6 comments on “Breaking a Promise — but Only One I Made to Myself.

  1. Now I need to be honest and say that I don’t follow BBC, mainly because I’m in the US and right now my time is very limited. I did read the article you referenced in your post. I’m not really going to get into that matter at all, but I did want to comment on the “culture of timidity” that you mentioned.

    Now that I’ve been interrupted 5 times since I started typing this and my train of thought that I was going to type up is lost, I’m going to simply say that I agree with you completely. I couldn’t of said it better myself.

    And I’m very happy that you wrote this blog entry. You shouldn’t be afraid to share your opinions. That’s what blogs are for.

  2. Who would have thought that Will Young would come up with that cerebral gem? Especially given his speech impediment!

    • Like I said, Bruce, “Context. Intent. These too must be considered.” I am in no way, as I think I have made quite clear, condoning those who very deliberately go out of their way to offend but simply urging caution. Such things require coolheaded, considered handling not knee-jerk responses. The latter I can certainly understand but if we continue to respond in this way (and I must stress, I’m not speaking of the Carol Thatcher episode at this point) I am concerned about the impact it might have. For example, is it wrong to ever mention Will’s speech impediment? If you’d said “Isn’t it remarkable how well he sings given his speech impediment”, would that have been offensive? No, of course it wouldn’t — but someone out there might think so.

      People say stupid things — not least, me! — and, yes, there must be accountability. But as I’ve said in one form or another before, I’d much rather live in a world where people can say the “wrong thing”, than a world where they can’t. Obviously, there are exceptions — the inciting of hatred, slander/liable etc.

      I don’t claim to be right. I’m just thinking about this as thoroughly as I can, even if that means saying things that are sometimes challenging.

      As Christopher Hitchens said: “Hatred will always find a way, and will certainly always be able to outpace linguistic correctness.” That doesn’t mean, of course, that we should blithely say whatever the hell we like. We should consider those around us, as much as we can.

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