Sunday, 20 October 2013

Unintended Offence

I have received two complaints in the last two days regarding Friday’s post about the Fireworks at Green Lane School. These were in regards to the opening sentence which mentioned the link between the Guy Fawkes Night celebration and the burning of Catholics.

Now I of course wrote this with my tongue firmly in my check and was having a dig at the underlying anti-Catholic reasons we have this particular festival, however, given that some people have been offended and considered it anti-Catholic, I would like to apologise for any and all such offence caused. I have now edited out the offending phrase from the original post. I should also make clear that the original post did not reflect the opinions of Green Lane Primary School (or anyone involved with the school). It was my write up of the fireworks night they are putting on for the community. (So please don't blame them!)

While the gunpowder plot was a terrible crime, it was carried out against a background of Catholics being persecuted by the protestant establishment. After the Catholic Guy Fawkes was tortured for information and then executed for the crime, what better way to ensure he did not become seen as a martyr, than with an annual celebration of the foiling of the plot and having children make effigies of him to be burned on bonfires? The cynic in me sees it as a carefully planned PR exercise to ensure the public remembers who were the goodies and who were the badies.

As I indicated in the original post, Mrs WP happens to be Catholic and I regularly attend a Catholic church with my family. So I am certainly not anti-Catholic in any way (just in case you were wondering).

Writing this blog without the benefits of an editor means that occasionally I might overstep a mark here or there. I had hoped that everyone would realise this was a self depreciating attempt to also consider the darker side of the bonfire night festival. However as this seems not to have been the case, I hold up my hands and say sorry. No offence intended.


15 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

For goodness sake said...

Some people (two at least) need to get a life and lighten up...

Notablogger said...

Well, it gave the Ismailis a day off from being offended...

Worcester Park Blogger said...

Thanks for the extra info. I had not heard that theory before.

guest D said...

We had to cover it in School, the master at the time of the Papish Plots (1678) published a book on the theory so it was required study as was his part in the exposure of Titus Oates.

Observation Post said...

From my experience of dealing with Catholics, which unfortunately is vast, a life is something they don't really have....

GM said...

This is a really graceful acknowledgement of the fact that different people will interpret any given sentence in different ways. I hope the emails didn't cause you too much stress (no one likes being misinterpreted, especially not in a bad way). Kudos to you for posting such a well thought out apology, and for having the humility (as in, lack of ego) to respond to criticism like this. Few people react well to being told they're wrong (I most assuredly include myself in this, I hate being told I'm wrong) and I have a great deal of respect for you for giving such a thoughtful response.

GM said...

That's fascinating!

Guido said...

Is this for real? If so, are you sure you wouldn't like to interpret mentioning Bonfire Night as encouraging arson? That must surely merit an apology.
Oh yes, and what about interpreting a bonfire as encouraging environmentally unfriendly waste disposal? There's another apology required.


And after a little reflection, I think there's more than enough evidence to interpret a bonfire as a reckless and unforgivable contempt of health and safety - there's another apology required!

Howard said...

It was obvious that it was tongue in cheek. These days one hardly dare say anything without upsetting someone.

guest said...

A bon(e)fire was a Health and Safety requirement,



from Wikipedia :- In the ancient druid religions,[citation needed] bonfires were held between 31 October and 5 November[citation needed] to celebrate Samhain, a harvest festival where they used bonfires[citation needed]
to burn the bones of the slaughtered livestock they had stored for the
winter months. People and their livestock would often walk between two
bonfires as a cleansing ritual,[citation needed] and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.[citation needed] Some modern day Druids and Pagans[who?] see bonfire night as a significant celebration to end the harvest festival.[citation needed]


If the bones were not incinerated there would have been a large pile of rotting material.

MunchBunch said...

Seriously- Does it REALLY matter what was said ?? When did people stop having a laugh, life is too serious at times as it is. Enjoy, be happy, don't take things to serious. If the wind changes you will end up that face you know ! :)

Guido said...

Good point. However, the words "slaughtered livestock" may have offended the sensitivities of someone reading this who has enough time on their hands to write to the WP blogger and complain that they have been offended.

To be on the safe side, I suggest you apologise to anyone looking for an excuse to claim they have been offended [citation needed].

guest said...

You are absolutely right and I also should apologise to the livestock slaughtered around the time :-)

guest ab said...

Why on earth people so sensitive. Was it the School who complained ?
What on earth is happening to our society. Are we shortly to get 'The Thought Police' involved in every day affairs!!!!

If so i can't wait till i get to my three score & ten and go to a better place.

Easily Offended said...

Err, excuse me! That last line about "three score year and ten" was a clear reference to death!
The mention of the passing of life has deeply offended me, as has stating 'I can't wait until' it.

I suggest you apologise to those very few, offended readers around KT4, who (like myself) think of little else but ourselves and how are very easily offended we are. Unfortunately, we have so very much unwanted time on our hands, that we try our best to fill it by antagonising everyone with a life.

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