06 April 2009

Liberal Sensitivity Training

This is progress. And by "progress," I mean part of the progressive agenda to outlaw anything they don't like--in this case, speech they find offensive.

Mark Steyn
& Iowahawk are the two funniest political pundits in the webosphere. This is why I bring you their stuff so frequently.

Here's a bit from Steyn's latest:
Ah, but, as the computer wallahs say, that’s not a bug, that’s a feature. If the pen is mightier than the sword, then criminalizing words is a way of disarming potential opposition, of inculcating a reflexive self-censorship in the citizenry. And, after all, self-suppression is the most cost-effective of tyranny. Political correctness isn’t merely the blasphemy law of our time. It makes communication impossible. It renders a people literally illiterate: The conventions of language used by functioning societies throughout human history - irony, indirect quotation, period evocation, and, yes, even comic stereotype - are all suddenly suspect. What a strange fate to embrace. In London, the Lord Chamberlain’s power to censor West End plays was finally abolished in 1968: It was widely accepted by then that there was something absurd in a palace courtier ruling that your script could have three “Bastards!” but not four, and that two specific references to sodomy had to be replaced with one vague allusion to heavy petting. Yet, four decades on, Britons now think it entirely normal for police constables and timeserving bureaucrats to function as literary critics determining the “intent” behind a throwaway jest.
I see a lot of this in higher ed.

Just the other day my brother and I discussed the ever-changing PC words for various things. Right now, disabled is out as the word of choice for those either physically or mentally, well, disabled.

Before "disabled," we called them handicapped.

Now we call them "special needs." (hell, even special has become a pejorative)

As that takes on the same negative connotation as disabled & handicapped (because people feel bad to acknowledge that there is, in fact, anything wrong), we'll find some new, meaningless PC word to describe them and then cast off once it has worn out its welcome.

In today's society, the focus is not on expressing oneself accurately or well, but on offending the fewest amount of people. This is why 30 Rock got so much mileage out of the "Puerto Rican joke."

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.