Like roughly 113 million other people, I spent last night watching the Super Bowl matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. Like many, I fired off a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek commentary, retweeted some jokes, and just shared a few thoughts on Twitter.
Some tweets were “successful” (whatever that means), connecting with people, like this play on the latest Coca-Cola ad:

Most were harmlessly lost to the vast, dark space that is the internet

And then there was this… The halftime performance at last night’s Super Bowl was, of course, Katy Perry (along with guests Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott). Some hyped the event to be some sort of unifying moment where the NFL and women (who make up 45% of the league’s fanbase…) could come together to find some closure on the league’s scandal-stained season. As I learned Nico Lang at The Daily Dot had pointed out, this was a really weird choice. Here are my tweets — mostly echoing Nico’s article, and certainly not really original, as others have made these points in various ways for years.

What I was saying was that it was simply an odd choice. I wasn’t condemning Katy Perry, nor was I “outraged,” as people like to say (you can ask my fiancee, I was just quietly laying on the couch). I wasn’t calling for a boycott, and I wasn’t “offended.” Really, no more thought or effort went into those tweets than any others I posted last night. I’m not quite sure I understand what it is about certain people that makes them project these emotions onto others, but it’s kind of frustrating. One guy, upon seeing my tweet about the lyrics of Perry’s “Last Friday Night” being quite possibly about date-rape, decided to scroll through photos of mine, leaving a comment to the effect of “no one would rape [me],” and then commenting on the original post, saying, “You just always have to look for something to be offended by!”

Nope, dude. Not “offended.” I’m more “offended” by that lazy assumption.

This is common, and most certainly not unique to the Super Bowl. Really, it’s just about any time someone disagrees with me that they’ll try to discount what I had to say as simply being the views of an “offended” or “outraged” individual.

Just over the weekend, one site that got mad at me for criticizing a TV show they like, and hasn’t stopped taking shots at me since, included me in an article about how they were upset that an outlet that I haven’t written for in months didn’t talk about that same TV show in a tangentially related post of theirs. They said that my view was irrelevant and clearly biased, as it was from the perspective of “an outraged individual,” insinuating that it made me a bad journalist. In fact, this is a tactic they and others (some of whom happen to be on that show’s payroll…) have used to try to delegitimize me, calling my writing unethical and biased. Except there’s one huge problem with their argument: the piece I wrote was an editorial; that is, it is openly biased because it’s based on my own opinions. That’s how editorials work. They’re in every news paper, on every news website, etc. But that didn’t fit their narrative. Oh well.

Still, their whole, “Look at this outraged individual!” accusation is kind of funny. I mean, who actually seems outraged? The person who wrote an editorial a year ago, or the website that’s still talking about it? Chill out, buds.

The whole thing comes back to this idea that if you criticize someone or mention something iffy they’ve done in the past, you’re their enemy. “WHY ARE YOU BEING SO MEAN ABOUT KATY PERRY!?!?” Hmm? I’m not. I didn’t say she was horrible. I didn’t call her names. I wasn’t “offended,” and I most certainly was not “outraged.”

I was just watching TV. You can disagree with some aspects of a person’s personality or past actions without launching into a boycott or a protest. (You can also boycott or protest, that’s your call, obviously). But hey, it’s easier to paint anyone who dares to raise a concern as being some outraged monster than someone with nuanced thoughts, right?

Featured image via Andreas Eldh.