This has to be an example of ‘outrage culture’ at its very best.
Following a skit by comedian Tom Gleeson on the 26 August episode of the ABC’s “The Weekly with Charlie Pickering”, which ostensibly satirised attitudes towards the homeless both here and overseas, there was apparently yet more social media ‘outrage’.
It should be noted that Gleeson’s skit satirized attitudes towards the homeless, not homeless people themselves. Clearly, satirical comedy on free-to-air television still has more than its quota of idiots with no concept of satire tuning in. More’s the pity.
““That skit was deeply offensive to homeless people,” said one angry person on Twitter”… according to a news.com.au article.
“…said one angry person on Twitter”? WTF? I’ve seen and heard anger before. Of all the things I can imagine being screamed hysterically or emanating from a shaking red face, all twitching and contorted with rage, hissing through gritted teeth and with little bits of spit coming out, the statement “that skit was deeply offensive to homeless people” isn’t one of them. But I digress.
So this one supposedly ‘angry’ person… what do we know about them? As usual where social media ‘outrage’ is concerned, not very much. But it’s fun trying to imagine!
For starters, who’d actually say something like this? Would they be more likely to be a girl or a guy? I think a guy. Probably late-20s or very early-30s. A big beard, maybe? Masses of heavily product-laden hair with a side-parting sharp enough to cut your hand on, perhaps? Caramel or dark blue skinny chinos, possibly rolled at the cuffs? Big hiking boots? Maybe a red tartan flanno? Funky spectacles that could well be more decorative than prescription? Like most hipsters, I imagine our complainant to basically be the love child of Ned Kelly and the Monty Python lumberjack.
So there he is, tucked up all warm and dry in his comfortable home, probably stretched out on a nice squishy sofa, warm drink on the table opposite, belly still full from the meal he consumed an hour ago, watching “The Weekly with Charlie Pickering”, via Foxtel, on his 65″ Sony Bravia Ultra HD 3D TV. As he watches, the division of his fortnightly pay for monthly bills, social activities, his next O/S jaunt and his growing mortgage deposit is floating about vaguely in the back of his mind; he also reminds himself that he needs to fill the SUV with 98-RON Premium fuel on his way to the office in the morning.
In among all that, our totally not-homeless person somehow managed to focus for long enough to get angry about this one three-minute satirical sketch. So angry, in fact, that he took to a social media app on his smartphone to claim that it was “deeply offensive to homeless people”… oh fuck off, you massive wanker!
OK, so even if our angry outrager isn’t anything like the way my cynical imagination constructed him, the fact remains that he’s either had a sense of humour by-pass or has no concept whatsoever of irony or satire – either of which only makes me wonder why he was watching “The Weekly with Charlie Pickering” in the first place.
Homeless, are you? Know any homeless people, do you? Sat at least one homeless person down, in the comfort of your home, and had them watch the sketch, before asking their opinion of it, did you? If the answer to all three questions is “no” – which I suspect it might be – then just fuck off!
When will people stop getting outraged on behalf of other people they obviously don’t know and clearly know nothing about? It’s just not necessary for the well-heeled and comfortably middle-class to make assumptions about how the lower echelons of society might possibly feel about stuff! It’s even less necessary when their outrage is entirely due to their own flawed understanding of what they witnessed, rather than anything that was genuinely and intentionally offensive. They only make themselves look like faux-outrage wankers which, I’m pretty certain, does nothing to help the homeless in the end.
Here’s a novel idea: instead of all the stupid, pointless outrage on social media, perhaps our man could get off his arse, leave his comfortable home and do something tangible for all the homeless folk he believes were so deeply offended by something the majority of them would never have even seen, rather than merely jumping to their defence on fucking Twitter.
On the list of things that are utterly unlikely to ever happen, I wonder how highly our outrager would rate that idea?