Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We're getting closer to the end of civilization.

In the trailer for the new film Band of Misfits, the Grant-voiced Pirate Captain lands on a ship demanding gold, but is told by a crew member: “Afraid we don’t have any gold old man, this is a leper boat, see.” After issuing the explanation, the sailor’s arm drops off.
Leprosy groups expressed concern that the scene could increase the stigma and discrimination felt by people suffering from leprosy.
Aardman (the animation company who made the film) has said it will change the scene in the wake of the objections.

Watch the trailer.  The highly offensive material emerges at around the 30-second mark.

First of all, who even knew there were leprosy groups.  Secondly, wouldn't you think that people with leprosy already know there is a stigma attached to their disease?  Apparently not.
Thirdly, making a statement that "this is a leper boat" and having the sailor's arm drop off is hysterical.  I think it's hysterical because (a) I have a sense of humor and (b) I'm not easily offended.  And that's where I become a loser in society.

What, do you mean that people's arms don't really fall off when they have leprosy?  Gosh, I had no idea.  How rude.  When is "Leprosy Awareness Day?"  I'll mark my calendar.
In modern society, the sensitivity of the so-called "special interest groups" wins out because a few people are offended by some joke or comment made by someone who isn't a member of the group.  The people (like me) who find those comments either funny or nondescript will let it go because we aren't sensitive to every gentle wind that blows.  To us, it's a live and let live society, and if people believe something ridiculous, then that's their cross to bear.

Generally, it's a special interest viewpoint that has a narrow-minded view of what they perceive to be funny, entertaining or (egad) appropriate.  When they complain, it would appear that they represent millions of people with a similar viewpoint when what they actually represent is a minority of people who feel that they should complain about things that they find objectionable.

It's the same reason you could never air a TV show like "All in the Family" today.  But I digress...

These things include jokes about sensitive subjects, words, actions and deeds that fall in the realm of what we have come to call politically incorrect viewpoints.  Those viewpoints can expand to odd special-interest groups like those representing lepers and other groups that make advertisers back out of TV shows or movies because there might be something that ten percent of the population finds objectionable.  It's a strange way to do business.

Those of us who find such things entertaining aren't going to take time from our busy day to write e-mail's of satisfaction, so the advertisers are forced to bow to the 100 people who wrote angry letters.  And I'd bet a week's pay that when that movie trailer was shown and that joke came up, the audience laughed heartily.  Nevermind that, the lepers have spoken.

“After reviewing the matter, we decided to change the scene out of respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy. The last thing anyone intended was to offend anyone and it is clear to us that the right way to proceed is to honor the efforts made by organizations like ILEP to educate the public about this disease,” the statement said.

Of course they never meant to offend them.  That's the point.  What they should have said was, "Up to a day ago, we had no idea there was anything called ILEP, and maybe you should develop a sense of humor."  But they didn't.  They compromised their artistic integrity because somebody complained.  And God forbid we offend anyone with humor.

Oh, and there is a joke about fat parrots in the film too.  Let's see if the International Fat Parrots Advocacy Group (The IFPAG) stages a protest about that.

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