Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Ol’ Robbo has been amused this week by some of the Left’s reaction to the P.C. Police starting to shoot their own fellow travelers. The panic reminds me of the scene in “Young Frankenstein” where Gene Wilder is locked in the room with the Monster when it wakes up. “Get me out of here, get me the hell out of here! What’s the matter with you people? Can’t you take a joke??!!”
Along these lines, Hit & Run has a relevant little piece up entitled What the Hell Does ‘Politically Correct’ Mean?: A Shorty History. It traces the various forms P.C. has taken over the years and examines some of the aims and attitudes of those who have practiced it. (It also gives a shout out to the comic strip “Thatch”, of which I was quite fond back in the day.) Go on over and have a read.
As I’ve probably mentioned here before, the first time ol’ Robbo heard the expression used was in August 1983, during frosh orientation at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT. (Yes, “frosh”. One couldn’t say “freshman” because “man” because seeeeeexiiiiist!!! I took to saying “freshperson”.) A special issue of the school paper had been published for the benefit of the new class, a large section of it being given over to what was and what was not considered politically correct on campus. (One thing I recall from the guide was that “politically correct people say enthusiastic things about the John Anderson presidential campaign.”
During my time at dear old Wes, I saw this phenomenon manifest itself in various and sundry ways – the various Causes of the Week, the correct buttons and bumper stickers (this was before ribbons became a fad), the attitudes and positions one was presumed to have until one said otherwise. Because I am, well, what I am, I took it upon myself to spend my four years there mocking the whole biznay, pointing out logical inconsistencies and disconnections from reality, historical misstatements and, in general, the complete oxymoronic absurdity of lockstep “diversity”. Apart from a few nasty notes pinned to my door regarding certain satirical cartoons I drew for the campus conservative newspaper, and from a fellah who (I heard) wanted to break my nose the night Reagan buried Mondale but was too drunk to find my room, I didn’t really suffer for it. True, I didn’t have all that many friends, but I was pretty much left alone. Indeed, a few people actually told me that, although they disagreed with my opinions, they respected them.
Of course, while there were a few genuine Junior Maoists on campus, they didn’t hold any real levers of power in those days. The Administration was tolerant but inert, while most of the faculty (at least the ones with whom I had courses) were pretty old-school. As for the kids, the majority were simply fellow travelers who went along with the various fads and causes because it was hip and cool and made them feel Enlightened.
These days? Well, I think the balance is very much different, with the hardcore element firmly established in both administration and faculty. Now I’d probably be pilloried, expelled, sued and possibly arrested for the way I carried on back then.
A glass of wine with the Puppy-Blender.