Stop Making "Jokes" Like The One on This West End Tavern Receipt

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A waitress at Lakewood's West End Tavern thought she'd play a harmless joke on her friends by printing hate speech on their receipt Sunday afternoon. There it is to your right.

"It wasn't meant to be offensive," the 23-year-old bartender told WEWS.

"Nothing about it was meant to be malicious," the tab's recipients concurred.

But social media, in its infinite self-propulsion, disagreed (or didn't care). Facebook sunk its teeth into the original SnapChat message and disseminated retaliatory disgust across the internet.

This is the world we live in! 

The bartender, and WEWS, for that matter — "It was all a big misunderstanding!" — suggest the takeaway from all this unpleasantness is that we should be careful about what we write, especially in an age when our vapidity and narcissism, not to mention our digital lives, are second nature.

The obvious advice (and we'll co-sign) is that if you're going to make a horribly offensive joke among friends, don't document it.

But don't for one moment pretend that it's not offensive, that the fact of its delivery — just ironically pallin' around with dear friends by calling them tasteless names!  — negates the "joke's" meaning.  

Cleveland has a hard time with this concept. The prevailing logic around here is that even if other people find something offensive, the fact that when I say it or wear it, or  whatever, I don't intend it to be offensive is much more important.  It's the primacy of intent over content.  
 
At any rate, there was a news van outside West End Tavern last night, and, after some hard-nosed sleuthing, we determined the mood to be "low-key."


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