It turns out that toddlers at a playgroup in York have been stopped from doing the hand gestures to 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', just in case it offends deaf people. No, you haven't been infected with MY deafness, I did just say that.
The 'problem' is that the gesture for a twinkling star is very similar to a rude word beginning with 'C' that describes a naughty part of a lady's body. The 'front bottom', as some call it (not me). Probably the same sign, in fact, that deaf people might also use for Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell or Dobbie (hehe) now and again. I trust you're with me by now. Anyway, it's the sort of word that you don't want children to use.
Of course, there are no deaf children IN this playgroup. Or deaf parents. Or deaf teachers. Or deaf caterers. Or deaf nurses. Or deaf ANYONE who may be watching. And if, by some bizarre circumstance, deaf people were watching, they wouldn't be offended at all. This is because deaf people are not utterly stupid. Just because we can't hear, it doesn't mean we're thick (although some may argue I'm not a very valid example of this)! It would just give us a good laugh, to be honest.
But some nut-job eejit of a spokeswoman with oxtail soup (or perhaps bovril) between her ears has said that this is not a case of political correctness, but simply common sense. No, it really isn't love. It's the polar opposite of common sense. You would be better off flashing the children your own (C-word) if common sense was applied.
My guess is that one of these halfwits has been on some form of deaf-awareness course (paid for by taxpayers, naturally) and was itching to put her new knowledge into practice immediately. And so, cloaked in cringeworthy self-importance, that's exactly what she did. She imagined some far-fetched scenario in which a deaf person happened to swing by the nursery, peer through the window and end up outraged and called the cops. Or maybe the United Nations.
Look, I know this doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. What with the economy the way it is and the world likely to end in 2012 according to the Mayan calendar, the ice caps melting and Blackburn Rovers seemingly condemned to relegation. And if it were just an isolated incident of fabulous stupidity then I would merely snigger and move on. But it isn't. Not only is this a little personal to me, but it is abso-bloody ridiculous!!
It'd be like banning Santa Claus down the local M&S from saying 'Ho Ho Ho!' for fear shoppers would think he was referring to black, american prostitutes. "Say 'Hey Hey Hey!' instead. And don't touch the little'uns."
Individually, these examples are just minor irritations. But they happen week in, week out. Without fail. And taken together, they show us how we are today: Pathetically thin-skinned and determined to be offended on the behalf of other people for no reason whatsoever. Offended on one hand, but bossed about by self-righteous Johnny Jobsworths on the other.
DON'T be offended on the behalf of another person. Ever. That is unless they are clearly upset. But do not EVER presume so. If you are offended and they aren't, then how idiotic do you look? I have been at a Frankie Boyle gig, where he repeatedly jibed me about my deafness (I was sat in the front row DUE TO BEING DEAF) but had people laughing around me. Not too bad at first, but these jibes continued for a good 15 minutes without changing to another topic, or even anyone else. And guess what? I had to walk out, and the jibes continued.
Contrast that with a Michael McIntyre joke about deaf people in a car park and I was laughing my arse off! The bloke next to me took offence on my behalf (told me so) and left. Walked right out. That one walk-out ruined my night. That man offended me more than Frankie Boyle ever did. Other people may not think like me, but the point stands. Don't presume someone is offended before taking unnecessary offence yourself. It makes you look a complete and utter (Twinkling Star).