I know you have. I know I have, anyway. Perfect example - silly, but perfect. Waaaay, waaaay back if we referred to one of these
we had no problem saying ass. Now, I'm so squeamish these days that someone will think badly of me I can't even say that word when I am referring to the four-legged variety.
And what about bitch, or, if you're the enemy of a rapper, beeeee-atch? It's a female dog. Always has been. But when someone, somewhere (as far back as the year 1400, if you believe this blog post on the origins of curse words) decided it should also be a put-down to human females people freaked out and stopped calling their female canines that word.
We're way past slippery slope when it comes to what we won't do in order to not appear as one of the bad guys. Modesty is a good thing. Erring on the side of manners and caution is a good thing.
But not doing something 'cause a "bad" person does it too? Not good.
A few days ago my hometown newspaper the Virginian-Pilot reported that the state of Virginia Department of Tourism nearly killed an ad campaign called "Live Passionately," designed to portray the state as romantic place to vacation. I guess "Virginia is for Lovers" is too last decade or something to stand on its own. Anyway, they nearly killed the campaign, 'cause an actress in a campaign poster held her hands together to form a heart symbol. The ad campaign cost the state about $400,000. Members of the Virginia Gang Investigators Association told the tourism department they shouldn't use the poster, 'cause while the intent was innocent, the gesture was one also used by members of a street gang affiliated with the Chicago-based Gangsta Disciples.
The tourism folks, worried that the campaign might appear to support gang activity or inadvertently stoke gang strife, decided to save the campaign but use a different image.
Why? I respect the cops' desire to not give attention to gang activity. But this wasn't about gang activity. It was about a simple, innocent ad campaign. We're so worried about looking like gang bangers and stoking a gang war that we can't do something similar to this?
Damn shame, if you ask me. We'd better quit not doing things because a bad guy or group has tried to lay claim to them, or pretty soon we'll run out of stuff to do.