On Butthurt: It’s Not Just a Joke
by La MierdaToo many people are butthurt these days.
And surely, the disorder of butthurt is one that largely preys upon youth and the elderly. However, many have failed to grow up. Too many have reverted to their childhood mentality; too many have prematurely aged their minds and they have become hard and brittle. Mature adults are supposed to know how to let things go, and fun adults have a sense of humor. Butthurt is an epidemic. It is one of this era’s greatest public health crises.
Butthurt is the disorder of being severely sensitive to a situation or action beyond necessity, and a responding with disproportionate loss of temper and acting with vitriol. This was known to us when we were children as “whining”.
One might expect me to primarily complain (or ironically be butthurt by) about those who are seemingly offended by everything — the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), the ‘libtards’, the ‘snowflakes’. And indeed, these brands of liberals are often butthurt; but there is little shortage in people calling them out for this annoying behavior, and the corresponding stigma of butthurt follows them everywhere online. Despite the growing numbers of liberals callously referring to the complaints of white people as ‘mayonnaise tears’, or dismissing conservatives entirely as stupid ‘rubes’*, they are still in the minority — for now. The people conservatives or white people insult or dismiss have tended to be blacks, Mexicans, homosexuals, women, etc. The former are in the majority and the latter (traditionally) have been in the minority — at least in terms of substantive material, social and political representation. A decent argument can be made that liberal-leaning media powerhouses like Apple, Twitter, Facebook and many cable news networks increasingly and disproportionately mock, censor, and censure conservative viewpoints, or permit provocative liberal viewpoints versus conservative ones (at least they try publicly appear as such). Regardless of the potential moral consistency in the matter, this apparent trend is more likely evocative of the cultural pendulum finally swinging more ‘left’ than ‘right’ (at least part of the world). Having been a part of a group (often proudly) that has made other groups the butt of a joke for centuries, it is myopic and quite ironic that conservatives, whites or others in positions of power are suddenly so offended or passionate about demanding decorum in discourse.
Thus, the most compelling reason for me to split with a large subset of current conservative thought is just how butthurt conservatives often are. They parade through the digital and social media streets like they are so tough and irritated by the incessant whining of liberal ‘snowflakes’, yet fail to see how loudly they are crying in the process. Most detrimental is how sensitive they are to insults or even criticism as a whole. The attitude of feeling persecuted is both an impetus and symptom of their butthurt. Like some liberals, they feel the righteousness of a given cause should render them invulnerable to criticism. Suddenly we should be serious and certain things should not be joked about.
Humor Fills Our Holes
Humor has been a coping mechanism for inconvenience and suffering since human history began. It is often the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down, or the method of laughing to keep from crying. We say with a joke, ‘this sucks, but let’s look at it this way and it’s not as bad.” While dealing with the problem in actuality, you also laugh to cope as you deal — not instead of it. I believe that anything can and should be joke about if a solution is also being sought out. A butthurt person probably would want to remain entirely serious about most things while they cope with a problem.
But sometimes the problem can’t be dealt with easily (see dark humor). Sometimes this ‘way’ is a means of dismissal — to say ‘this problem is not as big as you or I thought it was’ in order to help move on from it. This is quite an effective method to stay happy amidst suffering, and I am an avid practitioner of it, but to dismiss something or someone you don’t know is ignorance and condescending: the joke doesn’t seem so clever then. Like with a pattern of inherent prejudice, the problem gets worse as it’s never properly dealt with in entirety. The joke-teller loses credibility and wit in the process, thus the joke is less funny. To say that racial discrimination is not a ‘big deal’ or to say someone is exaggerating is indeed quite belittling — especially if their entire life is colored by it. It is to deny them something central to their existence and identity (an identity ascribed by others throughout history mind you). Not merely their perception, but their experience — their life.
Humor can also be the perfect tool to call attention to a problem we would otherwise want to ignore — again the “spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.” Sometimes it calls attention to a problem with its color and loudness, one we would not have noticed if we were focused on our own life, in our relatively small world. It can connect dots in our mind and between people to show us a picture that now makes sense and is more enjoyable as a result. A skilled and intelligent humorist can use a joke to teach us something new by making the learning enjoyable.
And few things are more pathetic and boring than being around someone who cannot laugh at themselves — to earnestly observe the quirks and flaws others see in them that they were blind to see, and to see their silliness in it all. It simultaneously takes a lack of ego and humility to balk and be ‘butthurt’ at these comical critiques. Of course, this assumes these jokes were mostly done in good-faith. If the goal is to demean and dismiss someone, then surely one will at some point, especially if done repeatedly, feel demeaned or dismissed. And when one does this not done towards the given individual, but towards the racial ‘group’ they belong to, it can readily be presumed that the joker believes in part that the traits or problems they joke about are inherent to the person. If a Catholic, who has chosen, not inherited their group, cannot even laugh at themselves being associated with pedophilia, why would it be fair or mature to think a black person should laugh at jokes about their inherent blackness?
So the white person or conservative can nudge elbows and squawk, “Get it?!” to a black person or liberal, yet comparatively be confused or even cross when a black person jokes about whites being slave-drivers or cops abusing black people (despite their being documented history of both). Some are straight-up offended and feel attacked. In either case, the recipient of the joke means to say, “I don’t get it because that’s not how it actually is.” Well, when black people get lumped together as criminals and stupid, their reaction to similar jokes is often, “Yes, we don’t get it or are offended because that’s not how it actually is.” Or perhaps worse, “you only joke about this and not deal with the issue, thus you dismiss the problem and me.”
It is thought that one of early main carriers of butthurt disease were the liberal ‘snowflakes’ — those that believed they were special and deserved special treatment. Many of these snowflakes would state they simply wanted ‘fair’ treatment as they had previously been stigmatized and bullied. Some of these snowflakes stated they wanted ‘safe spaces’ as they were ‘triggered’. These are terms stemming from cognitive disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, where an individual is ‘triggered’ by a certain stimulus that causes an involuntary adverse reaction in the individual or brings their mind back to the traumatic event, thus once again experiencing extreme emotional pain. A safe space would be a place of refuge, removed from potential triggers or other people who would trigger them, in order to regain their mental bearings and maintain a certain level of mental health. Examples of some of these ‘snowflakes’ are rape and abuse victims or war veterans. A specific joke about sexual assault could remind a victim of the event, or the sound of a balloon-popping could remind a veteran of a gunshot, thus potentially be triggers for them.
Unfortunately, people tend to behave in extremes, especially when seeking preferential treatment or attention; thus, many cases of being ‘triggered’ are greatly exaggerated. Worse still, the internet has proven to be a wretched hive for butthurt-bacteria traps — usually in the form of memes — where because almost anything thought can have a space, it can attract anyone and everyone who believes it or even just ‘likes’ it. Even a cursory glance or ‘click’ is enough to strengthen a thought as 1 becomes 100, then 1000, and so on, which billows and builds into a grotesque juggernaut of butthurt. The most dangerous aspect of this butthurt is the self-asserted online safe-spaces that result and insulate the subscribers from criticism — essentially echo-chambers. Overall, most who live in developed countries live in less harsh environments than their parents and grandparents, who had the threat of war, dangerous work conditions, or disease looming over them. Most of us in the digital era don’t have their physical nor mental fortitude.
Thus, it is the conservative I need to call out and shine a spotlight on. They are hypocrites in their slinging of the term SJW or accusation of ‘sensitivity’ at people who express frustration or offense about a given social issue. It is the conservative who is too often too sensitive about a topic and cannot reconcile their feelings with fact. The discussion of butthurt for the conservative is especially crucial as their butthurt increases drastically in proportion to the accusation of being called sensitive. To them, it is impossible for them to be too sensitive: “I make fun of everyone. I hate everyone equally.” they will say. This arrogance creates a blind spot and renders them even more susceptible to butthurt as their hurt feelings fester unbeknownst to them until it is pointed out and they hear a joke at their expense (e.g. regarding being prejudiced, white or or homophobic), and they lash out, their weakness having been exposed, a mental muscle they have not exercised that they then stumble upon.
To be fair, much of the criticism about liberals and SJWs was been from a consistent crowd that asked that everyone learn to take a joke well. 20 years ago, during the Bush era, many of these (then) youth balked at conservative Christians who couldn’t take a joke about topics like sex, pornography or homosexuality and demanded they ‘deal with it’. Times have since changed, as has the cultural landscape, especially online. Many of these former liberals now feel that part of the liberal movement is no longer ‘counter-culture’ and is in fact dogmatic and mainstream. There has been a sharp divide within this (largely white and male) group.
Yet it is stupid to pretend that these offense jokes were applied in the spirit ‘equal opportunity’. I ask anyone to peruse forums on 4chan and see if they can find a common thread. White males are far less often the target of jokes based on their race or gender, or sexuality — at least not the more severe ones (it is a joke to be gay; it is not a joke to be straight). Minorities and women were consistently the preferred butt of jokes. To many, to target white males would be to concede that you have a political ‘agenda’; to make jokes about other ethnic groups would be to simply be ‘having fun’. It is normal; to call it out would be silly and whiny, rather than a reasonable satire of normality.
The Race of Offence
Growing up, I heard a slew of racist and prejudiced jokes (admittedly many I laughed at or created) and even if I felt a bit ashamed, I didn’t think too much of them beyond that. This was largely because whites were the ‘default’, but one filled with individuals: it wouldn’t be accurate to ascribe stereotypical characteristics to individuals with distinct traits and reasons. Others were minorities (literally), yet they were groups with broad, patterned behaviors and traits that we could poke fun at. Of course we know these jokes weren’t “true” (at least not always), but we didn’t have any issue with saying them, and we believed some were close enough to the mark to be funny. Most jokes outside of surreal humor depend on finding at least some substance of truth in a given topic and target, else there would not be any point of commonality and mutual understanding. Rare was the joke against a white person unless a specific ethnicity was targeted like the Irish, or a position like priests. Yet Catholic friends would balk and bemoan any jokes against their religion: “That should be off-limits”.
Sometimes they simply wouldn’t find a ‘priest-abuse’ or God-insulting joke as funny because it hit to close to home; other times it would be considered ‘sacrilegious” to allow their faith to be insulted. Others would find it unfunny because it didn’t make sense to them.
“It’s just a joke, bro.”
Yet we might wonder if they joke-teller actually does believe there some truth to it. Their jokes are merely venomous half-truths.
I wonder how funny a black person finds jokes about stealing, being a single-parent, or slavery? How do they feel about those jokes, especially when they don’t particularly apply to them as an individual? Especially when they might have worked so hard to distant themselves from those behaviors and problems? Perhaps one will say they insult ‘culture’, not race; but we must remind ourselves that ‘black’ culture evolved separately from white culture because they were segregated physically and socially. So many believe racial discrimination is but a fleeting memory for the United States and African-Americans, but when you both hear African-American loved ones speak of their very recent instances of racial discrimination, see some of these instances, and observe socioeconomic statistics, it might seem still the wounds are a bit too fresh to presume they don’t at least hurt a bit. Current culture reflects that. The safe equation for dealing with tragedy in comedy is tragedy+time.
However, perhaps they might not mind it and are equal-opportunity classical comedic liberals like myself; but as they are bombarded by the jokes from most white people they meet, and then see, through listening to their conversations (which manifest more openly online these days) that these people’s actual opinions betray a belief of truth in these jokes, and in turn, voting records that reflect them. They then might find the jokes a bit more offensive. Even if they wouldn’t mind the jokes and are as socially egalitarian as many conservatives beg them to be, they expect the joke-teller to be willing to be a joke-receiver. If you punch, you should be willing to take a punch.
But this is not the case most times, and I have constantly seen my conservative friends and family sneer, scowl, and stay silent when they hear these sorts of racial jokes that center around white people. A joke about a terrorist is hilarious, but a joke about a white school shooter gets radio silence (coincidentally not all school shooters are white males). Despite this digital era in which so many free-for-all jester claim carte blanche that humor is detached, especially their racial humor, from their actual ethical beliefs, most topical humor is funny, at least in part, due to recognizing an element of truth in the joke. If this were not true, it would be a different sort of humor like surrealism.
They might protest, “Well the difference is that white people these days are all thought of as racist oppressors still that benefit from unfair advantage. That’s not true obviously, and this belief by some leads to real-world problems e.g. disrespect for police, authority, or people accusing another of racism where none exists.” So it’s NOT just a joke for them, because the joke is based on a belief that’s untrue — just as the jokes about African-Americans being criminals, monkeys, stupid, or ‘niggers’ is based on something untrue, yet part of a belief-set that has real-world consequences like neighbors calling the cops on a black person just for barbecuing. Are we to presume the intention of the joke-teller is earnest and pure? Well then we would need to apply this presumption equally for blacks and whites. Normally we only make these sort of dark jokes (no pun intended) on stage in a comedy club or with a close group of friends — not on forum walls or radio stations for everyone to read and hear. And if we are strangers to them, I think we might forgive our black brothers’ skepticism about white people’s racial jokes always being ‘just in good fun’ given their (even recent) historical experience . Great progress has been made, but African-Americans are not considered equal to their white brothers yet by many their white brothers, especially by those in positions of power.
Moreover if we are to poke fun in equal opportunity, perhaps we should also have equal stake. I am reminded of the parable of the chicken and the pig going to breakfast, proposing to split it 50/50: “the chicken gives up an egg; the pig gives up his ass.” Is it really the same if almost exclusively white management insults the Mexican janitor at the office as a group of black guys roasting a white dude on the internet? Being a statistical, physical minority in a country means someone has many more against them if racial lines are drawn, especially when status and power are factored in.
Butthurt at the Ballot
The disease of butthurt had been infecting citizens progressively en masse online in the 2010’s, but it truly grew into an epidemic during the 2016 presidential election. Partly in response to the butthurt (perceived or real) of liberals and SJWs, and their own stewing, festering butthurt, many conservatives’ vote became a symptom of their butthurt. So many wanted to get back at the ‘libtards’ and the ‘elite’ who had condescended to them for so long. The ‘Left’ had created a feeble but corrupt attempt at a utopia under Barack “Hussein” Obama and were to be held in contempt. They had been ganged-up on online by libtards and wanted revenge: “This is what you libtards, get!” Some prominent conservative thinkers have conceded how Donald Trump is a poor president yet have blamed the “Left” for Trump: not very accountable it seems after all. Some Trump supporters concede they are abusive and petty, but again blame the ‘Left’ as having started it. Remind yourself, Republicans are supposed to be the party of personal integrity.
Nevertheless, conservatives were tired of empty liberal promises and supposed wealth distribution, and most importantly, political correctness. They didn’t want to be told what they couldn’t say, and they didn’t want to be constantly told condescendingly that minorities have a more difficult life and that whites are only successful because they oppressed minorities, let alone be reminded of it, when they had their own problems. Donald Trump represents a rebellion against the tyranny of political correctness and a evermore progressive societal wave, blowing especially from youth. The irony of course is that this ‘rebellion’ is actual closer to a nostalgic desire to return to the former way of life, when callous jokes and comments could be made at anyone’s expense — which just happened to be largely ethnic and sexual minorities and women.
A vote for Donald Trump was not merely a vote for ‘conservative values’ but a vote against Hillary Clinton — and for many, a vote against Barack Obama (despite him not being on the ballot). In spite of the adamant assertions to the contrary, many were threatened by the idea of a woman being president, or they had zero confidence in one — especially a Democrat woman. The insults that targeted Clinton differed from those towards Trump — their respective history aside even. Hillary’s womanhood was constantly held in question or contempt. Her looks and reproductive status were assailed. I thought this woman’s abilities and morals were far overrated, but I can recognize how she was working against the status quo in the wake of obvious sexist criticism (not just supposed criticism at her being chosen largely for her being a woman. She was an experienced politician). Conversely, Trump was not largely insulted for these traits until he had demonstrated his derogatory nature towards anyone he didn’t like or that challenged him (one in the same).
Obama left a bad taste in many Americans’ mouths. To be fair, he certainly was overly circle-jerked by liberals and praised carte blanche by most African-Americans; but he was also a fairly effective response to 250 years of white dudes. Many Obama critics were straight-up racist and didn’t like a ‘colored-person’ being president, or a ‘Muslim’ (or Muslim-sympathizer), and seriously believed the suspicions raised and trafficked by Donald Trump that he was not born in America. They called his wife a ‘gorilla in heels’ and a ‘tranny’; they insulted his children, they darkened his skin in advertisements, compared him a terrorist and call him the antichrist. Most detractors believed he just another elitist socialist/liberal bent on taking their money, guns, and free speech; but they also were silent when people lobbed these insults as the former POTUS. They didn’t respect Obama or democrats enough to defend him or perhaps thought ‘all is fair in war’ and that liberals shouldn’t be butthurt. Yet we must note that a classic symptom of butthurt is hypocrisy; and to expect respect for Donald Trump and his family is arrogant and hypocritical; to assert that liberals are disproportionately targeting conservatives for their behavior and language is disingenuous and hypocritical.
Obama did call out Trump several times, and it appears Trump himself was butthurt by the former POTUS, and both Trump’s presidential run and current efforts are aimed at undoing Obama’s legacy, such as the Iran Nuclear deal and the Affordable Care Act (pejoratively referred to as Obamacare), despite not having suitable replacements or alternative solutions. Indeed, the butthurt against Obama, Hillary, and liberals is more than just their policies and persons; it is against their assumed culture, their principles and what they supposedly represent. Bernie Sanders and Hillary were perceived to be soft and overly concerned with people’s feelings: Trump is tough and doesn’t let petty, childish, ‘snowflake’ feelings get in the way…or does he?
Most who are privy to Trump’s Twitter account (even before his presidency) recognize his feelings take digital center stage, even before pressing global crisis. He allows no sleight against his skills or personality — real or perceived — to go unanswered. He is compelled to respond, and will not let a matter go, even if the other has stopped responding. And no matter how intellectually substantive the accusation against him is, he tends to respond with petty, personal attacks unrelated to the topic at hand and often insults the person’s looks, as in the case of Rosie O’Donnell or the Morning Joe hosts on NBC. This sort of personal, vitriolic response is appreciated and even desired in events like rap-battles, Comedy Central roasts, or just kicking it with the ‘boys’, but is rather inappropriate for the supposed President of the United States. It may seem that Trump is too tough to let these ‘insults’ go unanswered and must have the last laugh; but it seems he is laughing to keep from crying. His Comedy Central roast seemed more about staying relevant (as with most) than having humorous humility. He frequently bemoans Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live, yet says nothing about the far more offensive gags the show has shown.
If one is so great and smart and handsome, why would they feel the need to respond to every insult? If they are successful, would their actions not speak for themselves? Trump congratulates himself almost incessantly on twitter and in speeches, even in the face of tragedy. Cabinet members congratulate him at meetings, while Barack Obama sought advice, not adulation. Again, Barack Obama was frequently referred to as a ‘nigger’ by people in power and many voters; and even when they did not explicitly say it, they found ways to degrade him for being black, and questioned whether he was even American, despite being unprovoked by the man. Yet Obama rarely responded to these attacks, and if he did, it was not personal and debasing. Many touted legitimate economic reasons to vote for Trump, yet it seems the butthurt of so many voters — taking the form of ‘political correctness’ and race relations—influenced the decision to buttress Trump as their butthurt king. In this way, Trump is both a reflection of racial ignorance and a barometer of the (conservative) country’s butthurt.
Butt hurt from a bent knee
Perhaps the most pressing point of contention in the world of butthurt has been The Kneeling. You know which one I’m talking about. Very few simple gestures outside of the middle finger or miming masturbation have evoking simultaneous outrage and encouragement more than the kneel of an NFL player during the National Anthem.
Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest police brutality against African-Americans (whether it exists and to what severity is not my point of contention in this piece).
Now it would be wrong to call the players’ frustration and protest against this assumed racial inequality, butthurt; it would be equally inaccurate to call military service members and their families’ frustration about the protest, mere butthurt. The butthurt mostly comes into play by the viewers, and the conversation surrounding the protests, and resulting goal of those against the protest.
Most viewers are not affected at all by the protests. They take place before the game. It’s not like the players are stopping between downs to take a knee, or the QB signalling to sideline band to quickly start playing the national anthem, THEN taking a knee and sacrificing a down or time-out. Nobody’s team is losing games from the protest. The players are still running full fucking speed at each other and getting knocked the fuck out. Yes the commentators talk about it, but it doesn’t dominate the gameplay conversation and it’s usually in pre/post game.
Most of the contention, the butthurt, is borne from those who don’t support the Black Lives Matter movement, of which Kaepernick and most kneeling in protest do support.
As homicides of African-Americans by police in the past several years have gained greater media attention (justified or not — again not my point here), many African-Americans have been protesting. Most of this has been peaceful and apt exhibitions of the 1st Amendment. Some of the more forceful and intrusive protests occurred on the steps of capitals nationwide (not uncommon for protests) and in city streets. Some argued that this was far too intrusive and could potentially block ambulances or those with serious health conditions. Some protests had isolated subsets that turned into riots, and many critics of the protests have focused on this violence. Many in law enforcement saw Black Lives Matter as a terrorist group that promoted violence and defiance. The NFL protests were a peaceful compromise to this. No rules were broken. And after all, it was the NFL that partnered with U.S. Armed Forces sponsors and called players to come out for the National Anthem in 2015. Yet nobody got hurt by the kneeling — except Roger Goodell’s pocketbook and advertisers. Less people tuned into the game or bought tickets or Papa John’s pizza.
This is where the hypocrisy and the butthurt builds into a storm. Nobody refused to stop watching when players were incurring speech-ending head injuries, beating their spouses senseless, or being bombarded with advertisements for shit they didn’t need, no matter the moral reputation of the given advertiser. Few cared that athletes were seen as monkeys to be entertained by, rather than human beings with opinions and histories. Many players were over-paid, entitled assholes; but because they played the game and helped their team win, nobody said shit, and people kept watching.
What most wanted was for these BLM activists to not inconvenience them with their protest: they wanted them out of sight, out of mind (this essentially defeats the purpose of a protest). I don’t give the group blanket approval, especially with respect to many of its more elitist members, but BLM is definitely not a terrorist organization. If it is, it’s one of the least effective, and most comparably tame ones. What some ignorant and aggressive people choose to do with the information BLM provides does not automatically equate its philosophy and message with terrorism (e.g. criminals who were already going to commit crimes then shout “Black Lives Matters” as a defense). It seems many conservatives and those in law enforcement feel disrespected more than threatened. The actual danger for police officers has decreased significantly over the last few decades. There would be greater cause for outcry if there was indeed a direct correlation between Black Lives Matters and police mortality.
As stated prior, these protests inconvenienced viewers very little, even if they went to the game. They saw the kneeling and the game started (nevermind the disrespect done to the song and country by a bad singer). Mind you, the money isn’t lost to advertisers unless they decide to pull out because viewers are not watching, or in other words, are too butthurt to watch. Even if they found the protest disrespectful, they could recognize the protest being an act of free speech, one of the cornerstones of the good ol’ USA, that soldiers have fought and died willingly for. They could respectfully disagree and move on because of that principle, helped along by the fact that they were about to (supposedly) watch a game they love. But these viewers didn’t want to see kneeling for a cause they didn’t support; they didn’t even want to have to think about it. That’s butthurt, Fox and Friends. Perhaps Dave Chapelle Summed it up best when he said this has proven a weakness in white people black people should have exploited previously.
The butthurt regarding the protests has reached such a fever pitch that the Boss of Butthurt himself, Donald Trump, felt he needed to weigh in on the controversy. He has been vocally upset about players kneeling since they started; however in May 2018 he doubled-down on his butthurt by suggesting the players not play football or even leave the country if they didn’t stand for the anthem. This is one of the least patriotic things an American leader has said. A real leader, a real man, would echo the sentiment of writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
The Wolf of Butt-street (not even trying anymore)
In the wake of Michelle Wolf’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, we can see just how butthurt and hypocritical conservatives can be. The backlash against her was largely conservative (liberals, to their credit, were consistent in their butthurt about certain topics like sexual assault). Critics attempted to spin her insults about Sarah Sanders into attacks on her personal appearance, which really appeared to be petty deflections from the issues she mentioned. Trump was famously butthurt about Seth Meyers’ jokes about him at the 2011 Correspondents’ Dinner, and demanded a public apology.
In the audience of the WHCD, almost anyone who was conservative or associated with Donald Trump was not only not laughing or uncomfortable, but were visibly upset. Kelly-Anne Conway and Sarah Sander’s faces particularly betrayed powerful butthurt. Maybe Sarah Sanders could make a case that it wasn’t fair because she doesn’t actively abuse people, so she should not be expected to receive abuse; yet she defends someone daily who abuses others, so it’s not unreasonable to expect her to be force-fed some her own medicine. Kelly-anne full-blown spews bullshit on news networks, so for her to not find even a fucking chuckle or two throughout Wolf’s set is the quintessence of a narrow mind and an agitated ass hole.
Fox news was downright OUTRAGED out of their ass. Wolf was lambasted as “vulgar” and ruining “the spirit of the evening”. This particular point is absurd as a comedian is going to tell jokes — the topical purview and limit of said jokes would need to be strictly outlined if she were to fail at her job and ‘ruin the evening’. It is not as though they asked her to bake a cake that said “Yay Journalists” and she instead wrote “F. U.” in her own feces. They wanted her to ‘celebrate journalism’? Unfortunately, not all journalism is great, and it’s the bad shit that needs to be called out with a platform, with the aforementioned group present — especially considering how so many falsehoods exit the mouths of the White House. Former Trump advisor, Steve Bannon headed a network that was rife with misleading journalism and offensive material. Wolf bashed liberal media like CNN as well that panders and tries to provoke certain demographics in spite of context and facts. Why would it not be fair go after Trump’s staff then? Lies and insults have been normalized within media, online political forums, and this administration so why would Wolf’s performance be singled-out? Jokes often are made to point out the absurd: Michelle Wolf pointed out that this hyper-normalization of petty teenage behavior from Trump is indeed absurd.
It was said that ‘supporters and critics’ alike were uncomfortable in the atmosphere. 1) Should you not be used to this considering the shit Trump says? 2) You probably should be uncomfortable. Wolf had the courage to say what few would or wanted to, and the resulting tension was palpable, and as I mentioned, the butthurt visible. One with empathy might notice feel it: “Oh shit, Kelly must be PISSED.”
Kathy Griffin nailed the political hypocrisy in a tweet:
“So journalists are willing to demand that a comic hired to roast people apologize but they aren’t willing to demand that Trump or his staff apologize to people?” the comedian tweeted.
As addressed before in the piece, jokes are a remark about something absurd and are a coping mechanism. In the case of current journalism and the Trump presidency, there are many absurdities to point out, and many grim things to cope with. To be sure, Michelle Wolf believes much of what she joked about, but most was just absurdist commentary to point out absurdities. Moreover, she is a comedian, doing what she should be doing, without compromise (unless explicitly stated in a contract). Trump and journalists et al. are supposed to be doing quite serious work with integrity, and not demeaning people. Other comedians noted this contradiction:
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 29, 2018I attended the WHCD last night. Donald Trump has so poisoned the atmosphere by attacking the disabled, gold star parents, Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, women, the press, the rule of law that a comedian who simply tells the truth is offensive? She’s joking. He’s not.
Indeed in light of this, that we focus on Wolf’s supposed vulgarity and offense instead of the suppose leader of the Free World, who is paid to bring people together and care for people, yet fairly recently mocked people with disabilities**. is absurd and hypocritical.
Yet some comedians felt the whole act was done in poor taste and bad-faith. Comedy writer Michael Loftus ripped Michelle Wolf’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner routine, calling it “straight-up horrible” and saying Wolf’s words were meant “to hurt people’s feelings.”
Wolf’s satire was meant to call attention to the damage so-called journalists and the Trump administration are doing to news and the American people via falsehood and misinformation: so yes, some people’s feelings may be hurt in the process. She was roasting the audience and calling attention to very real problems using jokes. To whine about this is to ignore the necessity of satire and free speech — something formerly championed by most conservatives. Most other comedians recognized this, even old more traditional farts like Rob Reiner.
Some conservatives believe there is a double-standard with the treatment of attacks on conservatives versus liberals. Ben Shapiro is one of these individuals. He stated,
“Substitute ‘slavery’ for ‘abortion’ and see how funny it is,” He went on to say, “…it is acceptable to understand that comedians may make edgy jokes about the Trump administration because of Trump’s occasional off-color remarks.”
It’s more likely acceptable from COMEDIANS because that is what they are paid to do and how they get attention. And they tend to do so to Trump not simply because of his remarks but because he makes himself a target constantly. He CRAVES attention, and famously got butthurt when he wasn’t on cover front page of a magazine or that his ratings were seen as bad; he tweets on the daily and gets in online arguments with everybody and anybody (probably from the toilet and coincidentally its crappy contents are what end up being tweeted).
And “off-color”: wut? Again, do you believe mocking the disabled as “off-color”? Is bemoaning the immigration of Somalis in Minnesota at a rally the same? Is it simply off-color to joke about killing a political candidate? “Grabbing ’em by the pussy”? Frequently insulting journalists and referring to liberal-leaning networks as “Fake news”? It’s not as though we’re comparing Wolf’s set to one regrettable remark said in private that Trump apologized for.
And let’s address comparing “slavery” jokes to “abortion” jokes. Many don’t find abortion to be sacred ground for jokes, and even then still are offended by that. Stephen Fry joked about slavery in 2016 and subsequently was given shit for it. Leslie Jones did the same and sparked ‘outrage’ (though she’s black. This could be the same ‘pass’ given to Wolf who is also a woman). Personally, I take no issue with joking about any topic. But given that racial discrimination is seen as a very current problem by liberals that is ignored by conservatives and that the Trump administration has furthered, particularly with Trump’s ‘off-color’ remarks, we can see how they are not quite equivocal.
Overall it’s disingenuous and hypocritical for Benny Boy to try and point out hypocrisy when he downplays Trump’s comments and market himself as a free-speech absolutist (to his credit, he left Breitbart news because of the far-right stories by them). Moreover, the things the things liberals are mocking conservatives for are more dangerous in the immediate short term e.g. gay marriage (just ‘marriage’), racial discrimination against minorities (yes being a majority matters), and destruction of the environment: the imminent moral degradation by having such a liberal society (which I believe is a fair argument) is not as pressing and immediate of an issue. Also, conservatives/Republicans are proportionately in power now, so they need to be held in greater check and potentially contempt. Many conservatives viewed themselves as valiant rebels, and saw to scathing satire being the proper decorum for liberals during Obama’s presidency, even before the SJW superbeast emerged from the social media sea.
An End to Buttheads
Perhaps a more simple applicable analogy is necessary for help some of my readers understand the real double-standard in satire and being ‘butthurt’.
None of us like bullies correct? Conservative audiences have especially been sympathetic to bullied kids’ plights (who often are white). The difference from a bully insulting the bullied kid and the bullied kid insulting back is that the bully has power, usually not only in the form of size but numbers with his friends. However potentially biting and true the insults from the bullied kid may be, they don’t stick; they are drowned out and they are brushed aside or perhaps only fuel the rage in the bully who gets hurt by them, and who in turn abuses the kid. The bullied kid is insulting as a means of defense generally. Those who are homosexual, black, or even female, don’t have the size or numbers to make their insults stick, and are generally insulting back as a means of defense — however morally wrong it may be in God’s eyes.
There are exceptions to the rule (such as online forums and UCLA Berkley, CA, or whatever micro-culture one lives in), yet these exceptions are differing from a trend that favored the conservative, white majority. The liberal satire and pejorative punch was more a ‘counter’ punch to gain even ground with their aggressors, to what they perceived to be bullies — not insults birthed merely for their amusement or sense of superiority— like so many of the insults aimed at homosexuals, blacks, or women. For so many conservatives, what they perceive to be bullies often have actually been rebels who are tired of being mistreated with impunity. The fact that the same conservatives who decry being insulted now never have given credence to said liberal defensiveness.
This does not at all suggest that women, blacks, or homosexuals cannot be bullies: indeed I believe they can be just as bad as their supposed aggressors, depending on where they are in society (again see my writing on Microcultures). Pain is passed on through generations, but it also passed outward, often in search of revenge: such is the story for most blooshed throughout history. And I do believe that liberals of SJWs saying shitty things about conservatives or whoever they believe to be their enemies is wrong and should be called out as bad behavior; but to state that SJWs and liberals are just as bad in their overall attitude and behavior ignores the last 250 years of American/African-American history and downplays the motives of conservatives and whites. They are often not genuinely hurt by the insults of these liberals; they are offended — they are butthurt. They want to dismiss the comments of minorities (as they want to continue knowing they have no real weight in their lives) while continuing the status quo of insulting whoever they please. It is not about maintaining dignity for them; it is about maintaining status and pride.
I also call for conservative accusers of butthurt to understand and appreciate just how not-butthurt many in minority and disadvantaged groups have to be to not only survive, but thrive. When you are constantly abused or rejected by peers at school for your skin color, sexual orientation or religion, you tend to develop pretty thick skin. A homosexual girl or boy may find their school career to be a waking nightmare for they can’t go a day without being harassed. For those who literally did not have a father because he was a deadbeat or lost to gang violence, your life becomes a stereotype, through no fault of your own: even if you become something far better, that rejection stings and it stays. And even the affluent white male who is becoming the butt of social media may find his reality more hell than heaven if he has a father who dismisses his feelings like they’re just ‘butthurt’ and only fosters anger within his son, that builds and is vented irrationally, eventually hurting those closest to him, including himself. That boy’s father usually had a father who did the same to him.
Despite this call for tact and sensitivity, I do believe we should be able to insult every subject carte blanche (save for proper timing). Mental toughness and a sense of humor does make us more successful and emotionally resilient. Religion and race should not be excluded on the grounds that some people among these groups find certain things sacred or have been, and will be hurt by insults. Many among these groups still enjoy this ‘offensive’ humor and find their world to be poorer without it. So I implore you to talk about the Irish as drunks, blacks as poor fathers, and even to draw the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). We must be able to make fun of all things, or make fun of no things. Remember you are not special; you are butthurt. Your shit stinks just like everyone else. I think this is the most fair policy in comedy and will unite more than divide — provided people can divest from their ego for a moment. There is no apology that can atone for the atrocities and suffering of the past; there is no reparation nor revenge that can reclaim sins committed or reclaim loved ones lost. Laughter can heal where remorse cannot. Surely, one might speak about agency in humor: I can make fun of my race because it is mine. This attitude is divisive and only furthers the ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ dichotomy. At some point one must decide to move forward, and it is the fault of no one else if they choose not to.
Yet I equally implore you to respect people first, especially those who belong to disadvantaged groups: you should learn to weep for someone and to help them before you laugh at them. You should know them: this requires living among them and seeing them as people first. You should look inward and realize how strong you are before how weak you are: your opponent will seem smaller and pitiful. You must seek to master Kairos, the Greek principle of good timing to be an adept joke-teller, especially one that has the least chance to truly disrespect. A stage is far more fitting than a funeral (though the idea of joking about a just-deceased person is quite funny to me). Perhaps if you are not a comedian or someone who knows the people well, you should think twice about your timing before you blurt out a racial joke online about an event that just happened, and cementing a defining statement about yourself for the world to see forever.
But this all should just be a joke right? I may be trying to sound smart and intellectualize silliness, only succeeding in being preachy in the process. We are all taking this too seriously, no? Too often people think their feelings trump creative thought and free speech. Yet if not, then let us be consistent: if Muslims are terrorists and blacks are criminals, perhaps a white person being referred to a slave-driver or school-shooter should sit down and shut up. Maybe they will laugh or at least learn to take a joke.
I do agree that the butthurt of the affluent minority class and celebrities is yet another public health crisis that needs addressing (ironically one becomes a minority when they make a lot of money). Too many celebrities radiate hypocrisy; they are “outraged” about a given issue, yet treat people like shit in their personal lives, while continuing to live lives that leech the planet of resources at a far greater rate that most people — which furthers actual systematic racism as it is often poor non-whites here and abroad working for them and affected by climate-change first. As they live such a drastically different lifestyle and culture (like whites versus blacks), they cannot sufficiently identify with the culture they formerly belong to. Meek Mill is a (less-than) ideal example of this. He got caught with drugs and an illegal weapon, violated his parole multiple times, and had the gall to say he was treated by a ‘racially unjust system’.
Uhh, no buddy: the system you got fucked by was your narcissistic-ass brain. You act as a horse-shit ambassador for black people when some are getting stopped by cops for barely matching a suspect description and you are clearly and knowingly violating the law instead of having some degree of personal accountability. You’re among the worst kind of butthurt: a butthurt man with power and money to legally justify his butthurt. If I had violated my parole like that, repeatedly, my whiteness would not have saved me from prison: I am a broke nobody.
But let us slide to the white side of the privileged racial spectrum, where there exists perhaps no (un)finer representation of butthurt than Tomi Lahren. I strongly dislike giving her any sort of platform or spotlight as it just feeds her ego and butthurt; but as she is essentially paid to be butthurt on television, I cannot ignore her, and wish to discuss her academically as a case study in the matter.
She will often team up with Sean Hannity (whose own butthurt is legendary) to discuss how Donald Trump and white people are being treated unfairly. While I do agree that white people sometimes are highlighted for vocally offensive behavior that is forgiven for non-whites, she exclusively bitches about related issues, and never accepts accountability for her and white people’s shitty behavior. She calls out people for being ‘snowflakes’ yet is a pretentious, self-appointed ice queen herself, unfeeling for those who need compassion and aid the most and melts down when she is critiqued; she is a try-hard Barbie-doll embodiment of white privilege whose entitlement has never forced her to look in the mirror aside for the purpose of applying make-up.
Recently she had a small cup of water thrown on her at a brunch in Minneapolis. Shitty behavior to be sure: as a rule, it’s morally hypocritical bullshit to think you can assault people in retaliation that you don’t like, that is not in direct, immediate self-defense. Yet it is nigh impossible to logically consider her truly mistreated in the matter, especially in larger context. Black dudes get the cops called on them in Starbucks for just chilling; Muslims get verbally abused in public just for wearing hijab. Tomi advocates persons, policies and attitudes that directly and negatively affect African-Americans. She calls NFL players ‘thugs’ for protesting believes Black Lives Matter is the “new Klu Klux Klan”, and never speaks against her most vitriolic anti-black supporters. Plus it was clean water, not acid nor even spit-ridden. But with textbook butthurt behavior, Tomi capitalized on the incident and made sure to portray herself as a dainty victim.
So if we analyze Meek and Tomi’s characters, though they may be of different skin color, in a way, they are the same in spirit: they both speak to the idea that butthurt doesn’t see race.
In a shitty form of equality, butthurt knows no bounds.
*A derogatory term referring to someone of rural inhabitancy as poor, uneducated and simple-minded. Often synonymous with ‘white trash’.
**Obama told a similar joke about the Special Olympics in an interview with Jay Leno, but he was referring to his own lack of ability, and also apologized when confronted.