I played Cards Against Humanity (“a party game for horrible people”) for the first time last night at my friend Beth’s birthday party. I knew in passing that it was pretty depraved, but not much else. Basically you’re asked a question, or occasionally to fill in a blank or two, and you answer with the best card(s) in your hand.
Sometimes the depravity is on the cards already, and you just have to find the best place to plug it in. (There’s not much innocuous to be done with “necrophilia” or “micropenis.”) Other times the depravity is left for you to construct. (I noticed that the pairings including a little invention consistently did well. God bless creativity, even in degenerate cesspools.)
Now I’ve realized for quite some time that I’m a lot of folks’ “tacky friend.” I’m almost always loud. I’m frequently a little too direct. Sometimes I’m a little too quick to tiptoe into the gutter, just to see if you’ll come with me. If you do, then we’ll walk farther—and faster! Ha! Bottom line is that I’m quite certain the word “obnoxious” has been hung on me, both to my face and behind my back, for decades.
And I’m OK with that.
Something that occurs to me about this game, though, is that it’s not necessarily everyone’s “tacky friend” playing this game. We’re just walkin’ around folks playing it together, for the most part. We’re friends from school, or work, or church, or more than one of the above. We’re not bad people.
But, demonstrably, we can draw on one hellaciously deep reserve of vulgarity and otherwise wanton inappropriateness for laughs.
So here’s the big question I’m chewing on. How can we, societally, make something like Cards Against Humanity the gigantic success it is during our nights, while actively cultivating hair-trigger sensitivity to anything and everything that might possibly offend someone somewhere during our days?