The Offensive Nature of Being Offended

Have you ever being offended by something? I’m certain you have…but what happened exactly? What did someone say to rile you up so badly? What was it that they did that struck a nerve, and had you seeing red?

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Perhaps you looked something like this.

I’d guess there was something personal and dear to you – that a person took upon themselves to disrespect and desecrate…and you consequently felt a certain type of way about it, or “massively pissed off” as it is also sometimes known…

In fact I am sure there are many situations that would personally have you raging…but for the sake of an example here is one (hypothetical) scenario that should be a one size fits all…are you ready? Okay then…

…so let’s just imagine I grope your (INSERT LOVED ONE)’s behind, before pushing him/her down a steep hill whilst strapped into a wheelchair with no brakes…then I get all up in your face, even though I haven’t brushed my teeth in ages, and block your way whilst shouting something like;

“…your (INSERT LOVED ONE) is so stupid that he/she eats urinal cakes from public bathrooms on a daily basis as a treat, and the weird thing is he/she actually likes the taste because his/her taste-buds are all fucked up from years ,and years, and years of drinking nothing but bleach because he/she fell in love with Mr. Muscle one hazy drunken night way back when, and wanted to be really clean for him…” 

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Well, how would you feel? (After you ran down the hill to stop your (INSERT LOVED ONE) from colliding with traffic, of course!)

…probably a smidge annoyed I’d reckon. Well sure, it’s perfectly natural – I have just came at you directly with an unbridled level of offense, not only through insults, but most importantly actual physical danger to a person you cherish above all others. Now you want to wring my neck, and/or stomp on my head for hours – or at least until you get too sweaty and have to go home to take a shower. And hey, that’s totally normal! I mean you’re going to prison, sure…but it was a typical reaction, so for now; relax and enjoy the soothing memory!

The problem I have is not with that, but that the meaning of being “offended”, has been bludgeoned into a whole different shape, and now represents a completely foreign paradigm.  Where it was once something reserved for tarring the most unthinkable actions, it’s now usually just people sitting at home voicing their personal opinion on something…it’s not being “offended” at all – simply put it’s just not liking something! Except that doesn’t sound dramatically charged enough, and won’t catch anyone’s attention on or offline…“offended” however, oh yes! That’s the secret password in this day and age! Being offended will have everyone looking! Let’s go with that!

And for some reason…we do listen – primarily because we are given no choice in the matter. Just think about all of those times we hear news stories of how many letters of complaints certain TV programmes receive, as if it even matters…and then inevitably the media proceeds to blow it up to an insane proportion and ultimately someone has to pretend they’re sorry and make a public apology. I mean, it’s just absolute lunacy of the highest order to think that people’s personal opinions are being reported as actual news, rather than say – breaking news storiesyou know, commentary on horrendous wars our governments have embroiled us in, updates on some terrifying natural disaster, or even a feel-good piece about a really friendly donkey who thinks he’s a dog…stuff like that, quality actual-actual news…but no, what do we hear instead? A whole segment of tedious spiel from a sub-group of a sub-group about how horrified they personally were by an episode of South Park, or Nicki Minaj’s ass, or whatever the hell else they have decided to take issue with at any given time.

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GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Side note: it’s clearly asking way too much for people to just not watch something if they don’t like it, and instead change the channel to something they do – that would obviously be way too exhausting.

Personal taste should be just that; personal. But that’s not the world we live in anymore, instead these windbags rant and rave, because other people (aka the majority) disagree with their own preferences – so it’s all, you don’t think the same as me so you’re therefore wrong! That kind of schtick. So all of these people are branded ignorant of course, and it’s only the offended minority who are seen to be thinking correctly – after all, they’re special little snowflakes and the entire world revolves around them, don’t forget that! That’s why millions can love something, but a few hundred can pen letters and they get all the power. I mean why else would that happen? (COUGH COUGH, BULLSHIT SENSATIONALIST MEDIA!)

To be more specific, in the case of comedy  these so called offended people are normally too bloody dull to even understand the joke or comedian they have taken a disliking to – normally because they can only see the humour on one level…and because of this they easily miss the deep-rooted layered meaning that the act was trying to make. More often than not this is pointing out societal and cultural flaws that can be found in our everyday lives…and by taking on these roles in a dramatically exaggerated manner it pushes it from the shadows and into the forefront, basically saying something like: “see how fucked up this shit is? This is our every day truth – and it’s messed up, let’s try and not make these mistakes.” 

In no way is the comedian instructing people to be racist, sexist, or anything else. (And if they are they don’t get my vote, may I suggest a shotgun rather than a complaint letter next time? Thanks.) 

WInk GIF

…I have spoken. Please no letters about me though, I’m not a fan of those. 

Anyway, I’ll close with these words from an ever so slightly greater mind than myself; Stephen Fry:

“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?”

Couldn’t have said it better myself – which is why I let him do the talking! But what do you think? Is there anything that should be off limits? Let me know, I’f love to hear your opinion!

p.s. if your opinion doesn’t match with mine, then you are wrong. Simple as that. 

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34 thoughts on “The Offensive Nature of Being Offended

  1. There are so very many things in the world to be offended by…serious things. I can honestly say I’ve never been offended by a joke. (Except for an old tv show…Married with Children…whose goal was to offend, but I still laughed. ) ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree…but the word offended is now over used and consequently devalued by the fact that things are placed in the same bracket as those horrendous things due to the over dramatic misuse of the word! I’d actually argue that the more severe horrors of the world deserve a greater title than offended, as usually they instill a deep emotional response (and rightly they should)…anyway I’m rambling

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. Your offense is your problem, just as mine is mine. And honestly I find life much more agreeable when I just don’t bother to get offended, unless of course someone groped my loved one and pushed them downhill in a wheelchair… 🙂

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  3. Could not have said it better! Enjoyed your thoughts. You echoed much of my sentiments. Thank you for dropping by my blog and thank you for the follow. I’m glad you did because now I’ve discovered your writing!

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  4. Love your post….I just wish everyone would frigin take a breath and, oh, I don’t know, maybe try to use their brain before they decide to state their opinion, or maybe even ask if you mind if they state their opinion, and then after they do and you react like, well okay, that’s your opinion but…and you have a difference of opinion and then they get all butt hurt…its crazy in some circle of friends….I personally think that only my opinion is the right one, except my husband thinks his the alpha opinion…makes for a fun conversation at time…no fighting but a lot of heavy thinking to out each others opinion…LOL however my son at age 15 said to me once….you will listen to my opinion and you will abide by it….age 15 mind you…I am smiling today and believe me. I remember the day he did that…he was sooo up tight that I could have a different opinion than him….I walked into the bathroom picked up a mirror and brought it out to him, I handed it to him and told him to look into the mirror and talk that person as he is the only one who is interested in your opinion…lets say….he was not a happy 15 year old….I just walked away laughing….love reading your post….makes me think…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful!

    Every time we open our mouths to say something, we run the risk that someone we aren’t even talking about will CHOOSE to mis-interpret our comments by viewing our words as a direct personal attack on them.

    Does that make their hurt feelings our fault?

    Should we keep our mouths clamped shut to avoid hurting the feelings of overly sensitive paranoid narcissists who view everything as relating to and revolving around them?

    Are they (and their thin-skins) our responsibility?

    No.

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  6. Excellent post, John. It’s all part of this politically correct thing that has people tip-toeing on eggshells and dancing on broken glass. If something offends me, I get away from it. I don’t expect the other party to change just because my sensitivities got scuffed.

    And another thing, these people who are screaming racist know exactly what they’re talking about because THEY are the most racist of all. How can they get away with having segregated black colleges, coaches associations, etc.? Talk about hypocrites.

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  7. Love this post. I have four sisters, two nieces, and now a great nephew who are all drama mamas and blow their stacks at the slightest hint of something they don’t like. Me, I’ll just ignore people and their opinions unless they get physical as some school bullies did, in which case I wipe the floor with them. But usually if they drive me to the edge by screaming about how they are offended by something or someone, I amuse myself by responding calmly, rationally, and logically, which is sort of like throwing your hardest strike into a pile of pillows. No satisfaction at all for them, lots of giggles for me. My Facebook friends list is about an even spread between the far right and the far left politically, which makes for much more interesting reading than people who agree with me on everything. I reserve that for people I deal with in person, and have wonderful conversations with. When I was at work before my retirement, most of my friends simply couldn’t stand each other because their opinions were so far apart. I found them all interesting, and as long as they were articulate, I didn’t care about which way their opinions swung. I especially like to annoy people who express their offended opinions politically by suggesting they turn all that energy toward something useful and active, not just trying to influence politicians who are only looking for big campaign and lobbyist donations and getting their faces in the media for the next election. They get really offended by that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoy opinions too, and a healthy debate is always enjoyable…working out why a person feels a certain way and what brought them to their conclusion – that way you can understand them as humans. Sounds like you have the right idea, perfect responses!

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  8. I am offended by your post about taking offence because (insert totally illogical argument here, along with sob story of distant cousin or childhood trauma, whichever works better).

    Also, and a possibly more pressing issue, I may have just created a black hole. By getting offended about being offended. This whole thing might be more dangerous than we ever imagined.

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  9. I recently bought a house-warming gift for my ex as he moved into another bigger house with his also divorced wife-to-be (fiance). It was a plaque in the sale bin at Hobby Lobby and it said “I agree with myself.” It made me laugh out loud and since he does have a sense of humor, I hope he laughed too (I don’t know yet because it was wrapped and with a bow when I gave it to him). I actually was “offended” at things I wrote years ago and took my own book off the market, so I don’t always agree with myself. ; )

    Liked by 1 person

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