Dear Liberals (And Other Humans In General): Here's What You Should Really Ask Yourself Before You Get Offended About Something
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re living in a society full of offended people. They’re everywhere. They’re on our TVs and radios. They’re in our universities and schools. They’re driving alongside us in traffic. They could even literally be sitting right across from you at the local coffee shop as you’re reading this very sentence. I’m not trying to alarm you or anything. I’m just simply stating that the offended masses are basically lurking in the shadows, hiding around every corner and generally doing their best to ruin our lives every day in every way possible. Also, they could potentially be carrying lethal objects, but that’s neither here nor there. Offended people come in all shapes, sizes and colors and they don’t really discriminate in how much they tend to utterly annoy and irritate the rest of us.
A few days ago, I wrote up a piece on the atrocious and disgusting sins that actor Chris Pratt committed against the hearing-impaired community. You might have heard (see what I did there?) that he dared to use the phrase “turn up the volume” and the word “listen” in a self-shot social media video promoting his latest Marvel Comics flick. This obviously endangered all of mankind, set up the world for Armageddon and means that Pratt is both Hitler reincarnate and the forthcoming Antichrist.
In the short time since, it seems that another well-known Hollywood personality has been taken out behind the metaphorical woodshed and lambasted for daring to hold a political view contrary to that of mainstream liberalism. Last week actor Tim Allen, who had already made waves by vocalizing his support for Donald Trump, watched as his highly successful sitcom “Last Man Standing” -- which gained popularity among millions of conservative, middle-America viewers over its six season run — was axed by the uber-liberal ABC network despite its insanely high ratings every Friday night. The network, owned by the leftist Walt Disney Corporation, originally claimed that it couldn’t afford to pay Allen’s salary for a seventh season or handle the expensive licensing arrangements with 20th Century Fox, the show’s owner, which makes absolutely no sense considering that they were all too happy to hand out raises to the entire cast of “Modern Family” (their weekly gay community-friendly sitcom.)
As I mentioned on my Facebook page the other day, the whole thing is obviously political. The liberal folks at ABC — and all of their liberal viewers — were offended by the conservative content of Allen’s sitcom and therefore decided that it was finally time for it to go. One wonders why they even bothered syndicating the program in the first place and allowed it to run for six consecutive seasons. I mean, wouldn’t they have gone into this thing knowing that Allen held conservative views and that the show itself would contain conservative ideologies? Maybe they just didn’t expect it to be as successful as it was and once it took off, they found themselves in a pickle. But, now it’s clear that they’d literally rather lose money than have one show in their lineup that dares to include conservative values.
Regardless, I think there are some essential life lessons we can learn in the midst of this ludicrous culture of "offended-ness” that we’ve created; a culture where it’s almost become hip and trendy to be offended by every little thing. Mostly, I think we should always ask ourselves some basic questions before we choose to be offended because, well, let’s face it, being offended is always a choice. And we all know it.
How Does the Issue Affect Me On A Personal Level? Am I Even Affected At All?
It really doesn’t get any more elemental than this. Feeling “offense” is a personal, emotional reaction and it should be reserved for things that we find to be deeply personal and emotional — things tied to our faith, our humanity, our well-being, our families, our friends, etc. If I was walking out of the movies with my family this weekend and some random deranged lunatic suddenly approached my sister, punched her in the face and stole her purse, I would be greatly offended by that and do whatever I could within my physical abilities to immediately take care of her and remedy the situation. That would affect me on a deeply personal level and would merit all of the offense and justified anger and outrage that I could conjure up.
But, my life is not affected on a personal level by the fact that Tim Allen has his own TV show. I don’t know Tim Allen. I’m not dependent on Tim Allen for anything. Nothing he says or does in a fictional, scripted sitcom will have any sort of impact on my daily routine.
Moreover, the act of watching a television show is itself a choice. I feel like this shouldn't even have to be explained, but apparently it must. If you don’t like the ideological or political messages in Allen’s show, for God’s sake just don’t watch it. No one has put a gun to your head and demanded that you watch 130 episodes of a sitcom that you don’t like or agree with under penalty of having your brains blown out. There are literally hundreds of other cable TV channels, sitcoms and dramas for folks to choose from. Personally, I don’t like the fact that there’s a show on FOX that glorifies Satan or one over on AMC about a demon-posessed pastor who enlists the help of a vampire in an attempt to assassinate God. But I don’t have to watch that soulless dribble because I have a choice. I might write about it. I might voice my two cents about it. But, I’m not going to erupt into hysterics and whine and complain until everything on television conforms to my political, ideological or religious viewpoints. That would be psychotic.
What’s even more astounding is that ABC was already catering to the leftist crowd with shows like “Modern Family” and “Good Christian Bitches” (the latter of which flopped horrifically), so why did they even bother cutting the one “conservative” show in their lineup? (Especially when it was raking in so much money.)
Is This Actually Worth Being Offended By?
I miss the good ‘ol days when people who were offended by something just stopped and said, “Hey, that offends me,” and then went on with their lives. Unfortunately, those days are gone. Now, the offended person actually has to resort to doing something dramatic. They have to exert a great deal of physical and mental energy — the sort of energy it takes to march through streets with protest signs or torch police cars or whatever. Of course, 90 percent of the things our society is offended by are stupid, pointless or utterly irrelevant.
In the bigger picture of national society and culture, I’m offended by things like the federal funding of baby murder. And a porn industry that rakes in billions of dollars a year treating women like worthless trash. And high schools that want boys and girls to undress in the same bathrooms and locker rooms.
Always ask yourself: Is this person or issue I’m offended by actually worth my time and energy?
The bottom line here is: If the mere existence of a conservative-slanted sitcom offends you so much that you feel the overwhelming need to destroy it (even if it means financial loss for your company) merely because it’s conservative, that says more about you than it does about the show itself.
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