I have a hidden blog on this Lone Prairie site. It’s not hidden real well, seeing as how there’s a link to it in plain sight. But traffic stats tell me it’s fairly well hidden and that’s probably best.
It is offensive.
I even warn you as much.
I’m not looking to offend, I would say, and that is the truth. But the bigger truth is that that offense isn’t up to me. It’s up to you. I can’t control your state of being offended.
Easily offended folks flock to social media. They slide down into blog comment sections. They read meaning into text messages and emails that can’t possibly be conveyed based on mere words. Succinct and formal grammar, sans emoticons, is fightin’ words!
Because I know such folks exist (the evidence of which is in my collection of emails received over ten years of blogging that usually say “you wrote something I don’t like and I’m unsubscribing and I don’t like you anymore”) I created a blog where I could write freely, unfettered, without fear of stirring up offense, covered with a warning sign that says “if you are easily offended, don’t go here, you’ll not be able to handle it.”
And yet they venture in.
They choose offense.
They feel it is their duty to push their way in and express indignation and demand emotional compensation.
We boycott Starbucks, we boycott Disney, we boycott Chik-fil-a, we demand Phil Robertson be taken off Duck Dynasty. It gets couched in noble terms of “human rights” and “morality” and “civil rights” but let’s just be honest: our precious sensibilities took a direct hit and it hurt and we choose to make our anger into activist bullshit.
I cannot offend you. You cannot offend me.
You can stand in front of me and call me stupid because of my beliefs, you can call me fat, you can call me ignorant because I drink Diet Coke, you can reduce me to whatever stereotype is acceptable in your corner of the world, and still you cannot offend me. You cannot.
Only I can choose to be offended.
And if I choose to be offended, I give you all the power in the world over me.
You’re offended because of me?
You’re a fool. I’m not that important in your life, for you to waste energy being offended by me.
I feel sorry for you.
I don’t know why you’re giving me the power to make you feel a certain way, but I certainly didn’t ask for it.
I get offended less now, as I get older. It just got too tiring to maintain that level of faux concern about everything. I don’t actually care, beyond a handful of close friends and family, what people think of me. I run on the assumption that most people don’t think of me at all, and that’s a lovely fine thought.
I am pretty sick of people being offended at every possible opportunity. It’s castrating our free speech.