Although I do consider myself to be a very opinionated person, I also try to temper that trait with at least a little diplomacy and respect for people who may think otherwise. For instance, when I write a newspaper column and express my opinion on a particular subject, I usually try to back my thoughts with a little research and background, and diffuse any potential conflict with a bit of self-depreciating humour.
Heck, even when I’m not talking about a particularly contentious, controversial or cantankerous issue, it seems I still manage to offend someone somewhere with something, and end up getting emails berating me for my opinion — as well as my intelligence, breeding and personal grooming.
I often think I should just go the completely other way, and write a column with the intention of offending as many people as humanly possible.
I passed the idea by Chief reporter Rebecca Aldous while we were feeding bear cubs garbage outside the newspaper’s offices the other day. I know you’re not supposed to feed them garbage, but we ran out of freshly clubbed baby seals, and the darn things won’t touch the live puppies or kittens.
Anyway, my esteemed colleague Ms. Aldous liked the idea, but was distracted during the conversation by her application to open a three-story McDonald’s at the top of the new gondola on the Chief. And I do think they are looking at this from too small a perspective. I would put multiple gondolas along multiple routes so more people can enjoy more of nature.
I mean, I just don’t get the whole “save the environment” thing. Just look outside. There’s nothing but environment out there… just everywhere. Gosh, when I come in from being outside, I have to wipe environment off my shoes and clean it off my bike.
It’s the environment encroaching on us, if you ask me. We’re just fighting back with shopping malls, residential developments and oil spills. I mean, just the other day I was driving my gas-guzzling, polluting old car down the road, hands out the window with two aerosol cans spraying hairspray into the wind, and I yelled at a biker I passed, “Pedal faster… I’m negating your efforts!”
People who exercise, I tell ya… losers.
So I guess in conclusion I’d just like to say that if — by chance — you’ve been offended by anything in the column, please don’t hesitate to email, um… editor Dave Burke, who really, really enjoys angry correspondence. And, if somehow I haven’t managed to get to you this week… well, there’s always the next column.