Offended?

Let me clarify, I don’t knock Jesus, I just like to point out a couple of humorous things along the way, some call it blasphemy, I call it satire, sue me Ratzinger, I dare you.

But how could I resist? I was a couple of hundred words off what I wanted to write and everyone’s always going on about how it was his big day, so, Jesus, although I would gladly shake your wounded hand for encouraging the building of beautiful architecture and many other things, I can poke fun of you just as much as the next person and not feel guilty about it.

However sometimes satire is censored to a level that is extremely disappointing.

Many of you may have heard that the openly racist, sexist and heavily offensive collaboration Encyclopedia Dramatica was recently converted to the special K of satire ‘Oh Internet’ following an controversy down under stemming from their article mocking the aboriginal people of the country as they made fun of everything and everyone.

Let me state my point right here, people have rights, but they do not have the right not to be offended.

I think I’ve said it before about profanity and I will reiterate here, free speech is much more important that catering to how much every oversensitive individual cringes at the mention of some forbidden word or satirical slur.

There was a hell of a lot of backlash to this decision and I’m not about to get involved in it, I am of no place to say anything regarding this change however, I cannot possibly see how this is a good move, what is allowed to be printed? Everything supposedly. If we can make jokes about the holocaust without a cringe why is it shock value should be treated with such a tantrum, nobody is beyond ridicule and I think south park pointed that out brilliantly in their 200/201 heavily banhammered double episode, which I thought to be hilarious, and could not for the life of me understand what the problem was.

Speaking of south park, even before this episode, which didn’t feature Muhammad directly, the image of Muhammad was censored in the Family Guy oriented episodes ‘Cartoon Wars’.

But the really special thing is that, before this, they had already depicted Muhammad on their show, to little controversy, the ‘Super Best Friends’ episode was not attacked by the extremist muslims that went after Parker and Stone later, and the picture is not in the least offensive, showing a middle eastern man with the power to manipulate flame. Should this direct image not have done something? No, because that particular community hadn’t got their knickers in a twist back then, and the very fact that the world is responding so sheepishly to these threats is surprising to me.

The fuel to the fire argument is a good one against this and I have used it a few times myself, however, in this discussion the line really appears to be drawn between fear and expression.

As with my first example, people do not have the right not to be offended, however, when things are done to deliberately cause a controversy is there some special rule that kicks in? It seems to be how the world is reacting, and although it doesn’t make sense in a freedom of speech stand point, could it be that we might as well prevent the remaining hatred reserved for the western world from being unleashed?

However, the very fact that Muhammad was previously aired, the very fact that ED spared no-one in their quest to ridicule everyone in the most offensive manner possible forces me to raise a sceptical eyebrow at this, something about this leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but above all, I find the fact that this question causes such hesitation fascinating.

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