All you have to do is have this banner flown over a large city:
On a recently filmed episode of the show Kenny vs. Spenny, where the two guys attempt to beat each other in random competitions, the battle was over who could piss off the most people.
Kenneth Joel Hotz (Kenny) went with the banner above.
Here’s the story (Q = The National Post, A = Kenny):
A: … I decided I’d just rather piss off large groups of people instead.
Q: What made you decide to pick on Christians?
A: My excuse: I wanted the banner to say “Heil Hitler” or “Guys are stupid” or something, but the airplane company wouldn’t agree to those. So, I said, “My friend Jesus [said with a Hispanic accent] is getting married and I want to play a joke on him.” And Jesus [said with hispanic intonation] spells Jesus [said with non-hispanic intonation]. They didn’t want to intentionally piss people off, so I kind of manipulated the situation.
Q: Why do you think it’s OK to offend all those Christians?
A: I don’t know, I don’t think Jews get really offended if you say “Moses sucks!” And I think because I’m not defining who Jesus is, it’s one of the few things I could get away with.
Q: What’s your religious background?
A: My parents are Jewish, but I don’t really care about it. I’m pretty well atheist, I guess.
Q: Do you know any Christians?
A: Of course.
Q: What do you think they’d have to say about the banner?
A: Our show is stupid and we’re stupid and I feel bad if anyone actually got offended but, I don’t know. I guess it’s freedom of speech. I’m sure people got pissed off, but I don’t think it’s offensive. I don’t really think Jesus sucks. I don’t. So, it was just something that was intentionally done to win a competition.
Q: Did you see any irate people as the plane flew by?
A: I think people were a little more confused. And awe-struck. Maybe shocked. But listen, I’m doing this to beat Spenny. I don’t think Jesus sucks. So I really hope nobody takes offense. Our competitions are very very important to us.
Q: Do you think stunt this might have clinched the competition for you?
A: Oh yeah, Spenny’s screwed.
So in terms of pissing off people, this does it.
Though if you really wanted to win this competition hands down, I imagine a banner reading “Allah Sucks” would have been more effective.
When PZ Myers said he was going to desecrate a communion wafer, I said it was ineffective. He wanted to make a point that there was nothing special about a consecrated wafer, but he ended up pissing off many more Catholics in the process. I questioned whether his point got through to them. (That said, I did appreciate the way he ultimately destroyed the frackin’ cracker.)
In this case, however, the point was specifically to piss off lots of people with no regards to any theology.
So while I do think the banner offensive, it wasn’t ineffective. Kenny did precisely what he set out to do. While he may be an atheist, he wasn’t trying to prove a point about atheism.
The fact that conservative Christian groups may protest or overreact only means higher ratings for the show.
Here’s the National Post‘s Charles Lewis:
I know a lot of people will say the Jesus Sucks banner was funny, and that the idea was to irritate people. That’s the entire point of the show. And by reacting to what Mr. Hotz did just plays into the gag and shows I have no sense of humour.
OK Kenny, you got me. As anyone who has ever met me knows I have no sense of humour and the last time I laughed was at a Bob Hope joke in the late 1960s.
And just to be clear, I also think that you should be able to fly around with any banner you want. Including something that reads: “It’s Amazing What Passes For Humour.”
People should be able to laugh at anything they want, even Heil Hitler, but it’s the implicit double standard that bugs me. It’s not a case of being politically correct. That’s an easy way to dismiss anyone who doesn’t get the antics of a moron.
Maybe moron is going too far, but I’m paraphrasing what Mr. Hotz told the Post today.
“Our show is stupid and we’re stupid.”
Now that’s funny.
What do you think: Was the banner offensive or just a joke?
Is there something else Kenny could have done (or should have done) instead?