The Top 10 Things I’m Offended, Shocked, and/or Outraged By, 2.0


I’m updating this blog a bit in light of the latest explosion of social media outrage. I’ll write something entirely new for the next round of outrage, which I’m sure will be coming in, like, five minutes from now.

In the United States, being offended by something has become somewhat of a cottage industry.  Perhaps it’s a result of the “I’m OK, you’re OK,” and “free love” philosophy of the 1960s that has manifested itself into full-on intolerance of anything perceived as harsh or un-PC.

Or maybe the fact that anyone can say anything within the relative safety of the Internet — much like I’m doing right now — has given rise to an expression of righteous indignation in a way that would never happen if we were having real conversations around a kitchen table.

For whatever reason, we all seem perpetually ticked off by something or somebody.  People are regularly outraged, shocked, and affronted by things that wouldn’t have merited a shrug from our grandparents, who were too busy taking care of silly stuff like … oh, I don’t know … saving the world from the Nazis and Japanese imperialism, perhaps?

But nowadays, we seem to have directed our mad in (only) slightly less significant areas. For example, fat people are offended by skinny people who use the word “fat” in any context.  Hollywood is offended by the Religious Right.  PETA is offended by hunters and farmers and carnivores, and environmentalists are offended by off-road vehicles, disposable diapers, and any fool absurd enough to not fully support the concept of global warming. All sides seem offended by drones for one reason or another, but everybody secretly thinks they’re cool.

But that’s just for starters.

Beggars at intersections are offended by drivers who don’t fork over their money or by those who offer food or a job rather than cash.  Gang-bangers are offended by perceived disrespect, yet shoot each other down without giving it a second thought. Co-workers are offended when you write “Thanks.” instead of “Thanks!” in your email. (No exclamation point equals a sarcastic thanks, apparently.)

To avoid offense, “little people” must not be referred to as “midgets,” African Americans must not be referred to as “black,” and Native Americans must not be referred to as “Redskins” within the context of pro football.  Some are also offended by the word “Indian”  (playing “cowboys and Native Americans” doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?) though if I were a native of India, I’d be offended by that offense.  I think the working rule these days is that when you describe somebody to someone else, any mention of ethnicity without specifying the country or continent of origin is generally frowned upon for fear of outraging at least several people and risking the social stigma of being unfriended on Facebook.

It’s exhausting.

It occurred to me after giving this some thought (not much), being offended requires an apology by the offender to the offend-ee to diffuse the uncomfortable situation.  However, in this age of Shocked Indignation, apologies are rarely accepted and often only serve to inflame.  In other words, you can’t turn around without offending someone, and when you do, you’re screwed for life.  You’re permanently on the offend-ee’s blacklist.

And if you really want to get your offense on, jump on a Big-O Bandwagon, like the recent Confederate flag movement. I’m not too clear on how one thing leads to another, but apparently it does, because the charcoal of Facebook indignation just had a big ol’ bunch of lighter fluid squirted on it.

I never thought I’d miss the early days of Facebook, when people were posting their next trip to CVS or the dentist, but I actually do.

So, of course, being a full-blooded English American or something, I’ve decided it’s time for me to climb aboard the Ultra-Sensitve Express and get my own indignation on.  I have therefore written down my Top 10 Things I’m Offended, Shocked, and/or Outraged By.

10. Old men with thick heads of hair.  As a man of 49 young years with a cue-ball head, I find it exceedingly offensive to encounter an elderly man with thick locks.  How dare they flaunt this in my face?  It’s scandalous, really, and incredibly offensive to young bald guys.  Geezers with thick heads of hair should be sheared bald immediately, or at least be fitted with a proper comb-over.

9. People who say with a straight face that they “like” doing burpees.  This is offensive because if you’ve ever done burpees, you know these people are lying.  To your face. It’s total bullshit.

8. Cryptic Facebook posts.  Like when people post “So sad,” or “Un-freaking-believable,” or “That’s it. I’m done.”  These posts are about trolling for sympathy and concern and are as narcissistic as their more famous big brother, the Selfie, who now has his own stick.  This offense should be settled by a quick “unfollow” and several days of seething while watching Netflix.

7. Being referred to as “tall.”  Used alone, the adjective “tall” never means “handsome” or “muscular” or “awesome.”  It usually means skinny, lanky, and “you’re never going to get the best-looking girl.” Offense taken.  (I countered “tall” by learning to play the guitar, and I got the best-looking girl anyway!)

6. When people don’t thank me for holding the door for them.  If I’m wearing a doorman’s uniform and holding the door at the entrance of a fancy hotel, then I MAY give you a pass for not saying thank you.  Otherwise, it’s just flat out, 100-percent, white trash rude.  To do so in front of your children, thus perpetuating the inconsideration, is unforgivable.

5. Young people who have never heard of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Knowledge of this masterpiece should somehow be wired into the DNA of all humans who were born in the more recent years and believe that current pop music is “great.”  If you haven’t heard of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” don’t admit it to anyone.  Go educate yourself and don’t be caught with your pants down again, whippersnapper.  While you’re at it, get yourself up to speed on “Barracuda,” “Renegade,” and “Life in the Fast Lane.”

4. Co-workers who walk into my office and lead with “I know you’re really busy, but…”  This really only allows for two possibilities:  1) They don’t really know if I’m busy or not, so they say that as some attempt to make me feel important so I’ll happily do their bidding or, 2) They don’t CARE that I’m really busy and consider their urgent project to be Priority No. 1 at the expense of all others.  Either way, I’m offended.

3. Erectile disfunction ads that run on the classic rock channel on my cable system.  OK, cable people.  Now you’re getting a little personal and presumptuous, not to mention the fact that my kids are in the room.

2. People who go to DisneyWorld or on Disney Cruises and post a ton of pictures on Facebook.  This shows a total lack of compassion to those of us who haven’t yet fulfilled our promise made 10 years ago to our now-teenagers that “we’ll go to Disney in the next year or two.”  I mean, can you not go the hell down there and have a ball with your kids without splattering it all over my wall for a solid week??  UN-believable!

And, the Number 1 Thing I’m Offended, Shocked, and/or Outraged By…

Guys in my age group who “only saw ‘Jaws’ one time years ago at a sleepover and don’t remember much from it.”  Really?  And you’re out in public, walking around and talking to people?  How dare you!  My affronted-ness is off the charts!  I mean, it’s common knowledge that ANY guy in his mid-40s to mid-50s worth his salt should be able to quote at LEAST most of the Captain Quint on the U.S.S. Indianapolis monologue, if not the entire thing, word for word.  Most respectful men can also easily reel off Mayor Vaughn’s “My kids were on that beach, too,” line, as well.  Don’t come at me with this lame “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” crap.

Any tall, fat, 4-wheeler-driving Irish-American midget with half a brain can produce that.  Exclamation point.

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19 Responses to “The Top 10 Things I’m Offended, Shocked, and/or Outraged By, 2.0”

  1. Stephen M. Clegg says:

    Mark, I loved that, especially, #2
    Everyone else’s lives are just so perfect aren’t they.They and their families live each and every day like the rest of us live while on vacation (exclamation point)

    Believe it or not, as I actually read this, my son was exclaiming “dad, dad, Jaws is on Jaws is on.” (I had told him in detail about the movie one night when he was begging me for a “scary” bedtime story.)
    Much to my shagrin, I discovered he was referring to Jaws 2. I then attempted to explain “son, it’s just not the same,” and that the Jaws sequels are…like scratching fingers on a chalkboard.
    It didn’t take. He’s now finished Jaws 2,
    30 minutes into Jaws 3, with commercials mind you, and loving every minute of it.
    Ignorance is bliss.

  2. Tara says:

    Thank you! My only complaint is that you don’t write more frequently. I need that sort of laugh out loud stress release daily. I’m sure I’d be a better person.

  3. Hooper says:

    I’m not going to waste my time arguing with a man who’s lining up to be a hot lunch.

  4. Jeff Johnson says:

    Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, a blogging machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is write and eat and make little Marks, and that’s all.

  5. meliss7697 says:

    Oh my gosh! I love everysinglelittlething about this post! Thanks for making me smile today. (wait, that totally should have been an exclamation point… lest I offend.)!

  6. Mark Johnson says:

    Melissa, I love everysinglelittlething about your comment (!) No offense taken!

  7. Sam says:

    This is OFFENSIVE.

  8. Savannah says:

    Always LOVE when my email comes up that you have another blog! Your too damn funny and I look forward to more soon!

  9. Rita Long says:

    Once again you have hit the nail on the head in the most entertaining way!

  10. john foster says:

    Now…..say that again…….I was busy rubbing some refreshing botanical tonic into my thick illustrious hair.

  11. Melissa says:

    Love, love, love …. And Pat’s done his part. The kids don’t just know Bohemian Rhapsody, they know all the words and sing along.

  12. Kathy says:

    Thanks for an enjoyable read, especially this week.

  13. Oh-Oh. I’m afraid I fit into category number five. I’m 64 years old and have no excuse.

  14. john foster says:

    Several of those young people who are not familiar with Bohemian Rhapsody are the ones making decisions at major record labels. If everyone does not find this extremely offensive, I am extremely offended!

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