The Big Think

April 15, 2006

Spaz

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:57 pm

So Tiger Woods calls himself a “spaz” in reference to his poor putting and some overly PC people in England pitch a fit (spaz out?) because it’s considered derogatory. Give me a break. First off, Tiger was criticizing himself and saying that he putted poorly. Second, he didn’t mean any offense to anyone, and it takes a complete and almost intentional misreading of his comments to assume that he did. And third, if you represent a little known organization and want to get some press, it’s pretty easy to find something obscure that you can take offense at, and then go crying to the media that so-and-so is unkind or uncaring or insensitive. This kind of thing is what leads celebrities (and especially politicians) to be so sensitive in what they say that they end up saying nothing at all… and then we get mad at them for that.

So to the overly sensitive PC people out there who think this is a real issue – chill out.

Reminds me of an exchange from The West Wing:

Josh: I really like this guy and I want to hire him.
Leo: So what’s the problem?
Josh: He’s black.
Leo: So’s the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
Josh: They don’t hold the door open for the President. I’m not wild about the visual: a young black man holding his overnight bag?
Leo: Josh, I hold the door open for the President. It’s an honor! This is serious business. This isn’t casting.

Then later, Leo asks the SecDef Fitzwallace (who’s black):

Leo: Admiral, would you have any problem with us hiring a young black man to wait on the President?
Admiral Fitzwallace: I’m an old black man and I wait on the President. You gonna pay him a decent wage? You gonna treat him with respect in the workplace?
Leo: Yes.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Then why the hell should I care? I got some real honest-to-God battles to fight, Leo. I don’t have time for the cosmetic ones.

I didn’t mean to drift into areas of race here, but the example illustrates my larger point. We shouldn’t worry so much about unintended insults. Spend the energy on the big stuff.

Moral to the British Spazpolice: It wasn’t meant to be an insult. Show some class and get over it.

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