Are you sure that’s a prob­lem?

There’s al­ways plenty to get of­fended about if you look hard enough

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION - Hilde­brand Joe Hilde­brand joe. hilde­brand@ news. com. au

THIS is a col­umn about id­iots who take of­fence at ev­ery­thing, so if you’re an idiot who takes of­fence at ev­ery­thing, you might want to stop read­ing now.

If you do want to con­tinue, then please do not send me your letters. Send them to some­one who might ac­tu­ally care like, say, The Guardian. For it was The Guardian that broke the ground­break­ing ex­pose of ran­cour in the ABC over a Sun­day Life mag­a­zine cover story on its high- pro­file TV pre­sen­ters.

Ob­vi­ously The Guardian writ­ing about Fair­fax writ­ing about the ABC has all the hall­marks of a ball­tear­ing yarn but sadly this was one not des­tined for a happy end­ing.

In­stead the Sun­day Life ar­ti­cle was var­i­ously de­scribed as “silly and de­mean­ing”, “deeply dis­turb­ing” and “so in­sen­si­tive” and also re­ported the shock rev­e­la­tion that the ABC work­place had “a two- tiered sys­tem” – which is about eight tiers less than most work­places but at least one tier more than so­cial­ism. Any­way, here’s a scoop: This is NOT A REAL PROB­LEM.

Yet just as I was re­cov­er­ing from that grave in­jus­tice, I came across another tale of cruel op­pres­sion.

This was the heart- wrench­ing tale of a woman who was ashamed to tell peo­ple she lived in Brighton and in­stead felt obliged to tell them she was slum­ming it in nearby San­dring­ham.

That, ac­cord­ing to her piece in the Bay­side Leader, is be­cause she lives in fear of be­ing judged as too posh.

The au­thor is an as­pir­ing young jour­nal­ist so I don’t want to be harsh — nor, heaven for­bid, judge her. Rather I merely hope to help her de­velop her news judg­ment by ad­vis­ing: This is NOT A REAL PROB­LEM.

But of course it’s been a big week in in­ter­na­tional news as well, and no big­ger than in the US where Tar­get stores are selling women’s T- shirts with the word TRO­PHY on them in an at­tempt to cap­ture the lu­cra­tive pre- bridal mar­ket.

Need­less to say there is al­ready a pe­ti­tion afoot that has amassed more than 13,000 sig­na­tures.

As the pe­ti­tion’s cre­ator writes: “La­belling any per­son as a tro­phy is de­mean­ing their hu­man­ity and ob­jec­ti­fy­ing them as a tan­gi­ble ob­ject that can be bought, used and dis­posed of.”

Now I don’t want to be pedan­tic, but tech­ni­cally the very con­cept of a tro­phy is that it can­not be bought but rather has to be won. In­deed, the only thing at risk of be­ing bought is the T- shirt — pre­sum­ably by some­one who wants to own it.

And so, af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion: This is NOT A REAL PROB­LEM.

But please don’t let that stop you be­ing of­fended. It is vi­tal you main­tain the rage so that world lead­ers can stop be­ing dis­tracted by ter­ror­ism, Iran get­ting the bomb, asy­lum seek­ers dy­ing at sea, un­em­ploy­ment, Greece in melt­down, a cri­sis in health care, Third World poverty, un­af­ford­able hous­ing, in­dige­nous disad­van­tage and other mean­ing­less is­sues.

Af­ter all, some­one’s got to keep things in per­spec­tive.

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