A few days ago, we posted a “Norb’s Corner” article that understandably set some readers off. While it was intended by Norb to be more of a light-hearted post, the article didn’t come across that way. Instead of making fun and suggesting people lighten up about the holiday song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, Norb pressed some hot-button issues (war on Christmas, #metoo, the derogatory term “snowflake”) and a number of people were offended. In hindsight, we should never have run the article. We did because we thought it might spur open, provocative conversation. When we posted it, we failed to recognize that, for a fair number of people the post triggered, it was impossible to see beyond what they saw as the offensive nature of Norb’s piece.
The intended point of the article was “We can all respect each other if we are understanding and accepting of each other’s cultural heritage.” Norb was trying, unsuccessfully to show that people were taking the song out of context. But he did it in a way that did not promote acceptance or acknowledge the current cultural moment in which we are all being forced to reevaluate our definitions of sexual harassment and consent. Instead it only served to throw water on the fire, which is not what was intended.
Over the course of the last few days, Norb has apologized to many of the readers he offended, and deeply and sorely would like to continue to write non-controversial articles for Buffalo Rising. His previous humorous articles on such topics as the remote control and cat naps are examples of his work that we feel are fun reads. We hope Buffalo Rising readers feel the same way. In a recent email to Buffalo Rising, Norb said that the greatest lesson he has learned is that you’re never too old to learn a lesson. Norb’s greatest passion is to parlay his own life lessons into words that can be impactful upon others, in a constructive, and not hurtful way.