I got a complaint today

While I've had complaints before, this one really hit me where it hurts. Normally, I can see the point of view of the complainant, enough that I can reply and put them at ease, explain my reasoning or write them off as a nutbar with too much time on their hands. This time though, I can't actually fathom their problem. Help me out.

To follow is a transcript of a voicebreak I did at 7.30 tonight. Read it, take it in and think about the words I've used because straight after saying this, a woman rang up and called me racist, sexist and she hoped that I would rot in hell. She hung up before I could respond to her.

These are the exact words I said on air:

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We had a wonderful experience in Cornwall Park with a cow today. I'll explain, it was giving birth and all these people had stopped to have a look at this cow giving birth. And there was all sorts of people. Some Asians were walking in those funny zoot suit thingees they wear, there was an Indian family, there was this know it all farmer commentating - he was quite interesting actually. Some mums, kids in pushchairs all watching this cow give birth. This cow, she didn’t complain, she didn’t bitch about her midwife, she didn’t get the epidural, she just lay in the sun and gave birth to her young calf while we from all walks of life watched on. Nature was happening right there in front of us and it was a moment. Definitely a moment.

I mean this cow was a trooper, she didn't even use the gas or pethedine or anything! it was a really nice moment.

I love Cornwall Park because it's a farm right in the middle of the city, but it's so far removed from the city.

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Remember, we're a family focussed radio station and my wife has just been through the birth process with me at her side. That's something that I've spoken of a lot on air.

I'm no Stables, Devlin or Laws, I'm not a smart arse kid and I'm not here to offend, while I'll take the piss, I won't be cruel. In short, I'm not looking for trouble or notoriety on air. I'm here to entertain and relate to an adult audience. That's it. I thought there was something special about walking through a park with my wife and one month old daughter and seeing a baby calf being born.

Is it offensive to even mention that someone is of a particular race or culture if that is what they are or should we talk of everyone in generic terms?

Is it wrong to marvel at nature, and be amazed at how other species on this planet get by with so much less than what we humans have?

Is there anything in there that anyone could consider racist or sexist?

13 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 18, 2006

    christ some people are morons! you go Dave. Theres nothing wrong with what you said.

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  2. AnonymousJuly 18, 2006

    Nah sweet mate. You're fine with that. Keep up the good work!

    Mark

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  3. AnonymousJuly 18, 2006

    The woman who complained is obviously not getting enough lovin! THose asian tracksuits you speak of are funny too, women shuffling along with linked arms round the place! hilarious!

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  4. AnonymousJuly 18, 2006

    Dave I'm sure she rang the wrong number.Don't take any notice,Like the shop keepers in the uk maybe you need to give out red cards as well!!!!

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  5. Willy JohnstonJuly 19, 2006

    Dave, that lady doesn't no what she is talking about all that racist and sexist crap!! Nothing to do with all what that lady stated!
    You are right to share what you saw it's a great sight!

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  6. AnonymousJuly 19, 2006

    DAVE WHAT THE HECK IS THE WORLD COMING 2 WHEN YOU GET COMPLAINTS FROM SOME1 WHO DOSENT KNOW ANYTHING YOU GO AND TELL IT LIKE IT IS

    SHASSA

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  7. all I can say to that is this is a world going totally pc - its so bad mothers cant even change their babies by a pool whilst keeping an eye on her other kiddies - you keep on saying what you do Dave - let the pc bloggers go to hell!!!

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  8. Hey Dave

    I'd like to buck the trend a bit here if I may. If she did indeed call the correct radio station, you might have to think carefully about what you said and learn from it.

    I assume for all intensive purposes you prepped this piece, and did not adlib.

    Let's dissect. Firstly, it was not sexist in my opinion, but I did pick up a bit of rasicm. I picked up this:

    You said "..and there was all sorts of people" to which you then describe Asians, Indians and farmers from your point of view.

    Now the way you constructed the sentence - to be fair was dismissive; like 'us and THEM', as if it was okay to pidgeon hole and joke about them. Some people, actually, anyone will take offence to that.

    I dont think detailing their ethnicity was needed in this piece, as you'd already mentioned "all sorts of people" just prior, and the Asian 'clothes' dig certainly wasn't necessary.

    Thats my constructive offering :)

    Nice knowing ya....

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  9. It was prepped insofar as I dictaphoned the general idea to myself while I was on the bus to remind me to talk about it. However, the on air delivery was adlib.. Took me ages to write it down from the audio logger afterwards too!

    Yes I was taking the piss out of the way the Asians were dressed, in the same way I tease our afternoon host Bunty about his horrible Mambo shirt and how I got teased for my skivvies and stubbies and sandles with gold top socks as a 7 year old.

    You're right though, today on earth I learnt that some people are more sensitive than I'd like them to be. Maybe it's winter and people are just grumpier. Either way, I've found a line and while I can't promise I won't cross it again, I can certainly see it there reminding me about this break, and this dialogue.

    nanoo nanoo.

    Oh, and as for those farmers and those swannies and funny gumboots they wear.. :p

    Much respect Rich.

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  10. Actually, I'd argue Dave was guilty of racial stereotyping as opposed to being racist..

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  11. AnonymousJuly 24, 2006

    Hi Dave,

    I called up after hearing this on air the other night, and the next day was forwarded this by a friend. Thought this was particularly applicable - so enjoy the story!


    *The Pastor's Ass*

    The pastor had a donkey and he entered it in a race and it won. The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in another race, and it won again. The local paper read: PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT

    The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race. The next day, the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS.

    This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent. The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next
    day: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN.

    The bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10. The next day the paper read:
    NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10

    This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild. The next day the headlines read: NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

    The bishop was buried the next day.

    The moral of the story is....being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery...and even shorten your life.

    So be yourself and enjoy life... Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot
    happier and live longer!

    Have a nice day!

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  12. I suppose Smarty there was the slightest radical tone with that Asian bit with all sorts of people.

    Just the littlest little bit.

    Nothing to get all serious over I wouldn't of thought. Nothing to ring you up and abuse you over though.

    Great piece of work really.

    I would've meantioned it too.

    One has to remember when relating to our listeners (yours in this case)

    We all respond to comments differently, and we all have different senses of humour.

    But still a bloody nice story!

    Aidan.

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  13. How silly people can be it's all about context and how you apply it.
    Personally Mr Miyagi is one of my own personal heroes....and observation is observation you have called it like it was...

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