The Public Eye

printed 08/30/2019

If I were to borrow from a song that captures one of the more annoying aspects of our current societal mindset, it would have to be from the mid-1970s tune, “Feelings” … as sung by Elmer Fudd.

Feelwings, nothing more than feelwings,

Twying to forget my feelwings …

Teardwops wolling down on my face,

Twying to forget my feelwings …

I mean it. In a nation that presents itself as the world’s leading source of stout-hearted and iron-jawed individuals who just might endorse the idea of having “The Expendables,” declared The National Movie, it’s a little strange that we have evolved into — widdle pee-wees whose feelwings are so easiwee hurt.

If anyone is offended so far, let me be clear that I am not insensitive to other people’s situations.

You fall on hard times or were born in hard times? I’ll try to help. Someone does you dirty or tries to push you around for any reason at all? I don’t care who you are, I’m on your side.

Someone steal your bike? Let’s find that so-and-so and … I know people. But if someone calls you a name? Get over it.

I’ve been called many names over the years, but then again I don’t think she meant ALL of them, except maybe the time I woke her to extoll the virtues of a cheese wheel a neighbor gave me at 2 a.m. or thereabouts after our extended “wine tasting.”

I’m pretty sure she meant that one, or those ones, to be precise.

As for others, I don’t worry about them too much, although I will confess I was confused in my younger years by one little acquaintance who, I believed, kept calling me a small island in the Pacific. That was until I realized he had a speech problem and wasn’t calling me an “atoll” at all.

Which brings me to the situation that made me reflect on our total abandonment of the “sticks and stones” principle and set me off on this tirade.

A New York Times columnist was so offended when a college professor called him a “bedbug” on Twitter (the destroyer of civilization as we know it) that he let the professor’s boss know about it by copying him on a rebuttal email to the perpetrator in which he said, “Oh yeah? Well, you’re a doo-doo head” or something along those lines.

I mean, here’s someone who buys ink by the barrel, as they say, and he goes crying to the guy’s boss? For being called a bedbug? It’s hard to say what might have happened if the professor had called him, say, Jiminy Cricket or “You … you … dogbane leaf beetle!”

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

I once had a reader call — true story — and tell me, “I know you and I know your family, and none of you are any damn good.”

That’s bad. Still, I replied, “That’s correct ma’am, and now we’re coming for you. Ha, ha, just kidding ... maybe.”

The fact is I really am sensitive to the feelings of others and do try not to be inconsiderate or rude to anyone.

That said, I should apologize now to the bedbug community if anything I mentioned above is construed as being offensive. That was not my intention. And I wealwy mean it.

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