In a previous article on the mob mentality that has taken over the internet lately, I showcased how one can’t utter a single word without fear of offending someone. The punishment comes in the form of angry, offended hordes who not only scream bloody murder but also demand an apology, turning society into an arena for the neurotics.
A mere couple of weeks later the internet is rife with examples to back up this argument. Behold the latest spat over what were considered ‘insensitive’ and ‘offensive’ comments.
Bill Maher tweeted: Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who’s trying to kill u – u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her
Yes, the joke was crass. Yes, it was nah. Yes, Maher could have opted for ‘crazy person’ instead of ‘crazy woman’ — but then he would have had to close his tweet with ‘slap him or her,’ which is a bummer, because Twitter supports only 140 characters at a time, making brevity kind of an issue.
It wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a bad joke, so what? Rising up in arms against his comment is a waste of time. Sexist? Please! Sometimes you make a joke using a metaphor that involves women, other times you make one that involves men. Sometimes you use both genders and sometimes you use none at all, because the joke can handle it, and sometimes you don’t give a rat’s ass about the exact anatomy of the joke, because you expect people to see through the setup and not make mountains out of molehills.
It’s one’s privilege, of course, to make mountains out of molehills, which is what many people did with Maher’s comment. They took offence, having been offended and all, shooting waves of indignation across the web.
But they didn’t stop there. They also demanded that Maher apologize for what he said.
Now that’s pushing it. He made a bad joke, so what? Since when is bad comedy the concern of a public opinion trial and jury? If you don’t like him or his material, stop watching his show and un-follow him on Twitter, like I did (a long time ago, because I nd him to be an annoyingly one-sided douchebag, who uses his smarts to pass as an open-minded fellow). Go for a walk, fix the car, stroke a furry cushion in the attic. Just fuck off and do something else.
They don’t. They stick around, making a fuss, throwing hissy fits. Meanwhile the spats continue and things get worse — both the bad jokes and the awful uproar that meets them. Behold what happened the other day.
Jason Biggs tweeted: Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?
Ok, so it wasn’t Biggs’s best material. It was kind of ham-handed, if not distasteful. I can see why the relatives of the victims found it hurtful. But it wasn’t them who took up the issue with Biggs. It was a bunch of strangers, who somehow saw it t to put him in his place.
Again, it was their prerogative to do so, but why did he have to apologize to them? His joke communicated nothing but a simple truth, which is on everyone’s mind: no one is going to fly Malaysian Airlines anymore unless they can’t do otherwise, unless they have a gun to their heads — and even then, they may take their chances with the gun, because you can escape a bullet but not a crashing plane.
Yeah, I guess Biggs could have used those words — no, not the unless they have a gun to their heads… because those words are as insensitive as what he tweeted. I’m talking about the No one is going to be flying with Malaysian Airlines anymore unless they can’t do otherwise. He could have tweeted that! It’s clearly the catchier statement.
Let’s take a moment for the offended to catch up. Good!
We need comedy to deal with them. Shut the funny machine down and we got nothing.
Point is, no matter how grave some incidents are, we need comedy to deal with them. Shut the funny machine down and we got nothing. Zilch. Bubkus. We need to be able to laugh at our setbacks, or at least vent our resulting frustrations in ways that release the tension. It’s much healthier than shutting everything down, having everyone apologize for every word they utter because it o ended someone’s sensitivities. Sure, there are limits to what one can say, but it seems that these limits are being pulled further and further back every day, letting nothing slide, demanding the perpetrators’ hides and scalps and pounds of mind- flesh as compensation.
Welcome to the WWA, the world wide arena, through which people are satisfying their mob instincts. The motions are bloodless, civilized, acceptable but savage all the same, tying everyone up in knots and making them think ten times before they speak, for fear of having their careers pummelled.
Better say what people want, shucks, it’s safer that way!
Thusly thought, thusly spoken, and those with something to say end up speaking softly and walking on eggshells, turning society into a pissant setup. And the arena turns into cultural suburbia, where the walls are painted Meringue Bliss for maximum calming effect, the yards are purged of anything that could sully them, such as living energy, and everything is bland and lukewarm, just as it suits the dead in the head and chest.
It’s Stepford Wives all over again, only this time it ain’t the men shutting down their wives. It’s the holier-than-thou crybabies throwing tantrums to get what they want, when they want it, where they want it and screw everything else, screw discretion, fuck the pinch of salt and give me my sweetie, now, I said now, because I’m mad, I want it my way, because I can. So what if this setup doesn’t work, because no one can say anything anymore? I don’t care, I want things done my way. I want to be able to shout as much as I want, say what I want, point fingers at whoever I want and screw discretion, because discretion is for adults, and I’m no fucking adult. I’m a crybaby and I want my diaper changed and my ass wiped spotlessly clean now!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the culture we live in.
From your cane-wielding Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.
P.S. – If we are to muzzle any kind of comedy that makes light of a grave issue, then surely the following short lm is an outrage. It should be removed from the web and its creator should publicly apologize for having offended not only those directly involved, but also those who are sensitive about the issue on a theoretical basis.
Well, what are you waiting for? Off with her head!
P.S. 2 – Malaysian Airlines are considering changing the company’s name, because the latest two incidents involving its aircraft have somehow driven customers away. It’s as if people – even the frequent flyers — just stopped buying its tickets. Fancy that!