Ferrari and said this -

He said the F430 Speciale 'looked like a simpleton' and should have been called 'Speciale Needs' on the BBC2 show.

Note that he made no reference to any disabled group whatsoever. He was talking about a car. Cars, last time I looked, have never been offended by anything and have no pressure groups to look after their interests.

However -

Charities criticised the remark, with the National Autistic Society saying it perpetuated 'the prejudice and bullying which people with disabilities have to cope with'.

The BBC received two complaints. They did not say 'If you don't like him, don't watch him'. They edited the remark out of the repeats and debased themselves before the Altar of Political Correctness with a grovelling apology. Well, we're used to that by now. Anyone can claim 'offense' and whoever they claim it against has to plead for forgiveness and usually hand over money. It's just another feeble aspect of a society composed of the weak-minded and the worthless. It is disgusting to see and disgraceful to partake of.

It is also extremely dangerous.

For fear of causing people to become distressed, the manager at Aldgate didn't mention the bomb that ripped a train apart in her station when she spoke to her control centre.

She said she did not want to cause panic in the network control centre, adding: “When there’s a fire you don’t run around shouting fire. I tried to give as much specific information as I could rather than speculating in a panic reaction.”

This comes from the constant Righteous misuse of the 'shouting fire in a crowded theatre' line. When there is a fire, yes, you do shout 'Fire'. Very loudly. That's why we have a word for it. I mean, if you ran around shouting 'Reddy orangey hot stuff' during a fire, it wouldn't really help much. It would, however, be a lot more help than just staying quiet and watching the theatre burn.

The inquest heard that the control room was left under the wrong impression that they were dealing with an electrical surge and sent technical experts to Aldgate station to deal with the problem.

Well, that's useful for the train and the tracks but not a hell of a lot of help for the passengers. If she had used the word 'bomb', or even 'explosion', the control centre would have had police, ambulance and fire brigade on the line straight away. Not technical experts who probably wouldn't have had the parts with them to fix the train, never mind the passengers.

Hugo Keith QC, counsel for the inquiry said: “Did you think to call a fourth time and say ‘Right I’ve heard from someone in the tunnel now, there are people dying and he says we’ve got to get paramedics down here. That’s what I want to tell you?’”

Mrs Harrison said she did tell an off-duty policeman but did not contact her control room which would normally alert the emergency services.

She has direct access to the control centre. She has a phone too. What does she do? Find an off-duty policeman. All because of political correctness. If she had not been scared of disciplinary action for frightening a switchboard operator, she might instead have been shouting 'Explosion!' into the phone and everything could have moved so much faster.

It's easy to blame her, but it's not really her fault. She is a product of Righteous conditioning. Police are reluctant to release a description of a murderer unless it's a white male. Mention any other skin tone and it's racism, mention that the suspect is a woman and its sexism. If it's a gay black female amputee, they are well and truly stuffed. 'We're looking for someone who doesn't look like anyone else' would be their only option.

The police aren't doing that because they want to. Political correctness is doing it. You can't say 'bomb' when there's a bomb in case people get upset. You have to risk losing a murderer who isn't white in case a description of one man is taken to mean everyone who might look even slightly similar, and they get upset.

Well, they don't, of course. Black people want a black murderer caught just as much as anyone else does. Skin colour is irrelevant when the criminal is that dangerous. It's the professionally offended pressure groups who play at being upset.

I don't see how Clarkson's remark would offend anyone other than the car it was directed at. Perhaps its designer, but if he's designing for Ferrari he'll just wave his bank statement at Clarkson and then display his backside. Clarkson insulted an inanimate object and these charities think he was speaking about disabled people? Does that mean the charities regard disabled people as inanimate objects? Now that is offensive. I demand they apologise at once.

Yet from these seemingly trivial and superficially funny incidents comes the mindset that nobody must ever be upset or miffed or startled in any way, ever. A mindset that can only get worse, now that Smoko Clegg and Dai Puffer's Coagulation have enacted Hideous Harman's 'equality' bill. A bill that ensures everyone is under equal suspicion, all the time. Anyone can report anyone else for any word spoken, even if they were not there when the word was spoken, it was not directed at them, and they are not part of any group the word was used to describe. It needn't even really happen. Everyone is equally terrified to say anything at all to anyone else. We don't even have Newspeak now. Silence.

This now means that if you phone for an ambulance, you must take care not to unduly distress the operator on the line. You must think carefully before every word uttered. While whoever you're phoning for lies bleeding, you must take care to describe the event in entirely neutral terms. One word out of place and the police will be called before the ambulance, assuming the operator doesn't hang up in a huff and apply for counselling (and compensation).

This country has fought with France many times. Sometimes they won. sometimes we won. Now? All the French need do is send this guy and the whole country will be on the phone to the BBC in tears. It really is pathetic. It is certainly not a cause for mirth.

We now live in a land where, if you see a woman who has tucked her dress into her knickers in the toilet, you dare not tell her. You dare not compliment anyone on their clothes, hair or anything else. You must be careful about eye contact and don't smile - that could be considered leering. No jokes. No laughing. Absolutely no contact of any kind at all, ever. That's assault.

When faced with an insult, no matter how personal, my response is to think of a better one. Insults bounce off me because they don't hurt. They are only words. They are the one weapon we can all use, until they are taken from us too. I wonder if that's what upsets the Righteous? They can't get beyond 'racist-Nazi-bigot-paedo' so they have to shut the rest of us up. They're upset by insults because we're better at it than they are. It's possible. They are certainly small-minded enough to think that way. Well, now they have reached the point where we can't say anything.

There are those who decry bloggers as friendless saddos who only ever see the world on a screen and have no other human contact at all. Well, that really is the future. For everyone. Cocooned from birth, all children will grow up knowing only the face of Nanny on the screen. The same one, and she's not even real.

One day, we'll be wishing Orwell had been right because what's happening now is worse.


Smoking Hot said...

She obviously ticked all the correct boxes to get the job ... sadly none of the boxes were anything to do with competence.

They got exactly what they wanted.

Paul said...

I'm autistic. I'm one of the people who's supposed to be offended. Guess what? I'm not. Not one bit. Not one squiggly-dibbly-dozy. Just like I don't get offended by anything you write in your blog.

The NAS is full of arseholes anyway. I've learnt over the years to stay well away from any 'professional' bodies representing 'our' interests as it's almost always made up of the self-serving and people who think they know better than us.

Real autistic people wouldn't give a toss. Actually, Clarkson's remark raised a smile. So the NAS can go fuck itself with a dildo complete with nails.

There's your response from one of the people who's supposed to be offended.

(Don't suppose I could buy a copy of your nice new book and get you to sign it, perchance? It'll give me something to read over Christmas when I should be doing normal things that normal people do like drinking too much and vomiting in the town centre.)

Leg-iron said...

Smoking Hot - she's all they have to choose from now. Anyone who would have screamed 'Fire' in a burning theatre wouldn't have got the job.

She's not the cause. She's a symptom.

Leg-iron said...

Paul - it amazes me that autism-spectrum charities fail to understand the type of mind they are dealing with. Why would anyone on that spectrum give a crap about the opinions of anyone else? Especially the slow-thinking and narrow-minded 'normals'.

I once raged at someone who claimed to be Aspergers and who spent much time attention-seeking and going on about her 'self-help group'. If she really had Apergers she would never appear as herself online and she would shy away from attention.

As for groups for those who don't want to be part of groups... Olympic standard point-missing there.

It's trendy to have 'an affliction' now. In the old days we called it 'individuality'. But then, individuality is illegal these days. If you don't fit the British Standard Human then there must be something wrong with you. The problem is, nobody fits it.

It's deliberate. If everyone needs to be fixed, everyone has to visit the Pharmers. Cures are not profitable. Lifetime drugs are.

So we all get denormalised because nobody can match the 'normal' specification.

I never went to pubs at weekends either. Smoky-Drinkies are different, they tend to be at weekends to accommodate those nine-to-fivers who work with others. Pubs were too busy at weekends. I was one of those who supported pubs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until they kicked me outside. There weren't many of us and we all smoked.

For the book, it's not out until April but drop me an Email and I'll see what I can do.

Paul said...

LI: We don't, generally, but I/we have been 'taught' to. I don't want to but apparently one is supposed to take other people's thoughts/feelings into account. I do my best but to be honest half the time I just can't be arsed. I can think about other people occasionally but empathy doesn't come naturally even though we must show it all the time. As far as I am concerned, that's for middle-aged women to do. You know, the kind of harpies that sit in libraries and spend all day looking at your browsing history because they don't have any lives of their own. (I think such invasive monitoring could actually be dangerous, but that's by-the-by.)

I'm me; if you don't like it, don't associate with me. I don't have many friends and I like it that way. Means I can live my life as I see fit. And I've got loads of things I want to do.

The game plan for me is simple: lose the weight and get off the anti-depressants. That way I can get off the drugs and live a clean life and maybe even a job. Throw off the yolk of dependency. Well, apart from the whisky and pork scratchings, of course.

April?! OK, fair enough. It'll do for my birthday then. ;-)

WV: ressive (wut?!) ;)

banned said...

Just two complaints? The other professional offendees must have been sleeping on the job.
I recall some while ago accusing our local council of having 'special needs', the woman I was with froze for a couple of seconds before deciding to laugh. 4 decades ago me and my mates used to go to the gym at the local YMCA except when it was being used by 'the disabled'; one day they renamed them the Special Club which of course gave us an ideal term of abuse for anything we thought less than satisfactory, "Oi mate, with a shirt like that you should be in Special Club!"

Is Celia Harrison being set up as an Aunt Sally to excuse the piss-poor reasponse of the emergency services to the 7/7 'terrorist bombings'?

" You dare not compliment anyone on their clothes, hair or anything else. You must be careful about eye contact and don't smile - that could be considered leering. No jokes. No laughing. Absolutely no contact of any kind at all, ever. That's assault. You jest L-I but I imagine that is exactly what is happening in State Sector offices and canteens throughout the land.

Leg-iron said...

Paul - my birthday is in April too and the book is set in April 1647. Somewhere a numerologist is wetting themselves.

I'm me; if you don't like it, don't associate with me. I don't have many friends and I like it that way.

Are you sure you're not me? ;) Nah, you're too considerate to be me.

Other peoples' thoughts and feelings are their business. If they have problems with them, that's not my problem.

The teaching... 'So and so is upset by being called names. You have to be gentle with so and so.'

Why? So and so is an idiot. Tell so and so that and they might learn to think properly and not waste time worrying about trivia.

Here's a funny bit of trivia. Once, a student showed me a plate of bacteria and said 'How am I supposed to count this?'

I glanced at it and said '264'.

He came up to me much later in the lesson and said 'I counted 263'.

I didn't look at the plate or him. All I said was 'You missed one'.

Poor bugger ran out of time before he could prove me wrong. I still don't think I was.

(really, on the scale of bacteria, it didn't matter at all anyway but it was too much fun to pass up).

Leg-iron said...

banned - I jest not. A poke with a finger is deemed assault. Even if it's not in a place you shouldn't be poking it. That's official. As for insults, there have been insane ads in buses with 'police' tape over peoples' ears...

The two complaints might be because the en-masse charity complaints only count as one each.

JuliaM said...

"This comes from the constant Righteous misuse of the 'shouting fire in a crowded theatre' line. When there is a fire, yes, you do shout 'Fire'. Very loudly."

It's why we have Fire Alarms, not Fire Concerns....

microdave said...

I was going through some of my mp3 collection the other day and found some Rowan Atkinson clips. "The Father Of The Bride" is hilarious, in which he refers to the bridegroom as "The sort of man we used to describe at school as an utter spastic".

I don't suppose he includes this in his repertoire any more...

Angry Exile said...

The other way of looking at it is that if you have special needs you're as good looking as a Ferrari. Unfortunately that doesn't give the offence seekers much satisfaction.

Scooper said...

Special Needs is a meaningless term used to pigeon hole a huge variety of people in the same way as 'Learning Difficulties'. It's all about control of behaviour introduced by self interest lobby groups that get paid to make us feel guilty.

On the BBC recently I recall seeing a person described as having Learning Difficulties when it was apparent that their problems were physical and not mental. If I was that person then I may well have been offended by that description.

For a while I've decided to start using some very un-pc terminology and guess what? Normal people just aren't bothered by the use of some words - mind you it might just help being 6'5" and 18 stones!!

Clarkson is a rare beast on the biased BBC, and the Righteous struggle to understand his popularity.

smokervoter said...

"assuming the operator doesn't hang up in a huff and apply for counselling (and compensation)."

LI, that's a magnificent line. She'll then proceed to take a week off of work to attend group therapy, where her assigned guru will manage to work the word 'appropriate' into every other sentence.

"One day, we'll be wishing Orwell had been right because what's happening now is worse."

Sadly true. 1984 and Animal Farm were required reading when I was in high school. I doubt it's the case anymore. The safety-pinned baby-boomers running the schools probably see those books as a menace to their overall risk avoidance stratagem. Independent kids tend to try out smoking and ride their bikes without helmets.

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