Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:58pm
Note to Jonathan Bryant:
My name is Nigel Short and not Nosher. I don't call you f**k Face but, if I did, I expect you would find it insulting. Please show a modicum of respect.
Offence. There seems to be an awful lot of it about these days. Last week's big event, the Ricky Gervais shitstorm - rather reminiscent of kafuffles involving Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr, I thought - has already been replaced by the news that Hitler really hated being called a NAZI. (Yes, really.)
As you see, your humble scribe has also been busy causing offence. I’m not sure quite how I managed it, to be honest, but the Gervais business was all about a word beginning with 'm' and mine and Adolf’s start with 'n', so perhaps these things run in alphabetical order.
Doesn't like the N-word
Doug Stanthope, a comedian known for his especially acerbic style, once wrote that nobody has the right to be offended. I don't agree with this. Not in general and not here.
It's entirely reasonable that Short is offended by Nosher if he chooses to be. It makes no difference whatsoever that his response was rather over the top and neither is it of any consequence that he has his own extensive history of not showing respect to those around him.
In contrast to Stanthope, in the world according to me people have every right to be offended and while I also feel that everybody else has a corresponding right not to give a damn, in this particular case I do care. It bothers me that Short took umbrage at my use of his nickname not despite but because I had no idea he didn't like it. As Robin Ince puts it in an excellent article on Ricky Gervais' use of the word 'mong',
I do not mind offending people. I’d just like to think that if they cornered me in the bar I could explain the reason I was offensive before they punched me.
Well, now I know. I think it's a great shame that Short hates his moniker, but that's the way it is. From this day forth, then, TheChessPlayerFormerlyKnownAsNosher it shall be.