Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thought for the day: David Mitchell, The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2012

I'm sorry but this constant demand for public apologies really offends me
" It reminds me of being made to apologise as a child. I remember a specific occasion when my parents were furious with me for some reason. And I was furious with them. It was a standoff. They were demanding an apology or else, as I recall it, basically nothing was to be allowed in future: food, sleep, not eating all my food, not immediately going to sleep, going outside, being allowed inside, contact with the cat – all banned. It was a massive campaign of sanctions and I was livid. And so I apologised. And then my mother said: "Say it like you mean it."
"But I don't mean it!" I screamed, trying to reason with her.
"Well it doesn't count if you don't mean it."
This was evil, I immediately felt. They might be able to force me to apologise but surely it was inhuman for them to attempt to make me mean it. It was none of their business what I meant. Was I to be punished for a thought crime? My insincere apology was the best they were going to get."

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