The Umbrage Industry

I heard the term “The Umbrage Industry” used recently, and now I can’t recall where that was. If you’re not familiar with the term Umbrage, it means, to put it simply, being offended. We, the people of the United States of America, have perfected the art of umbrage. We manage to get offended at anything, and we manage to see offence taken by people who are merely commenting.

I probably should not mention any names. You probably either know who I’m talking about, or you don’t. Dude, lighten up. If you can’t take a little constructive criticism, then don’t post your ideas in public places where the whole world can see them. Nobody is calling you a sh*thead, as you claim. And, unless this is something that is unique to your little corner of things, which, after all, came out of a big organization into a little one, not the other way around, nobody is abandoning trust.

You seem like a nice guy. I enjoyed meeting you, and I enjoyed talking to you, but you’ve got to quit acting like every issue is a matter of Good vs Evil, with you the sole defender of All That Is Right. It gets a little old. Some things are just matters of opinion, and there’s a chance, however slim it might be, that you’re not always right. Getting offended every time someone disagrees with you is a great way to get a stomach ulcer, but accomplishes precious little else.


The phrase was actually in a piece in Newsweek (or was it Time) that my Dad read to us on Christmas, about the ACLU furur surrounding Christmas. Here are some relevant links: