America the Offended

I recently watched a video that was titled “Pleasing Everybody.” It had to do with this particular YouTuber putting out content in different formats and discussing different topics in different videos, but no matter how many different things he does, there’s always a couple people who will dislike it, flame him, or unsubscribe or whatever it is. Because of that, he censors a lot of what he says so that he can appeal to more people, but at the same time, it creates a certain atmosphere of dishonesty, or at least some kind of illusion. His words connected with me, because even though I’m not a YouTuber, I do spend a lot of my time discussing my thoughts, opinions, and my life on the internet. It’s a risky business and it won’t please everyone who reads it, and I’ve experienced this kind of pressure to produce non-offensive or generic content every time. I think we all do in our own daily lives with the people we associate with. We present a version of ourselves that easily meshes with a given crowd to avoid conflict or risk offending someone. We make certain things more prominent, and other things we pretend aren’t a part of ourselves. This intro is getting really long, so lets cut to the chase. We all do this in our daily lives, but people like me take it to the next level by publishing ourselves online for the entire world to see, accept, reject, criticize, praise, and assess. It’s a powerful tool, and I’m just going to share my experience with this world, and probably start talking about some things about myself that I tend to hold back from people because I don’t want to offend people. So here it goes.

I remember the first blog post I ever wrote. It was “‘Merica Monday: FCHS Spirit Day.” I wrote it 18 months ago in light of a big controversy in our school, which was the school denying the spirit day “‘Merica Monday” because it might offend foreign students. At least, that’s one version. Another said that “‘Merica” is a term used by rednecks and doesn’t give off a good image of America. Some downright said the school hated America. Regardless, it was a mess, and I had thoughts I wanted to share about it that I didn’t really get to share, because everyone kinda despised the topic, or was too busy talking about it to somebody else. I turned to the internet, as many people do, only I started a blog. I’ve loved writing this blog, even if it isn’t some viral blog or doesn’t get hundreds of views each post. I would like it to be there, but I’m also pleased with where it is, because I know many of my friends and family read it, and my voice is heard by people. I have statistics to prove that. The troubling thing about doing it is deciding what to post and what not to post.

I struggle every post with trying to cover everything so nobody can possibly complain. When I discuss something more controversial, I take a more wishy washy stance than I actually feel because I know feelings aren’t 100% reliable or accurate, and I don’t want to offend people. I want to address counter arguments and give other peoples voices room to speak as well. There’s nothing really wrong with that, because it is good debate strategy if you make your own stance the clear superior, and it is respectful of others. But at the same time, in doing that, I sometimes compromise my own beliefs to please readers, whether that’s through adding things I don’t believe as much as I say I do, or if its by subtracting things I do believe in more than I pretend to.

My experience, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, with the internet is double edged. When I see a YouTube video or a news article, I always read the comments to gauge where people stand on the issues. What is really troublesome about that is people are free to say whatever they want, and it tends to be one sided. Either everyone is bashing something, or everyone is praising something. You see it in music videos (Taylor Swift sucks, she’s talentless, Katy Perry is better, I like the old Taylor Swift better, etc.), presidential speeches (Donald Trump is a clown, Obama is a Muslim commie, Obama is the coolest president we’ve had, if we get a Republican president I’m moving to Canada, etc.), or anything. You’ve seen it, and if you dare to stand alone on anything, you metaphorically jump into a river infested with piranhas wearing steak sauce. It’s a breeding ground for hatred, and it’s almost always people who share the authors opinion who read that, which of course makes sense. But there’s never discussion, only insults, and all I can say is that it sickens me. At times I just feel like humanity is hopeless, America is doomed, and maybe it would be better if we had no government at all. Nobody ever agrees.

So that always influences how I post on my blog. I’m always typing thinking of certain people in my head who will call me out on something if I dare to say it, just because they feel differently, and they’ll say I’m wrong. Not that I share a different opinion, but that I’m plain wrong. I could be called a bigot, or a hater, or anti-American, or a fag, or whatever. Usually my posts are pretty tame. When I dare to bring up God in my posts, I always think that if I make one false or misinterpreted or different claim, I’m going to be hounded by my Christian friends. If I dare to bring up homosexuality in a negative light, my more liberal minded friends will stick my head on a stake. That’s of course exaggeration, but that’s all I see, and I fear it. I don’t want to be told I’m wrong, so I don’t give anyone anything to say I’m wrong about, or I slap a good old fashioned “in my opinion” somewhere near it. I go out of my way to not offend other people.

It’s become a joke recently that every day there’s something new to be offended by, and it’s true. People seem to expect other people to adapt their behavior to meet their own needs. It seems to be that people have the right to not be offended, and if you are, you’re then allowed to oust the person who dared to disagree with you. It’s taken a lot of effort on my part to not hatefully comment on videos and posts that present opinions different than my own, or portray people I identify with as villains. I don’t know where to draw the line of standing up for myself versus fueling the flames of destruction. People are going to offend you. I will offend you, and you will offend me. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world. Let it go. For goodness sake let it go. Of course there are instances that can’t be ignored, but nowadays no instance goes ignored. I will speak against saying things with the intention to offend, but if your opinions offend people and you’re simply standing by them, then whatever. Donald Trump is a good example right now. I’m not sure how much of his stuff is hateful in intent, but they’re his views. Quit demanding he change who he is or what he believes, because the people who most often say that are the ones also saying you can’t change your sexuality. What I’m getting at here is simple. Be you and don’t give a damn if it offends someone else. But at the same time, realize who you are, and be open to discussion and other people doing the same.

Now I don’t know how to wrap this all up into a neat little bow of a message, but if you have questions, or if something I said is “wrong” or offends you, tell it to me kindly. Discuss it with me. Let me know how you feel without discrediting how I feel right now, because if you make me feel threatened, you might as well be talking a brick wall. I can’t do this “cover every side” or “don’t offend anyone” crap with this post. Right now, I cannot put my words and feelings on this issue into a “one answer fits all” response, so if you want to talk about it with me and hear what I have to say in a calmer and more collected and intellectual manner, by all means comment or message me or whatever. Just be respectful.

But now, let’s rustle some more feathers. I’m not saying this stuff to cause offense, but most of it probably could be considered offensive to somebody. Not gonna justify anything or explain my reasoning. Talk to me in private about that. So here’s me, uncensored.
1. I’m pro gun control, to an extent.
2. I’m pro life all the time.
3. I’m against gay marriage.
4. I hate the Republican party.
5. I hate the Democratic party.
6. I hate political parties in general.
7. Obama isn’t as bad as Republicans say.
8. I hate Obama for a lot of things too.
9. Schools should include more “Christian perspectives.”
10. Schools should provide more “religious perspectives.”
11. Schools should plainly provide more diverse perspectives in any and every way they can.
12. Don’t tax the rich more than others just because they make more money!
13. People are greedy! Offer incentives for the rich to not to be greedy and donate to charity or help people in need!
14. Minimum wage should be raised and corporations need to stop being hardasses and pretending like they can’t spare some money to do so!
15. Feminism is in theory a good thing. Men and women should be completely equal under the law.
16. Men and women will never be completely equal because they’re different, just like every person is different and will be treated differently by different people.
17. Feminists are almost always irksome and cry sexism where none exists.
18. Sexism does exist and should be eradicated in every place possible. This includes men, because believe it or not, sexism isn’t just a female problem.
19. It’s not “reverse sexism” either. It’s sexism. Deal with it.
20. All that stuff about sexism? Yeah, apply that to any “-ism” including racism and ageism. As much as we want it to be true, we’ll never be 100% equal to each other. That would be boring, and we’d all be squares, if you know what I mean.
21. The Bible is a legitimate and important piece of literature, whether you’re Christian or not.
22. Same goes for other religious texts.
23. Respect transgender people and their feelings, and don’t shame them for doing what they feel is right.
24. I think what transgender people feel is right is actually wrong.
25. I am entirely sick of hearing about privilege, especially this “white straight cis male” privilege. I can’t help it, you can’t help it. Suck it up, we all got bigger problems than how we were born.
26. Girls look better in makeup.
27. Girls can look beautiful without makeup too.
28. To be fair though, boys look better with makeup too.
29. Fat people shouldn’t be celebrated for their weight.
30. Fat people shouldn’t be shamed for their weight.
31. I’m not obligated to find everyone physically attractive.
32. Almost nobody believes that women live to serve or please men. Sure, maybe a few assholes, but ultimately, everyone lives (or should live) to serve one another.
33. Swearing? Really not super cool.
34. Swearing? Really not the end of the world. It’s a word. It’s the meaning you don’t like.
35. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel? Best shows ever created. Not even open for debate.
36. I’m just kidding. I think they are, but did you laugh a little? It’s okay. Just don’t make me feel stupid or little because I’ll never stop saying it or believing it.

I probably could go on, but I have to save some stuff for future posts and they’re getting harder to think of. And I will include more stuff in future posts. It will come out. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna censor myself nearly as much. It won’t all be as fiery as this, but who’m I kidding if I’m being dishonest or lying to you all? That doesn’t accomplish anything really. I’m a huge proponent of honesty. In all seriousness though, I’d love to talk more in depth about that list of stuff. I’m sure I raised some flags in there too that you want to yell at me for. So hit me up. I’m ready. Oh, and just for some awesome quotes that I can’t include because there are so many, just google “offended” and read all the memes. Pretty much summarizes most of my views. And if you missed my last post, find it at the bottom of this post. It might offend you that Friends isn’t #1 on my list.

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