Life isn’t fair, and life never has been fair. I cannot do open heart surgery, as I am too stupid and squeamish. Nor can I run a 4-minute mile because I would start, wheeze and sweat alarmingly, and then die. There are any number of things I cannot do.
However, just because they are innate, that doesn’t mean I can’t be mocked mercilessly for them, for example my inability to do many sports. If I am on a football pitch, and someone calls me a useless so and so, I have a choice on how to react. I can laugh. Or I can throw my toys out of my pram; complain to the team, the local newspaper and everyone who will listen to me without punching me in my whiny moaning face. This was the course of action of the York woman who found a card saying “Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones” so offensive she complained to Tesco and had it removed. This situation, of course, has its pros and its cons.
The more worrying side of it is that she found the card “absolutely disgusting”. And even worse, so did her “friends”.
It appears that, in this day and age, if one woman can’t take a joke, no-one can. This poses a huge problem for any creative industry. In the world of TV, five or six complaints, the national press gets hold of it and spins it into thousands more. Not a week goes by without some member of a broadcasting company, usually the BBC, having to apologise for something the vast majority of people probably couldn’t give a damn about.
The problem with the BBC, of course, is that all viewers pay for it. This makes some of them believe that every single programme must be to their tastes. The BBC serves an entire nation. Obviously there are going to be programmes that offend some people. But there are many other licence fee payers. None of them personally own the BBC, and therefore cannot control its entire schedule.
And Tesco should have done the same when confronted with the mad woman and her card crusade. The world has had enough of people being offended on the behalf of everyone else. Some good natured ribbing, be it because of hair colour, girth or height is not the end of the world.