On the subject of offending…

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For a long time now, sinice the day I posted the first ExtraLife comic, there has been one truth that is very hard to avoid: I would offend people at various times no matter how hard I tried not to. It’s the whole “one man’s term of endearment is another man’s hidious comment” thing.

With ELR, there is even more chance of offense I have found, and today was no different. I got an email from a listener, who I completly respect for his thoughts and such, but I took some issue with the idea that people should only be offended when its specific to you. I kinda think people should be offended entirely, or not at all. Everyone is fair game, myself included, and probably myself most of all if you listen to past shows.

At any rate, I thought I would post my reply to this person…I won’t post his message out of respect to him, but you will get the gist of the topic if you read below. What’s your take on this sort of thing? Am I way off base?

How long have you been listening to the show? My tongue has been
firmly in cheek since episode one, and while no stereotype is safe,
none of it is ever meant to be taken seriously. The “nuke to the
beak” is, and never was meant to be anything more than a stupid thing
to say, with no malicious intent behind it. It is in fact about the
10th time I have used the comment…it has been on the show quite a
few times, when talking about some of the more interesting things to
come out of Japan in the last few years.

There is one singular truth about ELR that all listeners either
already know, or should know: The show is not meant to be social
commentary, its not meant to be a podium for political or social
policy, and its not meant to be much more than fun geeky
entertainment. And let me tell you this, there is no possible way to
be 100% politically correct with thousands and thousands of listeners.

I will give you an example: Why is it that I only heard from you when
we did the nuke comment? Why did I not hear from you when we made a
gay joke, or commented on Mexican work ethics, or when I did my
Chinese Starwars spoof?

If one really listens to the show, they will find that my number one
target of fun-making and ridicule…is me. Same goes for the other
guys. Shouldn’t Obsidian be offended by now at all the jokes I make
at the expense of Columbia? Should Brian never speak to me because I
make it sound like South Carolina is nothing but a bunch of rednecks
and idiots?

All of that said, you are certainly allowed and able to have a strong
opinion and share it, and to even call me out for saying certain
things…I have come to accept that as the show has grown. But know
this: I mean no REAL offense to anyone or anything. I grew up in a
family with three Korean siblings. I know what it means to live in a
diverse world. I also know what it feels like to have someone call
your little sister a “Chink” and have to hold back the urge to kick
them into next week.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m sort of tired of living in a
time where people can’t laugh and smile at the world around
them…even the hard stuff. My goal with the show, and really all
things ExtraLife is to accept the fact that stereotypes are funny, and
knowing that not letting words hurt us is liberating.

I’ve been to Japan, I loved it there, I would go back in a heartbeat,
I love the rich history and there unique and important place in the
modern age…this is the real lay of my mind on the subject, not some
silly one note joke about how all weird things in Japan come from
being nuked.

Anyway, I hope all this makes sense. I am glad you took the time to
share your thoughts. I hope my reply makes sense and is somewhat
coherent. Thoughts?

So am I smoking crack? Or does that sound as reasonable as it seems to me?