Thursday, March 14, 2013

Please Take Offense

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.


  1. Publicity whore stars with thin skin are like stone crabs with no shells. They're gonna be eaten alive. (And without mustard sauce).

  2. We love you even when you're grumpy, James O. As for thinned-skinned peeps, I agree with you. Lighten up, folks! However, if you tell a fat joke about me, then your ass is grass and I'm the mower. JUST JOKING!

  3. Me here again, Anonymous Jackie! Heck, say what you like, Jim, this is Naked Authors. But whatever happened to "Land of the Free?" I think people are so scared that what they say might offend an individual or group, that conversation itself is threatened, and interaction just becomes people talking at each other. So, lightening up is a good thing. I just hate it when people make jokes that humiliate people, or hurt them, all for the attention that being so-called funny brings - that, I really do not like. A joke's a joke, as long as no one really suffers for it. (I came from a family where you had to be really, really thick skinned - everybody thought
    they were a comedian!). I thought that video clip was bloody hilarious - reminded me of the day my dad caught a pike, and when he pulled it out of the lake onto the grass, the thing kept swimming, chasing us all around with those teeth!

  4. I agree, Jackie, I prefer not to see someone hurt but it has gone too far. And what we really mean is that we don't want to see someone we like hurt. If someone mocks a crazy leader like Iran's (I can't spell it) no ever cares how far the joke goes.

    I've settled on an attitude of just go for a joke and let people wear their big person's pants. At least celebrities.


  5. from Jackie

    I like the idea of wearing "big person pants." I'll remember that one!

  6. You bet. Humorlessness is just too annoying. And no fun. I wanted to tell Taylor Swift to realize that she's not a victim, not in Sudan or any other hellhole where actual women actually need help. And for fuck's sake, get some therapy wit your $30 million dollars a year, cause, honey, you are a hot mess.

  7. Your humor made being on the MWA Fla board fun and enjoyable. Wish you'd bring it back to the board or maybe just for a weekend in Key West. Laughter, it's the best medicine! Always laughed with you, Jim.

  8. Larry Chavis3/15/2013 8:15 AM

    Good stuff. Everybody needs to lighten up. If you can't laugh at yourself, you take yourself far too seriously. Even God has a sense of humor - just look in the mirror.