Nation Too Sensitive of Crude Humor
November 15, 2010
Filed under Opinion
Today, it seems like society can’t decide whether or not to be offended at everything or at nothing at all.
Sometimes our culture would lead one to believe that nothing upsets people. If you turn on the television or listen to the language in the hallways, it seems like this is true, as innuendos and foul language appear to have become the norm. However, the current issues of today seem almost entirely based off of people getting offended, even over trivial things.
For example, on April 21 the television series South Park ran an episode called “201″. South Park is known for its tendency to take refuge in audacity, and almost all of their episodes have managed to offend somebody, but this particular one caused an uproar. In a satire of artists being threatened or worse for their portrayal of Muhammad, the Islam prophet, the South Park creators had the characters in the show claim that Muhammad was inside of a costume, and you just couldn’t see him.
The radical organization Revolution Muslim had a post threatening Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the show’s creators. This in turn caused lots of drama, from the pulling of “201″ to psuedo-holiday “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day,” created as a response to the whole ordeal.
All of this was over a drawing of a costume—not Muhammad himself, but of a costume. And yet, it started a huge chain of people getting upset, which in turn offended other people. It took quite a while to finally die down.
People who claim that morality is at its mortal coil probably need to re-evaluate the way they see things. Let’s use South Park again as an example. You could say that the show’s existence itself is proof alone that our scruples are going down the drain, but let’s think about this. While South Park has been on the air for nearly fourteen seasons, hardly an episode goes by without someone complaining, even if it’s a fairly innocent episode.
Of course, whether or not the people are correct in the critiquing they do is irrelevant. The fact is, complaining is not only on the rise, but thanks to the Internet, it’s convenient and easier to do than ever before. The days where you had to make an extensive effort to publicly disapprove of something are long gone. Now anyone can complain from the comfort of their own home.
People are too easily offended for their own good. In general, having a sense of humor can be a great coping mechanism, and in all honesty, you’re not going to go very far without someone offending you in one way or another.
There is a very clear difference between someone whose intent is to offend you and someone who has innocent motives. However, sometimes these are easy to mix up. When in doubt, just assume that the person doesn’t know that they’re offending you, in which case you are within your rights to calmly explain your offense and the reason behind it.
“People usually only defend the things they believe in, they’re more open about the beliefs of others,” said senior Seth Michaelson.
People rarely stand up for causes they don’t believe in, and even if they’re neutral about something, they are likely to be harsher about that than they would be something that affects them directly.
The ironic thing is, people who tend to be easily offended are usually the same people who are quick to judge others. If you find yourself constantly being offended, it might be the fault of others, but maybe you should re-evaluate your own standards.