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Neelix - Mmm..., clown

Truth be Damned: How Becoming Offended Validates Our Belief System

Posted on 2014.04.08 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
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Originally posted by pro_ts_tumblr at the-barricades-shall-rise:


Playing that race...



Playing that race card…

It is perplexing to me, how liberals can be so blind to hypocrisies such as this.

ehowton says:

While it would be hypocritical to state hypocrisy "such as this" outweighs the hypocrisy of this very image, which as far as I can tell from a little "elementary-level fact-checking" the difference was the Obama-clown's inappropriate comments rather than the inclusion of the mask - something presumably missing from the Bush-clown (as it appears to have been only an effigy) and Black-clown-wears-Hilary-Clinton-mask...clown - I wouldn't know as I wasn't at any of the depicted events. But if factual, might suggest two camps of hypocrites philosophically debating which of them was more hypocritical than the other - as if it were actually significant (its not).

But I don't care about the obvious. This rubber President mask thing reminded me of the recent outcry over ET's Julianne Hough dressing as her favorite Orange is the new Black character for Halloween (which some found offensive) or the promo shots for Nick Cannon's new release, "White People Party Music" (which others found offensive). Reading through the droves of comments on the respective stories were eye-opening; patterns emerged. What I found particularly interesting (not perplexing) was the diversity in the offense taken:

Some were offended by one and not the other, others were offended by both, and some were offended by neither - and everyone was offended (or not offended) for different reasons to the degree that people who were offended were making some of the same arguments as those who were not, and those who weren't offended were not offended for some of the reasons those who were, were. Others on both sides cited completely independent reasons from others who were also either, or not, offended.

Schism began breaking out in the camps of those who were offended if they were perceived as being offended for the wrong reason - because being offended wasn't universal enough - and those who were grouped together as having not been offended were also called out for not being offended for the right reasons. Toward the end, those who were offended for the same reasons as those who weren't were trying to convince them they ought to be while simultaneously shunning those who were likewise offended but for the wrong reason, while those who were not offended were cajoling those who were but for reasons they shouldn't to their side all the while suggesting some of those who also were not offended probably should be.

(Don't think that wasn't tricky to write.)

Just because someone has a different opinion doesn't necessarily make them wrong, but opinions based upon ignorance denotes the very word. Regardless, almost everyone who gets offended has an opinion as to why their offense is justified - wrong or not. But why tell people you're offended?

"That offends me."

Stephen Fry is credited with the best response to date, "So fucking what?" which is admittedly always hysterical - until it happens to us - then its Issac Hayes v. Southpark all over again - suddenly and inexplicably not funny! So why tell anyone? Why admit to it?

More pointedly, what would I gain by admitting to someone I was offended? Good question, really - and I would love to dig into that question with someone who isn't me someday. My point was going to be something along the lines of never giving anyone else power over my emotions in such a way I could be manipulated - any argument to the contrary would still end with handing my emotional control over to someone else (fantastic in loving, secure relationships; not so healthy anytime else). So that's something I wouldn't do, right? Admit offense?

The question was meant to be rhetorical, but as soon as I penned it, I wondered if anyone would try to answer it - to justify themselves. I began formulating answers in a myriad of different perspectives; with most of you I've had these life-altering conversations with and we're all very different people and its all so fascinating - then suddenly, it popped out at me - the different answers I had written throughout synthesized into a single underlying reason - while each answer was seemingly diverse and varied from the next, they all contained a single motivating factor driving them: Purpose.

Since we define ourselves by what we believe (and existential questions are scary), suppressing offense calls into question our commitment to those immutable, ironclad beliefs - and we are therefore compelled to validate them to those who have trod upon them, else our very purpose in life becomes suspect.

Truth be damned.


CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2014-04-08 23:40 (UTC) (Link)
"So fucking what?"

~Stephen Fry
ehowton at 2014-04-08 23:50 (UTC) (Link)
You rushed through reading and missed the links again didn't you? That's ok, you've had a tough go of things recently. Its always good to hear from you!
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2014-04-09 00:59 (UTC) (Link)
I never noticed before how crooked Stephen Fry's nose is. It must have been broken more than once.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2014-04-09 01:24 (UTC) (Link)
This article dovetails with what you've written here. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts after reading it.

Edited at 2014-04-09 01:25 am (UTC)
ehowton at 2014-04-09 02:02 (UTC) (Link)
Excellent article (reminded me of the "Tumblr Activism" you put up earlier today) with a lot of great sound bytes. The one that hit closest to home (and opened my eyes as to why it was true) was this one:

The shower is the last safe space, which is why it’s the only place where we have decent ideas anymore.
michelle1963 at 2014-04-10 11:57 (UTC) (Link)
I can see your logic in that allowing for and voicing offense is one way in which people stay true to their sense of purpose. In fact, I suspect that you are in fact correct. It also shows that most people have a need for external validation - and yes I know the word validation in this context is odd given that having taken offense to something usually puts one at odds with somebody. But still, it is interacting with the others to prove "who you are and what you believe."

While I find the things people are offended by often trivial, there are times when taking offense can serve a greater good as when someone stands against - or is offended by - an injustice in society. Our society is shaped by what we as individuals will and will not tolerate. What do we want our society to be?
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