James O. Born
It is been a long time since I posted a blog on this site. I have missed interaction with people, but luckily I have determined that my current workload makes it difficult to commit to a blog post on a regular basis. To a writer, busy is good. I fully admit how lucky I feel that I have been able to essentially make a living writing. That means making deadlines. Something I dreamed of doing since I was a young man.
I have to make every word and minute count so … I’ve been fine, my family is fine, blah, blah, blah. I have at least one book coming out in the next year. I never sold the movie or TV rights to my science fiction novels (which was the F****** reason I wrote them), but I’m still trying and the Miami Dolphins still haven’t been winning. That’s it for me.
Great, now to the meat of things. People are too sensitive. I feel like I’m moderate on most views, but I can take a joke. It seems the rest of the world has gone far too politically correct. The nature of crime novels means someone has to be the villain or heckled or victimized. But who? There is always someone who’s offended. Often, not even a member of the group I’m ridiculing says they are outraged.
My answer is simple. I just ignore them. They don’t have to shut up, but I don’t have to listen. This serves me well is all aspects of my life. My day job especially. I just no longer want to hear it. Period. It may be a function of getting older. I’m not afraid of turning into my father. He was a great guy with a tremendous sense of humor. He was also heavy and loved good fat jokes. Me too.
Let's look at other people’s attempts at humor. Jimmy Kimmel’s recent spat with musician Morrissey when the rock star refused to appear on the same show as the Duck Dynasty people. He is an animal rights activist and I get it. No problem.
Kimmel made some jokes and did a skit which promoted a "Duck Dynasty" spin-off especially for vegans. However, Morrissey was not amused, and he has now taken aim at Kimmel, insisting his attempt at humor was insensitive according to a report on MSNBC .
Morrissey responded with, "I was disappointed with last night's 'Jimmy Kimmel Show' wherein our smiling host managed to ridicule depression (70 per cent of Americans have experienced depression according to the National Institute of Mental Health)," the rocker said in a statement. "He then found time to ridicule healthy eating (the obesity epidemic in the U.S. costs $147 billion per year in medical expenditure).”
C’mon, really? It was a skit on the third rated late night show from a guy who admits he’s goofy. Get over it.
Then there is the joke by the fabulous Tina Fey and Amy Po about country star Taylor Swift. Again from MSNBC. The country singer was offended when the comedy duo quipped that she should stay away from Michael J. Fox's son, who was handing out awards Jan. 13. Swift, 23, had recently broken up with Harry Styles, from the European boy band One Direction.
Swift subtly addressed the former Saturday Night Live stars' bit in the April issue of Vanity Fair when she was asked about "mean girls" in general. "Katie Couric is one of my favorite people," the country superstar explained. "Because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved that said, 'There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.'"
Really? Hell for that joke? If that’s true, I may be in trouble and have a lot of explaining to do.
Let’s just ease up. Everyone. Jokes are jokes. They can hurt, but so can being struck by a bus. Let’s keep it perspective.
A few years ago, I posted some blog about bringing “gun nuts” into the fold and expanding our readership. Some guy posted his offense at the term, saying he wasn’t sure if I was joking or not. I wrote him back that if I had to tell him it was a joke, it just lost any fun. To his credit, he understood and backed off.
There, I surprised myself. I did have something to grumble about. But in future posts, which I have made clear will be somewhat irregular, I’ll cover less annoying topics like new technology, historical fiction, not so many sports (I realize this blog does not share my, and Paul’s, fervor for sports), and the funny things that pop up on the Web like this video that has nothing at all to do with my post, I just like it. From the surprise to the quaint southern accents and slang.
I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. And if it does .. . I think you know my view on your outrage.