26 August, 2010


The fine calculus of offence

There is a rather inconsequential piece up by Guardian environment wallah Phil Space James Randerson about the climate camp gig at Edinburgh, in which he sets out for our amusement a number of snarky tweets by people not entirely sympathetic to the climate-camp cause. Surprisingly the piece has attracted, at the time of writing, as many as 115 comments, a mixture of the indifferent and the indignant.

All very so-whattish, but what I found interesting was this comment
25 Aug 2010, 11:35AM

Apparently James Randerson thinks it's a good idea to promote a racist tweeter:

@Akvavitix being one of the people whose tweets are quoted in the original article. So commenter "asaw" sets off diligently to find something to take offence at and comes up with the Akvavitix tweet linked above, which reads
Oh dear. There is a new diet sweeping Pakistan. It's called swim fast
Hmm. Well that's certainly in rather poor taste, making feeble fun of people who have suffered a devastating natural disaster. And it's not even a particularly good joke. I certainly don't approve of it, but more in a "moving swiftly on" way than a "shock horror have this person locked up" way.

But that's not what "asaw" is objecting to, is it? He/she is objecting because the tweet is "racist". It is directed at Pakistanis. So presumably a cheap crack at the expense of White victims of a disaster would have been OK, would it?

Righteous Guardianista hypocrite.

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