Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Deathmatch 2010: China vs bunnies

Say, you know what the best way to forward the cause of animal rights? Grievously insult one billion people! That always works. Fluffy little bunnies are getting liberated right as we speak, all thanks to Morrissey and his clever tactics of referring to the Chinese as a "subspecies" of the human race. "Thanks, Moz!" say the bunnies. "All better now!"

Now, I'm aware that I am quite possibly the least bothered-about-animal-rights vegetarian on the planet (or at least the general north London area), but to be honest, if we could eradicate racism forever at the cost of dooming all those fluffy bunnies to eternal torment - I'd be okay with that. As this is not an option (as far as I know! If you're running on an anti-racism-via-rabbit-sacrifice platform, let me know - you've got my vote!), it would seem fairly logical to avoid conflating the two issues - if only because a cause that needs massive racism to get its point across is a pretty rubbish cause.

But anyway - this whole episode actually made me wish I was a racist. Okay, weird, I know, but bear with me.

We have seen many times how this kind of thing plays out:

1. Someone does a racist thing.
2. Someone says "that thing is a racist thing".
3. Some people agree.
4. Some disagree.
5. Some chumpnugget comes along and slays the entire argument with his shining sword of truth: he has managed to find one single person in all the world who is a member of the 'being offended by this particular racist thing' target group, and yet IS NOT OFFENDED: Ergo, says chumpnugget, there is no way in the world that this thing can possibly have been a racist thing! Some Of My Best Friends are not offended: SMACKDOWN!

So, given the fact that the person who alerted me to this story is (a) Chinese, and (b) not offended (on the fairly logical grounds that it's like being offended by the Pope being a misogynist or a bear defecating in heavily wooded areas), this would be my golden opportunity to play Derailing For Dummies and get my gold medal in Missing The Fucking Point.

But, me being me, I choose to think Morrissey's a dick.


  1. If you went to a Chinese zoo I think you'd be pretty upset. I was and I wasn't particularly into animal rights at the time. There was a tiny bear, in a leotard, riding a scooter. It's fucking horrible.

    To Morrissey I say hey fuckface, if you actually give a shit then 1) don't be a hypocrite, be vegan and 2) support some Chinese animal rights charities (they do exist though I can't remember the names).

    ANYWAY the actual point of your post was the my-mate-isn't-offended-thus-this-isn't-offensive argument (acronym needed!). I don't think this applies here because the discussion wouldn't be 'is that offensive', more 'regardless of anyone actually being offended, that is a fucktardedly stupid thing for a supposedly enlightened person to say'. It doesn't rely on offense existing for it to be stupid - because it is undeniable that calling people from one country a sub-species is racist. It's practically the VERY DEFINITION of racism (well, apart from the Chinese not being a race on account of we're all the same race blah blah). Being offensive and being racist = not synonymous; ditto sexism etc. I can say a whole host of very sexist things without anyone being offended, but it doesn't mean they aren't sexist.

    I'm not gonna edit this ten times before I post it as I usually do so if it doesn't make sense... well, poor world missing out on comprehending my stream of consciousness.

  2. BASICALLY what it it is: the aforementioned chumpnugget saying 'it ain't racist' is not only wrong because they are equating 'my friend ain't offended' with 'therefore it ain't offensive', but also because they're equating 'not offensive' with 'not racist'.

    The end.

  3. I quote a headline from the ever-dependable Viz, circa 1989:

    "Top scientist says Morrisey is a twat, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar".

    But to be fair, I think I can see what Morrisey is saying.

    He's saying, "I am a twat".

    Also, he makes the big mistake that many people make when they say something racist, which is, failing to make it funny as well. He could have got away with it if it was funny. (Known as the Blazing Saddles Method).

    But he isn't funny. He's a twat.

  4. El: True, offensive =/= racist; the chumpnugget of my imagination is assuming that racism is subjective ("it can't be racist because person X isn't offended", or "but I didn't MEAN it in a racist way") rather than objective.

    I'm not saying I think animal cruelty is a big bunch of laughs, I'm saying that using one form of oppression in order to end another is a fundamentally stupid idea.