Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Tree in the Forest...

If a tree falls in the forest and no one's around to hear it, does it make a sound? People have long discussions and debates about this question. I think the answer is simple: yes. The principal elements which cause sounds are not dependent upon the audience, so it doesn't matter that there was no one around, at the time.

Similarly, one might ask, "If an offensive statement or joke (illustrated or otherwise) is made and no 'sensitive parties' are around to hear it, is it still offensive?" I think the answer is the same. The statement is just as good or bad, even if no one there judged it so.

Thievery is thievery, even if the victim never realized the item was gone, a lie is still a lie, even if no one ever finds out the truth, and an off-color joke is still as offensive (or as funny) whether there's someone to be offended, or not.

That's not to say that all unPC jokes are horrible, horrible things that should never be uttered - not necessarily. It just means that it doesn't magically lose its offensive characteristics, to whatever degree it has any (0-100%), just because we only tell them to people who'll laugh.

Your thoughts?


nikki said...

there's nothing i can say here that you haven't said. i agree with you on all counts here. just cuz there isn't anyone to judge, doesn't mean there's no judgement.

West said...

This was inspired by someone's response to this thread:

Long/short - Multiple comic book creators, two Black and one white, say that Marvel and DC offices were VERY racially insensitive. An example is provided in the first post.

Some posters suggest that it's an innocent illustration that shouldn't be held against anyone, since it was never intended to be seen by the public.

Obviously, I disagree, somewhat.

West said...

Oh yeah. This was all based on part of Rich Johnston's latest Lying in the Gutters column, located here:

nikki said...

what an idiotic response. "wasn't intended for the public"??? who cares? it's still wrong.