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.) 

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…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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Public Pooping (China)

China – Wuhan ~ 2012

A move to a different country is difficult, you have to contend with a different time zone, a different language and a whole different culture. It can be pretty hard, but eventually you adapt. You get to know the layout of your city; you get a favourite café, pub and a place to hang out…slowly you learn that McDonalds isn’t the only thing you can relate to (not that you don’t return every so often/all the time).

Continue reading “Public Pooping (China)”

Banksy-man

The internet was going crazy for a second, due to a rumor stating the infamous artist Banksy, had been stripped of his mysterious guise by the uncaring English police force.  Well I will admit, they got me too. And before I heard it was false, I was crazily infuriated…so much so, I haphazardly threw out some rather condemning comments – only to be told it was a hoax…naturally, I then shriveled into a ball, shrank back into my cave – to curse myself for being so damn stupid. 

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 But what was it about this (false) news that angered me so? I had to think about that for a second…but after a little bit of time I recognised this – that I believe it is to do with what he represents, he stands for something – and could be anyone…isn’t that a wonderful thing? In a world that heralds celebrity individuals, who are desperate to cash in, and use any pull they have to generate income…he stands alone. A bit like the idea behind imaginary superheroes like Spiderman, or Batman…they are a symbol, a symbol that could be represented by anyone.

Probably not me…I mean, I doubt I would look good in spandex, it would look embarrassing…particularly around the groin-ish area…but you get my point. 

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A good friend of mine who is an artist, posted this in reaction: “This has actually made me quite emotional. I spent my whole life up to now admiring the mystery behind my all time favourite graffiti artist, Banksy. And now… Well now the government have just taken that away like they do anything that is ‘good and free’ – gutted!” Well thankfully it wasn’t true – and long may he continue with his artistry, and social critique!

What do you think? Were you fooled? Lemme know my potential crime fighter friends! And make sure you like the page at facebook.com/storytimewithjohn for more posts!