Possibly America's most offensive writer, Gavin McInnis has been asked to take a leave of absense from Rooster New York. This is a little wild because he co-founded the firm. But a recent piece upset a lot of clients, and that was suddenly too much.
Looking at his body of work, what's most surprising is that it took so long. Everything he's written is offensive. It's the kind of writing that's so offensive, you wonder if it can possibly be real, or is it just an over the top effort to get our attention?
But it got me thinking back to a conversation I had years ago, after a presentation on Long Island. A woman came up with questions and we chatted a bit. Now an art dealer in NYC, she had an interesting accent I couldn't place at the time. I asked and learned she's originally from Moscow.
With some curiosity, I began asking about life growing up in Moscow. Interestingly, she said she found Russia offered much more personal freedom than the US. "Here in America", she said, "there are so many things you're not allowed to say, because it might offend somebody. In Russia we are free to say what we really think."
Of course after she left, the next person in line had been listening in and pointed out freedom in Moscow really only exists for those who can afford it. Still, I found her perspective very interesting and will never forget the conversation.
Where does freedom truly rest? How carefully must we beware of words?
Regardless, we know you have the power to say whatever you want whenever you want. It's in our constitution. And when you have extremely loud thoughts yet choose to keep silent for the sake of those around you, perhaps that's just the sound of wisdom stepping up.