An Impractical Suggestion

The logical culmination of offence kleptomania would be to hand out a pre-printed list of everything you are not allowed to say around ME. On the one hand, this would make for a very complicated situation, since everyone’s list would presumably be different. I do not want to hear the word X, you cannot tolerate the idea Y, and of course we are both the moral centre of the universe and our wishes, indeed whims, must be obeyed. On the other hand, this is the age of the smartphone app, and it is surely not beyond the wit of man or Zuckerberg to devise something that will identify the person you are talking to and scroll the list of forbidden things, let us call it “the Index”, over his glasses or bare eyeball. If not today, then tomorrow.

On the gripping hand, such an Index would be counterproductive, inasmuch as not hearing the offensive items on it was not really the object of the exercise in the first place. The aim is for others to transgress and be righteously rebuked. If that means rebuking people for mutually exclusive sins, so that whatever they say, they can be “got”, so much the merrier.

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