17.1.11

If Thine Eye Offend Thee ...

Lesbianism is always offensive!
The "controversy" over a comedian (the always great Ricky Gervais) cracking jokes at the Golden Globes proves a theory I've had for years: the more easily offended you are, the lower your IQ score.  The epitome of this is when commentators actually expressed sympathy for Mel Gibson because of the jokes Gervais made.  Keep in mind that Gibson is a drunk, sexist, Anti-Semite.  People are saying Gervais was too hard on him, and Charlie Sheen, and Tom Cruise, and so on and so on.

Boo-fucking-hoo.  Gervais is a comedian doing what comedians do.  Comedy is sometimes brutal.  If you want safe comedy, hire Larry the Cable Guy.

He's just like you!
Americans have grown soft.  The general public, in its infinite wisdom, gets offended by anything that makes it think and anything that smacks of being true.  Jokes offend people.  Body parts offend people.  Songs offend people.  Books offend people.  Words offend people.  About the only thing that doesn't offend people is the one thing that really offends me: utter stupidity.

He's a drunk who hates women and Jews, but you loved him in "Attack Force Z."
People seem to think that if something offends them they have to listen to it, read it or watch it.  They seem to lose the ability to switch the channel or turn off the radio, or avert their eyes.  And before you say those people at the Golden Globes couldn't leave Gervais' "verbal assault," I call bullshit.  They were perfectly capable of leaving or issuing catcalls, heckling, whatever.  Would it be uncouth?  Yes, but if they were really offended, shouldn't they address that at the time instead of crying about it afterward?

Nobody has the right not to be offended.  They do have the right to speak out against what offends them, though they often risk looking like a fool (such as with the Gervais controversy -- where those celebrities as offended by Gibson's tirades?).  They also have the right to ignore that which offends them.  To believe that you will make it through life without being offended ... well, that's like believing in the Tooth Fairy when you're 25.  You'd have to be a drooling idiot.

Pills.  Pints.  Porn stars.  Punchline.
"Gervais was mean-spirited."  "Gervais went too far."  "Gervais went over the edge."  Let's put this all in perspective, though.  Gervais is a comedian.  Gervais said things people were already thinking (he's not the first to point out that Charlie Sheen has a problem).  And Gervais said he was going to push things.  He said it weeks before hosting.  The only problem that I see is that he didn't go far enough.

Words never gave anyone cancer.  They never blew the legs off a young soldier stepping out of a Humvee.  They never caused a worldwide economic meltdown.  They never let the healthcare industry get out of control.  Do people get offended about these things, though?  Hell no!  They continue to fight against environmental regulations.  They support war.  They still invest in Wall Street.  They urge their representatives to end healthcare reform (which really wasn't much reform in the first place).  But throw a few jokes in their face and suddenly they are indignant.

This guy should offend you, but you don't know who he is or why.
If you were one of the people offended by Gervais, I urge you to really take a look around at the things that should offend you yet don't.  Is it because you don't understand them?  Is it because being offended by those blatantly offensive things calls into question your role in them?  Is it that you are just so blind to reality that you don't see them?  Jokes are easy to get upset about.  It requires very little thought.  Any joke can offend anyone.  The joke that doesn't offend you could very easily offend your neighbor.  If it's that easy to get offended, why even bother?  Save your anger for something that counts, like families being thrown out into the street because their homes were illegally foreclosed upon.

This man offended you.
If you were offended by Gervais, you don't have enough problems in your life, and you probably needed to be offended.  I do feel a bit sorry for you, however.  Real life must fill you with a lot of fear and rage.  It's got to be scary and frustrating knowing that every time you look at, read, or listen to something you run the risk of getting all sorts of bent out of shape.

I do want to thank you, too.  As someone whose writing has offended everyone from teachers to screenwriters to Keanu Reeves fans, I want to take this moment to let you know I appreciate the business.  You not only make it easy, you make it fun.  What kind of crazy shit is going to set you off next? 

2 comments:

Castiel Cat said...

I think the day you start praising Justin Beiber you'll offend your readers. Thankfully that's not going to happen any time soon. Well done, sir.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

I almost bought a Beiber shirt just for the disturbance value.