Is the Hudson Valley Too Easily Offended?
The Hudson Valley needs to lighten up. And if you agree with that sentiment too strongly, you may be part of the problem too.
It's true. People are too easily offended these days. But what's even worse are those angry people who are offended by people who are offended. You probably know these people, they seem to be pretty much all over the Hudson Valley. Someone shares an opinion on why something bothers them and then the angry mob starts to loudly yell why you don't have the right to your opinion.
Let me give you an example. Last week Robyn and I were discussing how the animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie seems terribly dated by today's standards. The film, in our opinion, sends a terrible message to kids. If you watch the show you'll notice how much of a jerk Santa is to Rudolph, shaming his parents for giving birth to a child with a birth defect. All of the other adults and kids are terribly mean to Rudolph, and are only nice to him after they realize his nose is actually useful. What if it wasn't cloudy that Christmas Eve? Well, Rudolph still wouldn't be able to play those reindeer games. The moral of the story: If you're different you're no good unless we can find a use for your deformity.
Now, you may not agree with that opinion at all, and that's totally fine. It's just an observation Robyn and I share that we thought was interesting to talk about. Well, by the response we got you would have thought we were campaigning to cancel Christmas altogether. We were accused of wanting to ban the TV special, telling people who love Rudolph that they are bad people and a whole bunch of other crazy things that we never said or even suggested.
For some reason, if you express an opinion about something, a certain segment of the Hudson Valley believes that you're immediately the enemy of that thing they love and you want to take it away from them. It's a case of "you either believe everything I believe or you're my enemy."
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Look, no one is taking away your Rudolph special. In fact, I even watched it this weekend with my son. I still think it's terribly outdated, just like Peter Pan is horribly racist and "Baby It's Cold Outside" is super creepy. It's ok to think that way and talk about it. I'm not sure why everyone feels so threatened by opinions. Sure, one radio station somewhere decided they didn't want to play the date rape Christmas song anymore, but that's not anywhere near a "ban." There are about 1,000 different versions of the song that you can listen to anytime you want on iTunes. Some schools won't show Peter Pan to their classes, but it's still readily available everywhere else if you ever want to watch it.
Perhaps those people yelling at you for being a "snowflake" are the real sensitive ones. They're the people who can't seem to handle hearing an opinion that's different from theirs. Look, I think it's stupid that people are offended by saying Happy Holidays, but that's your opinion and I'm fine with it. It doesn't bother me either way. No one is taking my Happy Holidays away and I'm free to say it whenever I want, so why spend so much time being angry and upset?
So listen, you sensitive people. Just because something offends me or makes me question a thing that doesn't bother you doesn't mean I'm trying to take it away from you. It doesn't mean I think you're a terrible person. I just have an opinion that's different from yours. We can still be friends, and maybe even have an interesting conversation about what we see as different.
In the meantime, I'll be sifting through the dozens of emails and Facebook posts about this article that completely proves my point.