Controversy, offensive Facebook posts, and other things that don’t matter.

I’ve been managing my new “official” Facebook page for a month or so now, and it finally happened: yesterday I posted something that offended someone.

I’m not going to re-post that image here.  I didn’t take it down, so it’s still readily available on my page – to put it succinctly it’s a simple image featuring LeVar Burton of Star Trek  and Reading Rainbow fame, accompanied by some very strong words of praise and which incorporates vulgarity to comedic effect.  In other words, it’s in the same vein as this image:

FUCKING SHAMWOW, BITCHES!

 

There’s a whole bunch of these images floating around the internet – some of which use even more vulgar language than this – so I won’t post them here.  Just Google “hot holy dicks from hell” and you’ll get a good idea.

I find stuff like this just god damned hilarious,  and the majority of people who came across it yesterday agreed with me.  However, there were three people who apparently found it offensive and went so far as to use Facebook’s automated system to ask me to take it down.  Now, I’m not one to criticize someone else’s value system, and neither am I someone who’s insensitive when it comes to what others find offensive – everyone’s different, and nobody has the same kind of parents that raised them on a steady diet of George Carlin and Howard Stern that I had (hi Mom!).  At the same time, I don’t understand how people can get so worked up over a crude, stupid joke image that they saw on Facebook to the point where they want the image taken down because it offends them.

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to censor myself because you might get offended.  If you don’t like what you see when it comes to my blog posts or the stupid image macros I post on my Facebook page, by all means please stop following me – I bear you no ill will whatsoever – but just because something I do or say may have hurt your feelings doesn’t give you the right to demand I delete images or take down blog posts.  I’ve got a right to say whatever I feel like in whatever manner I desire, and as long as I’m not violating any laws in doing so there’s really nothing you can do if you don’t like it besides looking away.

This whole societal trend towards ‘your rights end where my feelings begin’ has gotten seriously out of hand.  While a more accurate phrase would be ‘your rights end where my rights begin,’ the former phrase operates on the misconception that people have some sort of right to not be offended or not have their feelings hurt, which is a notion that is completely and utterly wrongheaded.  I’m not talking about instances of bullying or harassment, by the way, as being targeted by that kind of behavior is an obvious infringement of your right to privacy; bullying and harassment is different in that it is being directed at a person with the express purpose to intentionally inflict physical or emotional injury, whereas posting stupid pictures on the internet for the purpose of making you laugh is a completely different animal.

Folks, if you don’t like the stupid content I produce, don’t subscribe to my blog or my Facebook page.  And if you’ve got small kids that you don’t want exposed to vulgar or offensive language, what the fuck are you doing letting them use Facebook unsupervised, you dumb bastards?

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13 thoughts on “Controversy, offensive Facebook posts, and other things that don’t matter.

  1. Im offended by your offensive attitude towards my perception of offensive material designed to offend the easily offended offenders and…er…I…er…

    Wait…I got confused…lemme start over….

  2. I’m right there with you dude, the whole “right to never be offended” shit is ridiculous. The real killer part is, Facebook has procedures and components in place that let you filter your feed and cater the posts you see to your own liking. My personal take on this: I think whoever it is likes your other posts, but didn’t like that one, and doesn’t want to unsubscribe over one post. Instead, it becomes a control issue. By being able to report your posts, they are granted a measure of power over your page and its content. This is all about whiny bitches trying for a power struggle. If it were my page, I’d ban them. You wanna play? Fine, I’ll play.

  3. Unsurprisingly, I (Hi Son!) agree with you.
     
    As you note, as long as one is not harassing or bullying  another, one has the right to laugh–or be offended–at another’s humor, art, and writing. This includes blog posts. 

    If, however, the website prohibits profanity, then the writer must honor such (and any) stipulation(s). Otherwise the writer is under no obligation to please every reader– clearly an impossible task, anyway, since what one considers simply profane, another may not. (Or, as I do, find the original post both profane AND funny. But then again, I thought Carlin a genius whereas others did not.)

    What I find truly profane with no redeeming quality is  proscribed  censorship (unless it is to protect children or one’s devout grandma while in church — but I digress). 

    Indeed, we all censor ourselves all the time especially in specific circumstances [see above]. Butto demand someone to write, speak or draw a specific way is.. well, offensive.

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with being offended; it reflects who we are: our values, our very upbringing.  But writing or art is supposed to provoke a reaction rather than parrot the major paradigm. (Where would we be without To Kill a Mockingbird? Lord of the Flies? Fahrenheit 451? Or Mice and Men? etc.)      Upsetting ideas often offend because they challenge one’s  enculturated beliefs and force us to reexamine  such beliefs;other times it reaffirms them. 
    But to insist the artist/writer  must think or remove  a piece of art/writing simply because another finds it offensive is a dangerous path: one that at best–leads to mediocrity; and at worst–an Orwellian universe.

    So  by all means, be offended;  embrace it, even–it’s good for one’s soul. 

    (and I’ll take my own advice as well.)

    But in the meantime, I will also  continue to fight for the right to be offensive.  

    Oh,  and no offense intended– to those who disagree, of course. 

     

    • This is exactly what I was saying. Writers especially need to push cultural and societal boundaries, and as long as it’s not just being done for shock value or in a crude way it should bring you a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the world and what’s going on in it.

      Of course, it could be just because you want to make a few fart jokes. Everybody loves fart jokes. Remember the scene from Blazing Saddles when they’re all eating beans around the fire?

      • Hahaha! ….. 0h, wait. Maybe I was a bad role model for finding that scene (and so many others) funny?

        Oh, dear. Too late. Too late.
        🙂

  4. I think Stephen Fry said it best: “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.”

    That being said, it surprises me that it took this long for someone to be offended by you. 🙂

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