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So you were offended...

Editorial submitted by Conrad Doyle

It is a sad commentary on our society these days when “adults” play childish games because they are offended by what another person, or business, says or does. We see this behavior every time a group or party gets offended and sets out to “correct” any segment of society that dare disagree with their cause or belief system. It seems that these folks believe the rest of society is only right in their thinking and actions if they fall in line with the offended one’s philosophy. In other words, if you do not agree with and cater to their beliefs and desires, you are in the wrong and must be punished and destroyed.

Last week we read an article summitted by Mr. Hobbs regarding the withdrawal, or cancelling of advertisement dollars, by a local business because they were offended by a “canned submission” intended to be humorous that fell a bit short of its goal.

I personally enjoy “The Lighter Side” submissions because the break, all be it short-lived, from all of the political debris and death notices is refreshing. I understand, and am sure the publisher will agree, that while some might have found the “Viagra Falls” story humorous others did not and were offended by it. It is not my type of humor but when using a “canned” service you get what you get and with that comes a variety of “humor”. It is much like watching a commercial on TV that advertises Cialis/Viagra or even worse—one that gives visual examples of Peyronie’s Disease. Heaven forbid a child would be watching that commercial!

How many of us call and cancel our subscriptions to the various cable/TV services when these types of commercials are aired? While I find many commercials offensive, I have never used this personal preference as reason enough to shut down any programs or services.

There was a time when, if offended, the matter would be discussed, differing opinions were allowed, respected even, and all parties involved would shake hands and either agree or agree to disagree. Appropriate pleasantries were exchanged and those involved remained respectful in words and deeds. Sadly, that is no longer how business is conducted.

I came from the generation that respected a person’s right to an opinion that differed from mine. I understood, and still do, that not everyone finds humor in the same things. Given that view, I find it unconscionable that “adults” no longer respect or practice business decorum. Did the individual or business that removed their advertising dollars reach out to the publisher, or Mr. Hobbs, to discuss the issue? Or did the business owner conduct themselves in a fashion more representative of an immature “I’ll just take my marbles and go home” attitude, usually associated with children when they fail to receive the intended outcome of a particular game or activity?

I can only imagine how it felt to return to work after my child, wife and I survived a round of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic to learn that I might not have enough funds to take care of my family because someone was offended by an article that they chose to read. Making things even more hurtful is the fact that the offended person attends the same religious services and practices the same faith-based lifestyle that Mr. Hobbs and his family strive to practice.

I do not know the involved business or individuals, nor do I need to. I choose not to ask because I don’t want to have ill feelings towards the business or its owner. I can only hope that with time, levelheaded adult decisions will be made that ensures the employees of both businesses are able to remain employed by their respective employer’s.

It would be time well spent for the punishing business to add up the dollars that could potentially be lost if the staff of this publication and their families decided to take their business elsewhere.

In closing, I would like to send kudos to the reader that reached out to the newspaper staff and responded in an adult fashion when voicing her disapproval of the details of an arrest as printed in the front page article. To “do better because the readers deserved better” is a very respectful challenge that likely resonated with the staff. The antithesis to this would be to take my proverbial marbles and go home.

Make sure your decisions are not something that could back-fire in spades.