I Know You Are, but What Am I?
Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen the use of the term “politically correct” numerous times in regards to the recent hosting of the Oscars. The phrase is both pejorative and overused in the sense that it is being applied against the most common of courtesies these days. I have rarely watched the Oscars, because I find them as interesting as a middle school end-of-season sports banquet. If you’re related to the recipients, I’m sure it’s delightful.
I love humor and on occasion, well done raunchy humor. But that’s subjective. What I find hilarious, someone else might find appalling. I understand that and don’t feel compelled to shout down everyone who expresses offense. I have enough common sense to understand why someone would find something offensive.
People start shrieking about 1st Amendment rights and political correctness and don’t even know what those things actually mean. First of all, it is a misconception to think that the 1st Amendment protects citizens against the consequences of their words beyond not being arrested by the government (except in cases which incite or threaten violence).
The government cannot abridge your right to free speech. But I can. I can turn you off, stop buying your products, shun those that would associate with you, respond with critical commentary. Bravo for your rights. And bravo for mine. So viewers, stop whining because I don’t think your favorite comedian is funny. Unless he’s paying some of your bills or showing you his breasts, why do you feel the need to defend him? Stop living vicariously and go develop your own sense of humor.
Learning to be respectful and courteous has a bit of a curve to it. I’ve been guilty countless times of saying offensive things. I was raised to use words like “retarded” and “midget” and “lard ass”. As an adult, I’ve met enough kinds of people in my life to know how hurtful words can be. As an adult, I can learn to be kinder and more respectful of others’ life experiences. It turns out, I still find a lot of things funny and enjoyable that don’t suck the wind out of another person’s sails.
I think boobs are funny, but not in the way, apparently, that America does. I find it bizarre in a National Geographic sort of way – that people obsess about fleshy growths that are essentially udders. It’s weird. We’re weird. But then, I also think it’s strange that we all walk around looking like Cyborgs with our Bluetooths. Weird and a little creepy. Throw on some Google Goggles and we’re downright freaks.
There is plenty to laugh at and make fun of in the human world. Should it be the groups that have already been tromped on and kicked around and oppressed? Should it be tired booby humor and worn out stereotypes? Creatively speaking, I would beg of entertainers that it not be, but that is out of my control. What is in my control is my remote, my money, my time and my interest. It may not impact the quality of the entertainment, since there are droves of people who love shock and awe humor, but it will impact the quality of my time and life.
Just because I don’t think someone is funny, it doesn’t mean I’m a humorless git. It just means I don’t think someone is funny. If you want to take it personally, please do. As I said, there’s plenty to laugh at and make fun of in the human world. Let’s start with this compulsion to idolize and defend complete strangers. And then we can move on to the hobby of watching things just to feed a sense of outrage. Entertainment by any other name…
Administrative Note: The Green Study “Worst Job I’ve Ever Had” Contest is coming to life with some very funny/ horrific entries! You have until Sunday, March 3rd 2013, 12:00 pm (US Standard Central Time) to get your entry submitted.