Right now, there is a good chance that you are reading this on the internet. That means that you are likely only a click or two away from being on a page where there is something offensive, or someone is discussing something that they found offensive. Don’t worry we’re not here to judge you, we think that this is a good thing. Despite what you may think, being offensive can actually be healthy, both for the person being offensive as well as the person being offended. Don’t believe us? Read on and let us know your thoughts that being offensive is great and fuck you if you don’t agree.
Just to clarify, when we talk about being offensive here, we refer to the act of being for the sake of a cause, comedy or fun. There is a world of difference between initiating a slightly off colour joke and full on hate speech, something as left field as we want to be would never accept.
So what is good about being offensive? The most important thing is that it breaks taboo. What people have been offended by throughout the years has changed dramatically. Take the evolution of marriage for example. At one time it was a huge scandal to be in an interracial relationship, even now gay couples are only just getting anywhere close to the same treatment as straight couples. Do you think the changes to this system came from meekly awaiting enlightenment? No, it came from people with their middle fingers raised firmly in the air. The ones who caused the changes were the ones causing offense to the masses. They got their voices heard through the outrage they caused and this started the change.
Not all changes can be on such a grand scale, but the formula has been used to shape the world today. Conversations on everything from sexual freedom to drug use, religious acceptance to anti-racism, all began by someone being offensive and or offended. The use of an expletive ridden slogan is the clearest sign for anti-establishment anger. Whether it’s sung through the streets, spread across a placard or printed on your favourite t-shirt.
It’s not just the grand scale where offensive actions and quotes are appreciated, they work on a personal level as well. The truth is that we actually enjoy some emotions that could be held as negative. We like to be absolutely shit scared and weirded out by a horror movie, terrified by the thrills of a roller coaster or shocked by a foul mouthed comedian. While none of those are emotions we would usually want, in these cases we get a giddy little thrill from them and would happily pay extortionate prices to see and do them again.
For the person doing the offending, it can actually feel pretty good. Find a group of friends who have known each other for years and chances are they’ll be cracking “Yo mama” jokes, or something similar, soon after meeting up. It seems that being offensive might be almost a coping mechanism on it’s own. You only need to rewatch any of your favourite friend group sitcoms to see what we mean. Take the biggest sitcom of all time, Friends, this is a show where 50% of the humour comes from one member of the group poking fun at and offending another due to a misplaced comment, action or situation.
Attention isn’t the only thing you get, it’s also acceptance. Friends who rip on each other mercilessly are also the ones who tend to be closest and the most at ease around each other. By being offensive, a group knows that they are free to relax and enjoy each others company, more so than people who are treading on eggshells.
It turns out that children crave attention and, as many a frustrated parent can attest, will get it by pushing the boundaries. A kid being cheeky is generally doing something they know they shouldn’t for the sake of getting Mum and Dad to focus on them. This translates all through life to punching the girl you like in primary school to giving your friend a roasting in the best man speech. A tradition expected in many cultures worldwide. If someone wasn’t around to offend the “man of the hour” it could ruin the most special day of his life.
In the end, if you plaster an offensive slogan across your shirt, you will get laughs, you will get shocked looks and you will quickly find out who your best mates are. So don’t worry what that guy in accounting thinks about your jokes, smile and wave when people look in disgust at your favourite 8ball offensive “I’m a Cunt” tee and how about you just carry on being you. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you’re doing a great job being a pretty impressive version of yourself