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Are you easily offended?

I'm wondering. If you asked people that, would anyone say “Yes”?

Oh, sure. We all know there are people who enjoy being offended by this or that alleged assault on their delicate sensibilties. They revel in being put out. You know the type. Think of that old SNL “Church Lady” routine.

But would anyone actually admit to being easily offended? Maybe. But I sort of doubt it.

If you work at a newspaper, you hear from offended people with some regularity. And sometimes that can make your head swim.

The range of potentially offensive material floating around pop culture is so incredibly broad. But newspapers tend to be pretty tame. That's not a knock. It's just the way it is.

So sometimes when a reader is complaining about something that, in all honesty, isn't really all that outrageous, it's tempting to wonder…What would happen if this person had to sit through a Louis C.K. routine? Would she spontaneously combust?

Of course, readers have certain expectations of newspapers. I understand that. But once in a while it's baffling when people seem incapable of placing a paper's content in the context of the broader culture.

I'm not advocating a loosening or coarsening of standards. I just wish people who decide to be shocked by things that are simply not all that shocking would get a grip.

Comedian Louis C.K. 


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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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