Wednesday, 3 September 2008


I've recently become a fan of the xkcd site; it does a good line in geek humour. The current strip is, to my mind, interesting enough to merit wider attention. Here it is:

This, to me, highlights exactly what "tolerance" should be. The long-haired character obviously doesn't particularly like "furries", and I have to say I find the idea a little odd too. However, she is content to let someone else pursue their inexplicable desire to dress up as an animal without seeing the need to criticise them or ostracise them. Equally, she expects the furry to tolerate her disinclination to join in.

We have, I think, lost this concept of tolerance. Tolerance today is not only about letting any approved group (defined as those who can plausibly claim a history of discrimination) do whatever they wish; it has also lost the concept of reciprocity, i.e. the expectation that such groups will respect our desire not to join them. This is not really tolerance, merely collective guilt.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into a cartoon.


  1. You mean when I was watching Trigger Happy TV I was watching some strange fetish show...?
    I thought it was just a comedy and music show!

  2. "We have, I think, lost this concept of tolerance."

    The concept of tolerance (used to such effect in the UK) has been superceded by 'multiculturalism' and the idea that people should be able to 'celebrate' their differences. And woe betide those who don't wish to join in...