Were you “offended” when you comedian Trevor Noah’s years-old tweets containing jokes about everything from “fat chicks” to Jews? If so, you just might be “addicted” to being offended, according to comedian Jim Norton.
In a new Time op-ed, Norton focuses his wit and frustration on the “brigade of social-justice warriors” who dug through Noah’s old tweets to find “something, anything to be upset about” after he was named as Jon Stewart’s replacement on “The Daily Show.” Norton writes:
People say that Americans trends are transient, but the one activity we never seem to tire of is being outraged. Boy, do we love it! We simply can’t seem to get enough of that rush we feel when something offends us. It’s like the dopamine drip we get from that first drink or the first drag of a cigarette after getting off a cross-country flight. And what is our favorite thing to be outraged over? Well, it’s certainly nothing petty, like homelessness, or the fact that every single person we elect to public office is a manipulative, groveling, poll-obsessed liar. Nope. We’re not stupid enough to waste our energy on such nonsense. We save our collective outrage for the really important stuff, like things comedians say.
Which brings us, of course, to Trevor Noah, our guest star on this week’s edition of Manufactured Outrage. When Comedy Central named Trevor as Jon Stewart’s successor, our trusty, tireless brigade of social-justice warriors immediately went to work digging through his tweets and stand-up to find something, anything to be upset about. Much to their relief, Trevor didn’t disappoint. Being a working comedian, he’d made plenty of jokes over the years that a susceptible person could pick up, blow the dust off and aim at themselves to achieve martyrdom.
Norton also sarcastically noted that Noah failed to realize that there’s now a “checklist of subject matter that has been deemed inappropriate to address with humor.” Cross that line and an “increasingly reactionary mob of self-centered narcissists” will likely come after you.
“A comedian is fine unless he crosses their particular line, which, of course, in the mind of a self-centered narcissist, is the only line that matters,” he said of the “narcissists.”
The main point of Norton’s column can really be summed up in the title: “Trevor Noah Isn’t the Problem. You Are.”
Read the entire column here.