This is essentially a comical weblog but I am going to be serious for a minute if I may. Hey, it’s my blog, I’ve given you warning in what, the first sentence, and it won’t be long.
Once upon a time I used to think the reason I didn’t get offended by things, and lots of other people did, was because I was a relaxed and easy going guy. I say ‘once upon a time’ but if I’m honest I can actually pin-point the time, it was the middle of 2012. What became apparent to me quite suddenly was that there was a very good reason I didn’t get offended by ‘offensive’ humour and it had very little to do with the fact that I was a ‘good person.’ I discovered the second part of that first in fact; I discovered a lot of the people who believed they were better people, or right, because they didn’t get offended were actually bad people.
One of the reasons I didn’t get offended by very much was I was a white, straight, middle-class male. I still am, just for the record. Off-colour jokes, and racist or sexist or homophobic stereotypes created for the purposes of comedy, and all the other things I used not be offended by were not about me. Or rather, they were about me; they were developed by me, or people like me, and pointed like weapons at people who weren’t straight, white, male and middle class.
My point is, I suppose, two-fold. It would be nice if people didn’t say horrible shit about other people but I am living testament to the fact that we’re a long way from that.
I actually think a lot of people are, and should always be, open to and openly ridiculed and I sleep soundly at night doing it.
The powerful, the pretentious, the arrogant, the silly, those who choose to be dull, irritating, wear polar-fleece, go to garden centres in the weekends, listen to crud music, anthropomorphise animals, and dwell on silly middle-class problems are fair game.
No, its not the same as picking on those who have done nothing wrong and are made outsiders by the mainstream of society, or by centuries of oppression. Don’t be such a moral relativist. You muddy the debate.
However, it is paramount to not being a monster arsehole that you aren’t sanctimonious with it, and use it is some kind of virtue that you can see the funny side of joke to which you aren’t the butt.
You don’t win the argument simply by not getting angry.
The second point is that people calling you out for being an arsehole is not them picking on you (or misandry, or reverse discrimination, or ‘political correctness’). It’s not an infringement of your rights being told not to infringe on another’s right to feel safe or included. If your only jokes are ones that achieve their humour by belittling someone’s race, gender, culture, or sexual orientation then you should find something else to do because you are being an arsehole.
It is a learning curve and I drop the ball all the time. Guys like me, who think we are funny, have the ability to be easily weaponised because we get off on other people having a laugh and that is sometimes by any means necessary. I’m not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me (“boo-hoo, poor middle-class white guy who needs his fix of validation”) but it is a fact and something *I* have to remember more than anybody else.