Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Is this an apology, or one of those famous non-apologies?

I'm not longer interested in Prince Harry and his idiocies. He's an ill-informed kid, moving in singularly unenlightened circles, and he did a dumb thing. I'm more interested in this:

In a statement, Harry said: 'I am very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.'
This is being viewed as an apology for his act. The first sentence, however, is not an apology for his key act, it's just a statement that he's sorry the key act made others sad. (I'm working off my memory here but, in Gone with the Wind, when Scarlett is weeping because her husband died as part of a botched KKK raid, Rhett says to her: "You remind me of the thief who is not sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he got caught." (Do I have to add here that this is not an endorsement for the KKK or does that go without saying?) And as for the second sentence, well, "poor choice of costume," sounds akin to "wardrobe malfunction" and doesn't really go to the core issue of a British royal prancing around in the costumer of a former arch enemy. If you're really going to apologize, shouldn't you say something like "I wasn't thinking when I put that costume on. It was a really stupid thing to do [I think that's much better than "poor choice"], and I'm very sorry I did it. I'm also very sorry that, by making this terrible mistake, I upset so many people." Isn't that a bit more pro-active in the apology area? I could embroider on it, but too extreme a mea culpa sounds insincere.