I bet I’ll come to regret this, but I’m going to tell you a secret I’ve never been comfortable with sharing before this moment: I’m a huge asshole.
I mean, I’m the biggest asshole I know. That’s because I barely give a shit about hurt feelings, because I’m a narcissistic fuck who is the center of her own universe. Until now I’ve tried to keep my being an asshole under wraps, but the sheer effort takes a lot out of me. If I troll the Internet, I’m careful to use an anonymous name that won’t get traced back to me. I fight myself to not use slurs: for instance, I don’t call things “gay” anymore, because my gay friends all convinced me to stop. I’m really careful to not call anything “retarded” if I’m talking to someone who knows someone who is retarded, but sometimes it slips out anyway. I’m doing my very best to hide my interior asshole from the lot of you nice people.
But it’s time for me, finally, to trudge out of my flamboyantly asshole closet and come clean with you.
I can’t stand other assholes. That’s the way us assholes are. I’m more impressed with Craig Ferguson than I am with Letterman or Conan, because—incredibly, even impossibly—he is able to make jokes without making other people into the punchline. (I think it’s because Ferguson was once a depressed, drunken mess. You learn how to not make jokes at others’ expense when you yourself have been the butt of jokes before.)
And I love the Penny Arcade guys for the same reason. They’re funny without resorting to being assholes. Actually, they’re the kindest, most sincere people around. They’re generous, even philanthropic—ever heard of a little charity called Child’s Play?—and they’re family men who really love their work and their friends. They don’t deserve any of this.
But back to me, which is my favorite subject. Look: I have never not laughed at a rape joke. That’s because I am a bad person.
What do I laugh at, and which catastrophes are off-limits?
- I have never laughed at a 9/11 joke.
- I have, however, laughed at the acronym DIAF (“die in a fire”).
- I have never laughed at a joke about AIDS.
- I have laughed at being called a cunt; I have also swung at a guy’s jaw.
- I’m not touchy about dead baby jokes. (I can’t have babies.)
But I don’t know how it feels to live in fear of rape. If I were to hurt somebody’s feelings with a rape joke, and were she to tell me so, I would say sorry. (Even if I didn’t really intend to make a rapey joke; probably I only misspoke.)
Maybe it would be an asshole’s half-assed sorry (“I’m very sorry you feel that way”). But if I took some vague offense at this person, who is probably but not necessarily a rape victim, and who is audaciously infringing on my right to tell unfunny rape jokes, I’d just keep that to myself. Because I’m a closeted asshole. I’m not trying to start shit, you know?
So I’d just shrug and say, “OK, it’ll be tough for me to not be a dick every time I see you, but I’ll do my best to rein my asshole instinct in.”
But I wouldn’t bait the rape victim.
I wouldn’t dare suggest she is oversensitive or that her feelings are wrong.
I sure as fuck wouldn’t make T-shirts to remind her that her feelings are unimportant and don’t matter to the rest of us.
After all, I would be too scared shitless of broadcasting to the world what mean and hateful things I’m capable of saying and doing.