Here’s Why Being Offensive is Entertaining

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Here’s Why Being Offensive is Entertaining

Here’s Why Being Offensive is Entertaining

What’s really amusing about hearing that ‘this movie couldn’t be made today’ when talking about movies from decades before is that the movies of today really aren’t any better. It sounds like a weak argument, doesn’t it? Plenty of people want to say how The Goonies, Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House, and many upon many other similar movies couldn’t be made. Why? Because they offend people. Why do they offend people? Oh, that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? There are so many things that offend people today that trying to pin them all down is kind of tough, especially since simply breathing in the wrong way could offend someone. I do wish that was a joke, but the truth is that people continually look for a scapegoat whenever something makes them feel guilty about something else, and entertainment is there for several purposes and taking the hits that people decide to dish out regularly. But here’s the thing about being offended, you get to look away, or not listen, or not pay attention to anything you don’t like. Amazingly a lot of people have forgotten about this. 

Art is like life in a lot of ways, since like it or not, stretching and even breaking boundaries is necessary for society to change, evolve, adapt, and then do it all again. And while it feels as though we’re currently in a cycle of messy, overly loud, and over-sensitive complaints that tend to come with every era, it almost feels as though it’s gotten worse over the years. But there is a reason why entertainment needs to be offensive at times, and here it is: IT MAKES US THINK. You know, thinking? That interesting hobby that a lot of people who love to be inspired and love to share their imagination with other people? Stating that movies from the past couldn’t be made today is just a part of the hypocrisy. Watching offensive material that’s been designed to be funny or eye-opening since like it or not, admitting that everyone has faults and learning how to laugh at those faults, or perhaps even watch them in a dramatic fashion, helps in more ways than people appear willing to admit. 

The back and forth argument that’s gone on for a while concerning what’s offensive, what’s not, and why the art of any type should be able to simply exist and not be looked at as something that needs to be regulated so heavily. Offensive material that’s delivered via movies or TV shows is, like it or not, entertaining. We laugh at things that are delivered in a way that promotes humor, and we laugh at things that are supposedly tragic when they’re delivered in a manner that makes it clear that they’re not meant to drive the dagger home but to help us understand what’s being shown just a little better. In other words, to be offensive is to be realistic, and being real with the audience is a lot better than trying to force them to conform to a fictional world that’s sanitized and less offensive than the world they live in every day. 

Also, the idea of being offended by everything feels like it could lead to a very cloistered, almost 1984-like existence in which we’re all expected to conform to what a collective wants and aren’t allowed to find inspiration in anything that might escape the boundaries of what people call ‘good taste’. Thankfully, that’s not an issue since being offensive, no matter how it irritates people, and no matter how much it inspires people to complain, is a common trait shared by many, many movies and TV shows, and it’s not bound to go anywhere. In order to get people to think for themselves and keep things moving forward in a manner that’s bound to expand one boundary after another, offense has to be given. Granted, being offensive in a manner that’s meant to cause harm isn’t necessarily needed. But there’s a fine line between being intentionally harmful and exposing the world to people to provide a variety of viewpoints that can allow people to make up their own minds. 

Let’s clarify things, since being offensive to others on purpose is, well, not ideal. There are plenty of lines that shouldn’t be crossed when it comes to entertainment, and yet those that have no trouble offending the senses of others when they feel it to be convenient. Offending material in the entertainment industry is a given, there aren’t a lot of ways around it without undue censorship, and it’s fair to state that the more offended people become, the more tempting it is for filmmakers to come up with material that will push every boundary possible to get people thinking for themselves. Offensive material in movies and TV shows is necessary since free thinking is still the best way to come up with new and entertaining ideas. 

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