Well yesterday was a fun day. I’m sitting happily (well, sitting at least) at work when I get a phonecall from a woman in some distress who launches into an emotional tirade about how I’m trying to destroy her business, drive her out of town and ruin the livelihoods of numerous indigenous artists. After some confusion I discover that she’s objecting to a photograph I took of her store and posted to my Flickr account along with a wry comment about the pun in her business name (something along the lines that such puns should be outlawed).
(I’m not going to link to the image or name her business, if you’re really interested you can go poking around my Flickr account until you find it yourself).
She also posted a lengthy and similarly enraged comment to said photograph (and sent a very similar email) alleging that I’m some kind of racist who hates Aboriginies and Aboriginal culture.
After getting over the shock of this accusation I carefully wrote a reply explaining my viewpoint on the matter – that a humorously intended comment about puns in store names does not equate to an attack on the store involved, and that race had nothing to do with my comment at all. I also altered the name and description on the photograph to make it less likely to come up in connection with her business and to remove any criticism about the pun – not because I think I was in the wrong, but as a general gesture of good will.
I’m happy to report that she followed this up with an apologetic reply implying that she (or someone at the store) misread my comment and thought that I was saying that stores selling Aboriginal artefacts should be illegal, as opposed to groan-inducing puns (which really shouldn’t be illegal anyway as they give people like me something to complain about, and where would be without that? :). So the whole issue now seems to be laid to rest and everything is good.
It was an interesting few hours though, wondering if my website and personal details were going to end up on some kind of racism watch list. But hey, all’s well that ends well.