|The girls are taking tennis lessons|
three nights a week while we're here.
Neither had ever held a racket
before, but it's fun to watch
the steady improvement.
Now, some may generously label the joke sophomoric, maybe even not fault the guy, allowing him to be a bit dim ahead of his first cup of coffee. But other cruisers found it offensive and one gal in her late twenties made it a point to say so. She was on the radio in a heartbeat to denounce what we all heard.
Plain and simple, she said she was offended, saying that words have meaning and she didn’t appreciate this attempt at humor. She was assertive, direct, and polite. Before signing off, she labeled the joke, “close to rape humor.”
Now, I’ve got a sense of humor (very dry and often juvenile), but I know that humor demands context. I know that not only is expressing a need for a, “concubine who can’t say no,” not funny, but that it falls obscenely flat in the context of an open mic broadcasting to a very diverse group of mostly strangers. (Heck, in addition to my 10-year-old daughter, seventy-year-old solo circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates was here.)
When we were here in La Paz two years ago, there was enmity on the VHF. I found myself embarrassed for my fellow grown-ups—many of them small and petty behind microphones that emboldened them. Though we haven’t yet experienced that same radio behavior in these past several weeks, the net was terminated the other day when old feuds erupted in churlish comments and clicking (depressing the mic transmit button to interrupt a speaker).
|This is just one of dozens of|
beautiful sculptures on the
La Paz malecon.
La Paz, Mexico is a polarizing cruising city. I love La Paz, a lot of cruisers love La Paz. A lot of cruisers hate La Paz, many love to hate La Paz. There may be no other place like La Paz. The population of cruisers here is large, spread across seven marinas and an anchorage of more than 100 boats. Given this number, and the fact that so many of these folks have stayed aboard here for so long (years), more than a community has formed, there’s a culture, intimate and familiar among long-time La Paz cruisers. And like any relatively small sample, this culture can be seen as a microcosm of larger populations.
That’s how I like to look at it.
Now, some may accuse this young cruiser of being too sensitive (some have), an overactive member of the politically correct countries north of Mexico that many of these La Paz cruisers fled 10 years ago.
But I prefer to see change before my eyes, humanity civilizing—common decency emerging on VHF radios around La Paz.
|Yes it is.|