Thu 2020-04-09 22:38

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-04-09 22:38 UTC
  • Edited: 2020-04-09 23:47 UTC

Chris Fisher just announced the cancellation of Linux Action News and the immediate termination of co-host Joe Ressington (of Late Night Linux fame). As someone who has been listening to LAN (and it's preceding show, Linux Action Show) for over a decade - and as a fan of LNL - that news comes as a real kick in the balls.

It seems Joe was fired for use of the word "cunt" in an informal (off-air) conversation between co-workers. One of those co-workers* complained to management at A Cloud Guru, which is apparently now the parent company of Jupiter Broadcasting (when did that happen?). There was an "investigation" and despite the fact that Joe offered to apologize for his remark and attend any required ~~re-education camp~~ sensitivity training, he was summarily terminated by management at A Cloud Guru.

In the United States, the "c-word" is something that is avoided (by most people) even in otherwise vulgar discourse. In situations where one is free to say "shit" and "piss" and punctuate their sentences with f-bombs, use of the "c-word" will still get you a rebuke. Or even a slap in the face if spoken in the presence of a woman, as American women generally regard the term to be an extremely offensive descriptor of female sexual organs (and/or those persons possessing them).

To Americans (who admittedly have a strange cultural hierarchy of "naughty" words), the "c-word" is approximately fuck3 in offensiveness. In fact, you would probably get a less extreme reaction from calling a black man the "n-word" than calling a woman the "c-word" (though, seriously - why would you do either? Don't be an asshole, geez.).

So yeah... poor choice of phrase, Joe.

On the other hand... in the United Kingdom (where Joe is from) they toss the word around like luggage at an airport. If you've watched the hugely popular show The Boys on Amazon, you'll hear Karl Urban's character (who is British and of common class) use the word 4,186 times in a single episode (okay, I didn't count - but he uses the word a lot). I don't recall a big protest of Amazon over that. It's just a Britishism.

So I guess in their mission to enforce rigid political correctness, HR at A Cloud Guru forgot that we're all supposed to be practicing tolerance of cultural diversity? It seems like this situation could have been resolved with a write-up and a reminder that not everybody is from the U.K. and maybe watch what you say around Americans (cause we're sensitive and stuff). And that's probably how it would have been handled if the HR wonks in question hadn't been falling all over themselves in an exhibition of ignorant provincialism just to demonstrate how woke they are.

Regardless, my immediate reaction to the situation has been to unsub all JB feeds. I'm done with them. I'll match their zero tolerance policy with my own. While that might have the short-term side effect of hurting Chris (which is unfortunate), from the tone of the LAN goodbye episode I get the feeling he's already looking for the door anyway. Meanwhile, maybe a drop in their download numbers will send the corporate guys a message that their intolerance of cultural diversity will not be tolerated.

* Joe has not named the rat. I previously threw out an offhand speculation, but I'm retracting that because I realize casting such allegations (even hinted ones) is unfair given my lack of direct knowledge of the situation.