Tim Walker on The Offensive

You know what pisses me off? It’s how easily offended and overly bloody sensitive everybody seems to be these days – are we really so precious?

Are we that fragile, that pathetic and that weak? Is our collective esteem so impossibly low that as individuals, we can actually not handle the occasional piece of shit being slung our way? Really?

Or is it that as such dutiful ambassadors of the 21st century where unless one is mentally well-adjusted, compassionate and of course willing to accept and exhibit unwavering political correctness, also faultless decorum and at least partial metrosexuality, they are guilty of falling out of vogue? Is it that we as a nation have become such perfect little NCEA-moulded, reality-sheltered piss-ants that we are no longer accustomed to failure, to hardship or in fact anything the least bit negative?

Said it before and by Christ I’ll say it again: people need to learn to distinguish Observational from Judgemental. Example. Pointing out that a Nigerian is black is not racist. It’s fact. Distinction is simple: judgements tend to be untrue, slanderous; observations are unequivocally factual. Therefore, a bikini-clad beach-goer rocking 70% body-fat cannot rightly call ‘judgement’ on somebody asking to share in her spongy muffin-tops.

In a time where it’s fashionable to say STI rather than STD because obviously ‘infection’ is so much less repugnant than ‘disease’; where the equality advocates and Russell Normans of the world are becoming increasingly unrealistic, perceiving it as unfair that women in the workplace are finding it tough to become male strippers, or that the only reason Global Warming is still an issue is because some NZ citizens are still mixing paper with plastic

Then there’s television and radio. I honestly think that there are people out there who watch and listen to these mediums with the sole intention of locating broadcasts that might possibly under particular circumstances perhaps be potentially offensive to someone. Not to them though. Oh no. They likely don’t give a shit. These people are looking out for the good of the nation.

Ah Christ, then there’s social media. I do wonder how the hell some people can justify being so damned uppity about their own personal privacy, then go ahead and wilfully post practically their entire bloody life on Facebook for all to see…

Did someone say hypocrite?

No no, you misheard me. I said dick-wad.

Who gives a toss if ACC mistakenly send your name, age and address to some random you’ve never met? Think about it. Logically, how the hell can that even matter? This is the modern world. Anybody can source any piece of information on any person. Name, age, address? So what? Mother father, shut the front door. You probably post one helluva lot more than that on that infernal bloody Facebook page. Then what about those so-called private conversations you have on that same bloody forum? Private? Really? Ha. Thick-clod.

Get this. Saw a dwarf the other day. I shit you not, he was wearing a cute little hat and everything. He was strolling mirthfully down the footpath, swinging his arms, whistling a gay tune as he went. Of course I stopped him. “Pardon me sir,” I began.

“What?” he grunted coming to an abrupt halt. I’ll admit, at this point I’m slightly taken aback. I always thought dwarves were a merry people…

“Oh,” I said, “I was just hoping to ask you a question, relating to your … stature.”

“Yeah, and what’s wrong with my stature?” he inquired indignantly, as if he hadn’t noticed that he was somewhat less tall than everybody he was encountering that day.

As that ruddy little face stared up at me with its menacing eyes and hissing breath, suddenly I understood. I had located the fabled Eight Dwarf, Pugnacity.

Irascible temperament notwithstanding, I had a question to ask. “Well there’s nothing wrong with your stature though clearly, you are a little shorter than most, in fact I had wan -“

“So what if I’m shorter than other people, doesn’t make me any less of a person.”

“No,” I said in disbelief, “it doesn’t, I’d just wanted to know, once and for all, what people of your, stature, prefer to be called..?”


“Right.” At this point I had no idea why I was persevering with the grumpy little gnome. “Thanks for that Kevin. From this day forth I shall call every dwarf, midget, little person and other vertically challenged entity I ever meet, Kevin. Nice one.”

“What?” this seemed to confuse him, “No, I’m Kevin … whaddaya mean?”

“I was meaning to ask what you guys prefer to be called, given that it used to be midget – which I now hear is offensive – then it was little person – which these days is apparently even worse – and now I hear it’s dwarf – which ten years ago was the worst…”

“Oh. Yeah, think it is dwarf, don’t really know eh…”

“Right, but you’re called Kevin, yeah?”

I think he probably did respond but I had already turned – repaying his show of premeditated irritation with my own display of intentional ignorance.

Fact is, I understand better than most what it is to have ‘regular folk’ give you a hard time but in my experience, one learns to go with it. The worst thing you can do is constantly be on the defensive. It’s offensive and extremely hard work.

On that note, people who take affront to things that really don’t bother them, in my opinion, ought to be shot. Their mild indignation results in my severe irritation. Who actually gives a shit if a television or radio presenter slips up and drops a live F-bomb? Personally, that kind of thing is broadcasting gold.

It doesn’t matter if something somebody said was inappropriate, offensive and not totally PC – they’re words for God’s sake.

Or shall we force an apology do you think? Yeah, that’ll teach them.

My God. Does no one realise that an apology is meaningless, thus utterly pointless unless it’s of one’s own volition?

Finally to all you easily offended douche-bags out there, try this simple formula. If it’s visually offensive, don’t watch it. If it’s aurally offensive, don’t listen to it. If it’s orally offensive, don’t eat it. If it’s nasally offensive, don’t smell it and if it feels offensive, for God’s sake get your bloody hands off it.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by P S Off

Photography by Dick Wad



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