Provocative opinions aired on the clothes line of life.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Going On The Offensive


I'm always disappointed to discover that someone has interpreted a flippant comment I've made as a malicious jibe, when it was merely my intention to derive humour from a situation. And the person I'm the most disappointed in is myself. Because I actually expected people to have the ability to laugh at themselves. As someone who relies heavily on self-deprecation, I find it absurd that people can take themselves so seriously. I know that most functional people have a high opinion of themselves (yours truly can certainly vouch for that) and I admit that I can be incredibly defensive. But the difference is that I'm aware of it and I'm able to laugh when it's brought to my attention. 

Though it appears that our hyper-connected modern world has led some people's online notoriety to fill their heads with the notion that they're now important and their opinions are not just right, but statutory. Standing atop of their self-elected digital podiums, challenging the civil liberties of others and firing their opinion at people as though it's somehow mandatory for them to provide it. Of course if they had an interesting or different perspective on what was being discussed, I would more than welcome the debate. But all that's on their agenda is condemnation. They seek to vilify anyone who has the gall to commit the mass-terrorist of goodnatured ribbing: offence.

Offence. If there were awards for utterly pointless nouns, this would have my vote. Because it's completely subjective. Only the individual can determine who or what they're offended by, according to their own personal preferences. If you choose to be offended, you need to take personal responsibility because you alone are making that decision. You're letting yourself be affected by something which you could have easily brushed off as inconsequential. And if you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that it's often not the content of the joke which caused such palpable distaste, but the person who made it.

Putting a joke in context is paramount when understanding it. Nothing is exempt from being mocked. You have to first appreciate who is making the joke and more importantly, why they're making it. In my case, I do it to confront the elephant in the room. (And taking my past quips about Adele into consideration that phrase is incredibly apt). But my point is, we often let our dislike for someone cloud our judgement and we're besieged with self-righteousness lubricated with venom. It's not enough that you have been caused offence, that offence now has to be validated and supported. So you take to your online outlets and discuss your right to being offended with other deluded nobodies. 

Of course now I suppose everyone is thinking that I want people to stop being offended. And I don't. It's an endless source of entertainment for me, so please continue populating your cringe-worthy attempts at informed and coherent opinions. It makes me so feel so smug and intelligent. Particularly when I discover that people have been discussing whether or not something I've said should be considered racist. If you're going to have an opinion, have some conviction and declare it. Instead of analysing it publicly in an attempt to form a majority because you're too cowardly to remain a minority.

Now I'll leave you with some hilarious truth from Steve Hughes.