tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
Dear world:

Please stop using the phrase "I'm sorry if I offended you."

If I'm calling you on your bullshit, your error wasn't to hurt my feelings. If I were actually hurt, I probably wouldn't have the energy to confront you about it, unless you were someone I knew well.

Rather, your error was to say something that made you look like an ignorant clown.

So why are you apologizing to me for that?

Love,
[personal profile] tim
Another way of saying it (in re discussion in comments here) is that there is something to learn from any criticism. If "Alice" thinks something you said makes you seem like an ignorant clown, then there's probably something in either what you said, or how you said it, or both, that's worth examining. Unless, that is, you have no respect for "Alice" whatsoever. If "I'm sorry if I offended you" connotes "I have no respect for you whatsoever", is it really a polite thing to say?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:20 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Fuck yes.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:27 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Strong idiocy requires strong characterization.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:31 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
"Motherfuck a window, Radio Raheem is dead."

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:40 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
I found it useful since I've been exposed to a lot of bullshit arguments about it since I last watched it, and in attempting to deconstruct my reactions to those, I came away from it with what I found a much more valuable message than the one that the culture I was immersed in when it was a relevant and talked-about film (which, even in its negation, was wrong.)

Also, it's really remarkable how much DTRT feels like a play rather than a film. I'm not sure if I can convey that well, but something about the limited, relatively static environments and some of the acting style really reminds me of a very good play in a way that makes it a really enjoyable to watch in a sort of literary/intellectual way, instead of watching for enjoyment. (Though certainly some of the comic tropes are enjoyable and remind me of people who don't seem to have counterparts on the west coast, and watching how some of them fit into Lee's narrative made me examine some of my experiences with inner-city black culture as a teenager which were incomplete and which I could not make sense of at the time. [Likewise for watching The Wire a few months back, I suppose.])

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] juli - Date: 2009-07-31 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:33 pm (UTC)
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kake
Also, what is that "if" about? If you're sorry you offended me, apologise for that. If you don't believe you really offended me, then say so.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hitchhiker
this i can agree with. the parent not so much - what it means, specifically, is "you don't have any particular authority (in either the scientific or the mundane sense of the word) to call me on what i said; nonetheless, if it caused you personal distress, i am sorry for that"

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hitchhiker
well, if you've gone through the trouble to upbraid him, some assumption of offense is a fairly natural reaction.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hitchhiker
because people are by and large nonconfrontational unless they have some sort of stake in the discussion. a personal emotional involvement is the commonest sort of stake.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:50 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Citation needed.

(no subject)

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Date: 2009-07-31 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hitchhiker
to be a bit clearer, this is the internal dialogue i envision:

them: "[whatever]"
you: "omg fail"
them: okay, he's just been rude about something i said
them: but it's none of his business
them: and who's to say which of us is right anyway? certainly not him
them: but wait - maybe he, personally, was offended by what i said
them: that would explain it
them: *nods sagely*
them: okay, even if he doesn't have a point, why hurt his feelings?
them: "i'm sorry if i offended you"

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:52 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
I dunno, why was them saying whatever to you or where you might read it if they're all "who's to say?" about it? Don't express an opinion or a thought if you don't actually have one. Engage people who engage you about things you have done or said and don't worry about their fucking motivations, or just shut up and ignore them.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hitchhiker
"i'm sorry i offended you" *is* an engagement. it is also a commensurate level of engagement to the other person turning a general argument into a direct criticism. "just shut up and ignore them" again assumes some sort of moral low ground where you have ceded your opinion that you are correct, and have to engage them from the position that they are right, or not at all.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-31 11:01 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
No, it isn't. "I'm sorry [if] I offended you" is dismissive of their concerns, full stop.

(no subject)

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Date: 2009-07-31 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] hitchhiker
why is that the appropriate reaction? the person criticising you has defined the parameters of the engagement, making a broadcast statement into a personal conversation. some sort of response follows pretty inevitably - again, social conventions.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] juli - Date: 2009-07-31 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
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