We’ve all been there. Having a chat with a friend or posting something online that you think is funny, people are laughing, commenting positively and bam! In comes someone who has taken offence and is on a mission to tell everyone how awful they are being.
It can be about anything, absolutely anything and happens all the time on social media. And that’s understandable, to a degree, as they are looking in on their own timeline to see something they disagree with. They then make the choice to be offended.
And it is a choice, most definitely.
There appears to be a group of people who are permanently offended and watch programmes or timelines in order to feed their mania. Look at anything that has Jeremy Clarkson involved and there are people waiting, poised in anticipation that he is about offend them. He usually delivers and let’s face it, he doesn’t have to do much.
Lorry drivers was a strange one to take offence, as he had comically labelled them prostitute murderers. He was again in the firing line after Hammond crashed a drag racer and put himself in a coma after a bump on the head, which led to jibes of him being mental. The reaction was clamorous.
He’s upset Scots, Americans, Indians as he had a toilet seat on his car and Hammond did upstage Clarkson by outraging the Mexican embassy who complained strongly. The strongest outrages normally come from the ‘ecomentalists’, as he calls them and the funniest being the Morris Marina Owners Club who issued threats of ‘throwing poo’ at him as he kept dropping pianos on the model.
Clarkson plays off it and has built his reputation on being comically controversial, to great effect. Others too have done this, like comedian Frankie Boyle who famously had a woman walk out of his concert offended as he made a joke about gingers. This made the media and it was not lost on the majority that Frankie is ginger himself, so she really missed the point.
And if you are easily offended, I think it is sensible to avoid Frankie Boyle shows, as well as Jimmy Carr. One of my favourite comedians is Billy Connolly, whose shows are usually picketed in Scotland by followers of Pastor Jack Glass, protesting as he had a set called The Crucifixion which he said was actually in Glasgow. That was in 1974 and they are still at it when he appears, to much amusement of others. Now that is committed offence.
It is social media where we really see the trend of taking offence. There’s really not much of a trick to it, just post and opinion, sit back and wait. They will be on their way, no question.
The permanently offended have a range of pitchforks and ready lit torches in case of such an occurrence, and if it doesn’t happen, they’ll post some mission or cause that shows an injustice or conspiracy that has to be uncovered. Woe betide anyone who disagrees or puts up some logical response as they are messing with their outrage and offence, which is sacrosanct. It must not be questioned or disputed. Reason has no place in the land of outrage, which a glance at the Daily Mail will demonstrate adequately.
And why is this? Why are people so ready to be offended? For me, it’s a tabloid technique which has caught on. They use sensationalist headlines and stories to sell copy, trading off this offence or extreme views to create the demand. Also, it’s a great tool for the media gurus in government to divert attention. If the government or senior politicians of the day are getting a hard time, then wheel out a quote from the Kardashians or run a story of public services being abused by immigrants and watch the touchpaper light up nicely. Jeremy Clarkson also works well in this regard, so put out a story about him and it causes furore.
People then read this or hear about on social media and you can see it go up through the gears. Exactly what happened with Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross a few years ago, who went too far on a radio show. This prompted something like 50 complaints to the BBC after the show, which grew to 50,000 plus after the Daily Mail ran the story. The BBC came under massive attack, resulting in Ross and Brand leaving the media giant, as well as sacking the show’s producer. It became a national incident resulting in complaints from people who didn’t even listen to the show.
It’s the way of things now and instead of ignoring or scrolling by, even hiding the conversation, the offended must let people know of their outrage, loudly and stridently.
We all know of people who do this and have been in just this situation with the offended drama makers.
It’s now getting boring, isn’t it?