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Jesus Christ...
OK, this post is not a request for comments. If you feel you can bring to my attention a viewpoint I've failed to consider, then be my guest. If you just want to say "You're wrong, shut up" then you can damn well take a walk and piss off.

Anyway, it's about the error message issue. Yesterday, when Livejournal was playing up in the extreme, the error message read as follows:
The database is being retarded
Today, it reads:
The database is being uncooperative
Hooray for being politically correct!!

Or not.... OK, let's take a look at this from the caring, nice perspective for a minute, just to let you know that I've considered it. My Uncle David is mentally handicapped, or "retarded", whatever phrase you want to use. I love him dearly and all, and he's like a really cool guy. If somebody insults him personally, I'd not be happy, this much is true.

However, the word "retarded" isn't limited as an insulting (or otherwise) adjective for people. Its application here as a description for the state of the database could well be within its formal definition. However, I'm choosing to believe that it was meant much in the more insulting way.

Good. For fuck's sake, why not? People harp on, especially on this issue, that disabled people are unable to defend themselves from such a slur. And? Why does that in itself matter when there are twice as many politically correct gits running around doing it for them? I'd not mind being unable to defend myself from insults if I had a big gang of do-gooders looking out for my interests, when really I'm not interested in the issue at all.

OK, yes, I know it's not very nice. But to be perfectly honest, I have a lot more problems in my life than worrying about what labels people stick on me, and I expect other people do too. What would you rather have - proper funding for those less able (both physically or mentally) than yourself, or go around making sure nobody uses a word associated with them in a bad way? There are issues here, but using "retarded" as an insult for a non-human object really isn't one of them.

Random Observation (and one that will no doubt get me flamed) - I couldn't help but notice that in these cases, the majority of those who complain (or certainly an unproportional amount) are gay. How many times have I seen "I'm gay, and when people call me names....". OK, yeah, insulting a person's sexuality is bad, sure. It's not nice, it can make life intolerable. But this is a different issue here, and it's not your fight. You can't sign up to a minority group and then run around as if you're the sole defender of minority groups everywhere. Intolerance towards homosexuals and the use of slurs relating to that is, in many cases, an incitement of hatred, motivated by prejudice and an attempt to use others' prejudices to your advantage. Really, not pleasant. Saying that a database is being retarded is not, I don't think, in the same league at all.

Frankly, the only thing I'd change about yesterday's message would be to prefix "retarded" with "fucking"...
The database is being fucking retarded
OK, so I've explained why it is that I think that the arguments against having that error message are invalid, at least from my perspective. So now I should at least say why I think it's a good message, shouldn't I. For some odd reason, it the same reason many people wanted to get rid of it.

It makes LJ different to big corporations. Spot the difference:
The database is being retarded
We apologise for the fault in this quality Microsoft Product and are endeavouring to fix it
One of these is an impersonal, corporate message. The other is the message of somebody who is pissed off at the database. I can imagine Brad, or Dormando, or whoever it was just despairing at how damned annoying the DB was being, and writing that message. You could feel the tone with which it was being said, and you realised that they were just as annoyed at the site being down as you were.

And there's the key, see? These people care about Livejournal. Being politically correct all the time is a very sterile way of communicating. Personally, I disagree strongly also with the decision of the support community to start answering queries in a less friendly more professional way. I always felt that what set LJ apart from everybody else was that it was friendly. People just trying to help out, not project a sterile corporate image. I know that ultimately, it all comes down to funding, and that corporate images seem to work. But I think there's something to be said for the family-business type approach.

The thing I love about this place is the sheer effort and care put into it. Brad has his own journal and posts about his life in that. In itself, that is just brilliant - he uses his own product. Heck, he built the product for himself, and just expanded it for other people. I know that when I've written programs for myself and let others use them, I've still treated them very much as my own programs - when they stop working, they're failing me too. When LJ goes down, he's probably even more pissed off than all those people who complain - the only problem is, who does he get to complain to? Nobody.

So if the guy wants to say that the database is being retarded, then let him. It lets us know that he cares that it's gone wrong, if nothing else. What the fuck happened to freedom of speech, eh?

Anyway, as I said when I started, this isn't a request for comments - I'm not trying to wind anybody up. Just putting an opinion out there...

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I agree to what you said. But the point is... he wasn't referring to human. he was referring to the server. You may know this but the word also meant 'slow', which the database has been for the past 3/4 days.

So, it's a case of how the person reads it incorrectly or something...

ok, I think I'll shut up. :)

Exactly. So on the one hand, he was using the word as it actually means. On the other, he was using it as an informal insult, which as I said above, is fine in this case too... :o)

some poeple are just way too touchy. They just get insulted by anything. If someone gets insulted by this error message....well you know the military has "retarded" bombs. Now is that offensive too? This "political correct" thing is getting way outta hand. A shovel is a shovel for fuck's sake. Whats the difference between calling someone "junkie" or "substance abuser"? the latter is nothing but a shitty attempt to cover up the truth. In the US they have "spring break" instead of easter as some might take offense. A janitor is a sanitary technician. Does a better title make the job any different? Nope. Why does every minority get so incredibly offended by really minor insults? Why are they so touchy? Why I am suddenly a racist if I call a black man a cunt? an insult I wouldn't hesitate to use on any white person....well enough ranting i got a bit carried away. I think my point came across though....

Your point did come across, and it's a highly valid one too.

However, it ought to be noted that while minor insults against minority groups aren't in themselves especially bad, racial and sexuality-related intolerance is a real problem, and I agree with political correctness in these areas, since it helps a little...

Political correctness in any areas is okay unless you get stupid with it...

"The database is being gay." or
"The database is being Welsh."

Would be acceptable, atleast to me.. ;-)

Database being gay, I can accept. But Welsh? Totally unacceptable, I'm afraid you'll have to be terminated now for your horrible slur ;o)


Yeah well you're a yankeehomotard!

Nah - I'm just being uncooperative ;o)

Damn straight!

(Or Damn gay if you prefer). :D

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