So, my last post, a response to the negative responses to my cervical cancer joke, got more responses than the original post that prompted my first response. Therefore, in the interest of fairness, I've chosen to reprint one of the responses from a friend whose opinion I respect, and my response to that response. Pretty responsible of me, huh?
Don't get me wrong, I don't think the number of responses actually reflects the veracity of an argument. I don't think truth should be determined democratically. Everyone thought the Earth was flat, but that didn't make it so. Likewise, most people believe in God...
Point is, I thought this was an eloquent analysis of why people may have been/should have the right to be offended. Whether I agree or not, it forced me to more clearly state why I feel the way I do. Anyway, if you're still reading, here's his response, followed by mine...
HIM: "I just saw your last blog post about cancer. I totally respect that your stance is nothing is too sacred to joke about, and in fact, that is often a great way to make the tragic moments in life more bearable. It's a totally reasonable position, but you seem so dismayed that not everyone feels this way!
"You have to acknowledge that some of your fans/readers just don't agree with your stance on everything, no? That's the beauty of your blog: you write funny, controversial stuff and you don't compromise or pander. But the trade-off is that that you have to respect everyone else's viewpoints as well and take pains not to use your blog as a "bully pulpit." I don't think they are being quite as unreasonable as you seem to think. Some people take stuff more seriously than you do (or at least more seriously than you do in your blog)--that's okay, too.
"Thank god we live in America. I wouldn't want an authoritarian regime to tell me I had to make light of everything any more than I would want to be told that everything must be deadly serious."
ME: "I agree with most of what you're saying. One of my major issues with life/humanity is that I feel people take things WAY too seriously. I feel like so many people often SEEK OUT reasons to be offended and be self-righteous...maybe because it makes them feel better about their own shortcomings when they get to preach to other people about how they should be more sensitive? I really think the world would be a lot better off if people weren't so easily outraged about stuff that's not even intended as an attack.
"Now, granted, I most certainly represent the other extreme. There's probably a pretty strong argument that I don't take things seriously enough, and that's likely because, relative to the rest of the world, I've led an extremely charmed life (though I think that's also my natural disposition). I just find it amusing when people who read my blog, and know me, and know what I write about, and tell me how hilarious they find other stuff that can be interpreted as way more offensive than that one joke, then draw arbitrary lines in the sand. So I felt the need to explain why I think that liking that joke, and the joke itself, in no way SUPPORTS cancer, which is what would be offensive. No one HAS TO find it funny, but I guess I do kinda feel they HAVE TO not be offended by it. . . .
"Amendment: like you said, you can't mandate emotional states, so maybe I shouldn't say you CAN'T be offended, but if you are, you should be required to understand WHY before you open your trap!"
Done. Thanks for reading...