Not Every Concern is a Valid One

The latest crisis du jour?  The stereotyped characters on The Simpsons are offensive to people who don’t like the stereotype.

I know: It’s a cartoon. That is the easiest, silliest response to this debate. It’s just a cartoon. It’s just a comedy. Or, as the photo of Apu pointedly says, don’t have a cow. But the show doesn’t have this defense to call on, because it has accepted accolades for decades as a thoughtful, intelligent, satirical work that deserves to be taken seriously. It has accepted a Peabody Award, and a GLAAD Media Award. It has been praised and slobbered over and quoted and praised again, and to plead insignificance at this point is unavailing.

“Dealt with at a later date. If at all.” In other words: We have heard how we have hurt people, and we honestly don’t care.

Here’s a thought – perhaps your concerns aren’t valid.  I know you think they are, and for some reason that means that I should agree with you.  But I don’t.

“But you aren’t me, you can’t speak for me and what offends me!”

I didn’t say you weren’t offended, I’m saying that you’re taking offense at something which isn’t that big of a deal.

“Well it’s a big deal to me!”

I’m not saying it isn’t a big deal to you.  I’m saying it’s not a big deal to everyone else.

Do I acknowledge your concerns?  Yes.  Do I think they’re valid in the sense that society needs to enact some sweeping change?  No.

We live in an age where everyone feels that their opinions and their concerns are just as valid as those of everyone else.  That every problem we have is just as pressing as problems encountered by others.  I hate to break it to you, but they aren’t.

If someone doesn’t follow your demands, it doesn’t mean they don’t care.  It doesn’t mean they don’t understand your point of view.  It doesn’t mean you’re being oppressed, marginalized, or misappropriated.  It means that they don’t agree with you.  Newsflash, not everyone will agree with you, nor do they have to.

This world is full of a wide variety of opinions and worldviews.  Part of becoming an adult is learning to cope with them.  If you don’t like an opinion, don’t hold it.  If you don’t like a worldview, don’t live it.  If you don’t like a TV show, don’t watch it.  If you don’t like a Church, don’t go to it.  Life is too short to set around looking for things to be offended by.


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