"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 23, 1800

Friday, January 4, 2013

P Is For....Political Correctness

I know, it's low hanging fruit, everyone says they hate the PC Police and the stupidity of political correctness has been pointed out ad naseum. I want to try to take a bit of a different tack and talk about the horrible effects it's had on our sense of humor and why that is important.

I take the whole Sandra Fluke thing as my example. Here we have a 30-something woman talking about bankrupting herself trying to afford birth control. In a sane world, as soon as the country heard this, it would start looking forward to the Saturday Night Live skit the next weekend. In past years, she'd have been a long running burlesque or vaudeville show joke. Whether or not you agree with her contention that it is not only Constitutional but morally imperative for the federal government to force Party A to pay for the birth control of Party B, you should be able to see the humor potential in the way she went about making her case. Sex has been a basic building block of humor for 1000's of years, and there are important anthropological reasons for that. Those reasons themselves would take a long time to explain, and like most of anthropology they are about as un-PC as you can get, so I'll leave them alone for now.  Suffice to say laughter is one of the things that makes us human and if you can't laugh at your own politics, you aren't very secure in them.

That's what I think is the unseen damage of the tendency to shun ever saying or doing anything to make others feel uncomfortable. It leads people to be intellectually lazy, to hold onto their own ideas without ever considering what they look like to people informed by a different experience. Understanding that what you think or believe may actually be funny to someone else, and accepting that without getting into a tizzy of offense, doesn't mean you don't really believe what you believe. It actually means that you have thought through your own positions enough that you are secure in them and can step back and laugh. We are losing that in this culture. We are becoming a bunch of thin-skinned, humorless drones, and that's no laughing matter.

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