On The Subject of Being Offensive

This post, by Chuck Wendig, originally appeared on his terribleminds site.

I’ve had this unformed post in my head for a while, and I’m tired of it racing around the ol’ skull-track like a squirrel with a lit firecracker up its ass. So, here’s the post in all its unformed, uncertain glory.

Last week, I wrote a thing about Tomb Raider and Lara Croft. And I saw some comments around the Internet — not so much in reference to anything I wrote, but rather to the overall negative reaction to Lara Croft being used, abused, and downgraded — that chalked up the outrage to “political correctness.”

In a totally different thing, sometimes people send me things — via email, tweet, Facebook, psychic transmission — written by other people, and they’ll say things like, “This sounds like Chuck Wendig wrote it!” And what they send often has a certain whiskey-and-rage-sodden vibe to it, but also often uses pejoratives like “retarded” or “gay” or “fag” in the process. Which, to my mind, doesn’t sound like me at all.

And again, you might be thinking, “Well, sure. Political correctness.”

Let me stop you. Hand planted on your chest, me clucking my tongue.

Political correctness is a desire to minimize or eradicate offense.

I care very little about minimizing or eradicating offense.

I’m okay with offending. I don’t find that traipsing too gingerly about a subject does that subject any good. I’d rather expose something for what I feel that it is rather than swaddle it in gauzy, soft-focus layers.

Clearly, this blog is part of that. I’m happy to use sexual imagery or profanity — not as a means to an end but because it’s just part of the way I like to say things.

And yet, I no longer use words like “retarded” or “gay” or “fag” in my posts or my daily parlance (though once upon a time I, quite lazily, did in fact use those terms as clumsy and inept shorthand).


Read the rest of the post on terribleminds.