Thursday, November 18, 2004

Today's end of the world moment 

Yesterday morning a colleague who is also a reader here (but who doesn't usually agree with me -- those are my very favorite readers!) tried to give away a toner cartridge. Here's the substance of his message.
To give away to whoever (on or off campus it doesn�t matter)

NEC SuperScript 870 Toner Module still in box dated 10/03

Happy Thanksgiving

I don't need the toner, so I discarded the message. I thought the picture cute, since Littlest Scholar is known to dress our pets in a variety of costumes, but nothing more. Late in the afternoon he sends an apology for this message.

Evidently my email with the picture of the dog and cat in Thanksgiving costumes has been a source of distress to at least some in the campus community. I deeply apologize. From my collection of hundreds of graphics I try to include a graphic that may fit the message or time. The picture was selected from a collection of how people dress up their pets. On reflection I understand how some could be offended.

"A source of distress"?? Can I get a WTF here, people? I tried reflecting on it and couldn't "understand how some could be offended." I asked and was told the headwear of the dog was what was possibly offensive. Nobody has come out and said so publicly -- I guess that is left to "reflection". And the nature of the flurry of emails in the aftermath of the apology seem more centered on the letter-writer overreacting, as he has now decided he does not wish to participate in faculty governance after some star chamber therein found him guilty of thoughtcrime for posting the picture and obviously communicated the verdict to him privately. That and the "hey, everybody makes mistakes" or "I'm an American Indian, and I'm not offended" lines. Like those ever helped anyone before.

So if you're going to dress your pets for Thanksgiving, remember, keep 'em in school clothes, lest you cause Pre-Thanksgiving Pet Costume Selection Trauma. Featured in a DSM III near you.