The other day I found an advert in the back of a magazine for cosmetic surgery which made me rather angry. In my rage, I did what any normal person would do and I tweeted about it. However, instead of typing “Have you fucking *seen* this shit?” which was pretty much what I was thinking, I decided to opt for the rather toned down “N.B. Other methods of obtaining confidence are also available” instead. Within minutes, I realised why I’d done it and also why I keep being told to have more of an opinion in my writing: I’m afraid of accidentally contradicting myself. If, in my moment of rage, I had tweeted that the cosmetic surgery advert was utterly hideous, 140 characters wouldn’t have been enough to adequately explain why. Out of a small fear of later having to explain that I don’t think elective surgery is bad, wrong or always unnecessary (I simply detest the terrible way it is often advertised), I ended up suppressing my rage and tweeting something far less interesting.
All of the journalists I admire are the ones who will declare that anyone who says their wedding is going to be/was the best day of their life just hasn’t taken enough MDMA in a field at 3am. The ones who describe the warnings on cigarette packets as being “like a Victorian letter of condolence, sent slightly too early“. And the ones who manage to get the phrase “spunking knob” into a serious article about the sexualisation of children. These are not people who sit back and think “will this offend someone?” – they are people who assume that someone’s bound to be offended anyway so why not dive into it with a little bit of flair? If I want to write something interesting, I need to think everything through and avoid potential hypocrisy without accidentally removing all of the bile and actual opinions from the piece. If I feel confident enough to rant about Ugg boots then surely I can be confident enough to write about other things which also make me want to punch strangers in the face?
Love this post! Shame about Bridesmaids.. I have heard its very good. *sigh*
“I need to think everything through and avoid potential hypocrisy without accidentally removing all of the bile and actual opinions from the piece.”
This makes a lot of sense. You're a very smart woman with compelling opinions and I look forward to hearing more of them, bile and all 🙂
Ugg boots don't make you want to punch people in the face?
@Denny – “If I feel confident enough to rant about Ugg boots then surely I can be confident enough to write about other things which *also* make me want to punch strangers in the face?” Also, meaning 'as well as'. Was that badly phrased?
You should never worry about offending anyone, really. Being offended is a choice – you don't have to find something offensive at all, you just *decided* that it impinged upon your delicate sensibilities. It says infinitely more about the person who claims to be offended than the one who transgressed them (mainly that they're a prissy little child who needs to grow up – seriously, there should be very little in the world that adults find offensive)
As for “Bridesmaids”, well, it's your own fault and you don't have my sympathy 🙂 Chick flicks (and their counterpart, Dick flicks) are, almost without exception, uniformly awful, culturally and intellectually bankrupt, and utterly worthless as entertainment (unless you're educationally stunted or very easily pleased). At least they have the decency to be clear in their advertising about who they're aimed it …
Great blog, liking it so far 🙂
Oh, thank goodness, someone else who didn't like “Bridesmaids”. I was starting to feel a like shouting “The Emperor is naked! What is WRONG with you people?!?!”.
I found it appallingly sexist and anti-feminist, but none of my carefully reasoned arguments seemed to stack up to the universal response of “But HOW FUNNY was the scene where they are all sick in the bridal shop?”. Sigh. Not the point, girls. I love my friends, but sometimes they make me want to cry.