Haven't the celebrities taken enough from us? Can't they just stop being so sensitive?
How We Can Stop Being So Sensitive About It
Goddammit, it only took me five seconds of Googling to discover that (again) Safe Spaces are nothing like what South Park thinks they are. Nobody is talking about giving celebrities Safe Spaces to be famous in, the discussion is about college kids who have traditionally been victims of harassment being allowed to not be victims of harassment for a while. Like, if you're a gay college student and active in the PRIDE group, you can go to a "Safe Space" where you're allowed to just hang out and people aren't allowed to ask you questions about what it's like to be gay. It really just sounds like a "home" to me and ... I haven't been keeping up, but we're still allowed to have private homes, right? And to choose who we live with? I wouldn't choose to live with somebody who listened to dubstep, and that's my right as an American. I assume that right extends to people who don't want to be called a "fucking Jew" while they're trying to watch the new season of Daredevil.
Because that's what "Safe Spaces" are. They're just homes. I have a safe space, I guess, in that sometimes I don't like to talk about pop culture and make jokes; I just wanna sit on my couch and read or poke around the inside of my car pretending that I know how engines work. Are we making fun of people for that now? Please let me know in the comments.
Outrage Culture Is, Surely, Ruining Everything. Surely.
Why is everything such a big deal these days, huh? Why is everyone so outraged, all the time, about everything? Why can't anyone just calm down and rationally discuss the issues? It makes me so mad that I wanna- oh no I can already tell where this is going.
How We Can Stop Being So Sensitive About It
I have a fun game I like to play, and maybe, if you want, you can play it with me. Don't worry, you don't have to stand up. Next time you hear that a bunch of people are mad about something, just Google it and try to figure out how many people are actually mad, and what they're actually saying.
Here, I'll do one for you: You know how college students these days keep kicking speakers off their campus if they don't agree with them? Even Obama thinks that's a bad idea! Turns out that if you go and read what the students actually say, in a lot of cases they aren't trying to kick the speakers out -- they're just protesting (challenging an idea directly -- the exact thing we want them to do) and the speakers are choosing to leave (refusing to engage with people who disagree with them, the exact thing we're criticizing the students for doing). So wait -- is the point of this controversy to tell college students they can't voice their disagreements and that they have to keep their opinions to themselves? Sorry -- who's the enemy of free speech, again?
Rahul Sengupta/iStock/Getty Images
It's the person expressing the opinion that you don't like, right?
It happens with Conservatives too: Remember the Starbucks red cups controversy? Not a thing. You can track the whole thing back to a video made by Joshua Feuerstein, where he tried to convince everyone to make a big commotion over it. A few people agreed to, because Feuerstein is a charming guy and a talented entertainer, and he made the whole thing sound fun. But I can't actually find anyone who was genuinely mad about Starbucks having red cups. Even the people who believe in the War on Christmas thought it was pretty silly.
Then there's the "Underage Red" incident, which I discussed with Adam Tod Brown on his last podcast. It's the same basic thing: A woman tweeted a joke about a silly lipstick color, and the Internet reacted as if she was starting a movement. But, of course, she just thought it was silly. It was the people complaining about over-sensitivity that were actually being over-sensitive. "You need to stop getting your feelings hurt!" the Internet said, because its feelings were hurt. "Just take a joke!" they said, loudly and publicly unable to take a joke. Isn't that weird? It's so weird.
I get that social progress is fueled by outrage. But on the modern Internet, careers in entertainment can also be fueled by outrage. So next time someone tells you to get really mad about something, maybe take a few minutes to make sure that something isn't really dumb.
JF Sargent is a senior editor for Cracked. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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