One of the peculiarities of the internet is people's propensity for being offended at the drop of the hat.
Anything anyone says can be fodder for offendedness.
On these forums, for example, if Customer Service should find it necessary to blow its nose twice a day after promising to do it only once, you can bet people will rise up and vent their rage over such blatantly inconsiderate promise breaking (with the regulars in the Off Topic Forum leading the charge).
Or, as is my wont, consider the Forgotten Realms fanbase.
1. You dare have a problem with my urgent need to complain at the drop of the hat, repeatedly, about how I feel about design changes that were made twelve years ago to the 3rd Edition D&D era Realms' map?! Why, I am offended!
2. You (game designer) dare to go back on a promise made to the fanbase in 1986 by your predecessor's predecessor's predecessor's predecessor (who also worked for a company called TSR, not WotC) not to muck with Sembia so we, THE FANS, could use it in our games? Why, I am offended!
3. You (article writer) dare to write something about 4E D&D where that something was obviously borrowed from the Realms without fan permission--which isn't against the law, but should be? Why, I am seriously offended!
This last example is current. Jared von Hindman has been writing tongue-in-cheek articles under the header "D&D Outsider" for the WotC website. As the header implies he is someone on the outside looking in. His articles mix humor and D&D game history in an attempt to show the reader just how deep Dungeons & Dragons is and how it's changed (a lot) over time.
His article D&D Alumni Dropouts: A Crisis of Faiths, is a good example of this. He writes cogently, yet humorously, about various faiths depicted in the D&D game.
Then he makes the cardinal error of talking about Bane (A Forgotten Realms deity before 4E came along. What? you didn't know this?! I'm offended!) which is to say just got personal with the FANS.
To my knowledge, there have been two of Hindman's articles discussed at the Candlekeep.com forums. In both cases, people got angry over them.
In the latest thread, some people couldn't be certain Hindman was joking around in his deity article, never mind the ones who missed the humor entirely, as well the great big giant clues that humor was involved. Seriously.
Yes, I know: some people just need to get a life. The crazy part is some people have a life, they just choose to spend a portion of it getting offended over essentially pointless crap.
Yes, people care, but there's a smart way to show you care. Throwing up a filter to check for any and all possible ways you can be offended by any form of media involving something "you care about" isn't how it's done.
To me it's like the people who do this have forgotten how they used to enjoy the Forgotten Realms, so they've substituted a taste for bitterness over fun. In their minds they're both magician and audience member, refusing to believe they've fooled themselves with their own mental slight of hand.
It's also interesting to me how people who get offended tend to lump everyone in with them. They don't just get offended for their own sake: they assume everyone else who happens to enjoy the Realms was also slighted and that's a crime all by itself.
Their logic goes like this: You were wronged (whether you realize it or not). I was most certainly wronged. Therefore WE WERE WRONGED!
Are all Realms fans like this? No.
Are all Realms fans that bother to talk about the Realms on the internet like this? No, I don't think so, even though some would be quick to point out that if that seems like it's all anyone is doing then surely a majority feel this way.
In this day and age there's some truth to that, but it's equally true that sometimes people with bullhorns just like to hear themselves speak.
Ultimately we're here to have fun. That's why these forums exist. And yes, the forums also exist for customer feedback, but that feedback and people's need to be heard are not, and never will be, more important then having fun.
So the next time you feel offended, ask yourself if you're having fun. If not, and especially if you've already felt offended previously over the same thing and complained about the topic, try walking away from the computer and looking for something fun to do.
If you make a daily habit out of turning every petty annoyance into an excuse to have fun, in a month's time you'll wonder how you ever lived without so much fun in your life.