Aw, those poor widdle tewwowists
: We’re seeing a lot of whining about the terror prisoners now in Cuba, the latest, of course in the Observer. I’ll give you any odds they are living better now than they did in Osama’s caves: three meals, plumbing, heat. They’re terrorists. We should treat them civilly because we are civilized but beyond that, don’t stretch my sympathy; there is none there.
: The official U.S. story here.
: The official Afghan story here: “The policy of my government will be to agree to the thinking and the decisions made by the government of the United States.” Smart.
Why I like the Post PC era
: The other day, I declared this the Post-PC era (marked by the advertising of Paula Zahn’s alleged sex appeal) and now, in the posts below, I find more sacred cows are becoming fair game (ok, cows aren’t game but, hell, it’s Saturday morning…). So I am inspired to sermonize briefly on this momentous event.
I welcome the Post PC era with with trumpets. Political Correctness is essentially undemocratic; it assumes that we are all too fragile to endure the open and frank debate that democracy demands; it assumes that offense is the greatest sin; it brings us all to a lowest common denominator of gagged silence. I hate how this came to become a prerequisite to being liberal; it’s not. Political correctness is a form of political fundamentalism, an attempt to impose an orthodoxy without open debate, an attempt to legislate civilized behavior according to a list of rules handed down by the political priesthood — telling you all the things you can’t say — rather than according to intelligence and maturity just common sense of all of us. It is possible to be liberal without being politically correct and it’s time for sensible liberals to stand up to this fundamentalism — just as it’s time for sensible religious believers of any brand to stand up to religious fundamentalism.
When I was a TV critic, I made this same argument about the taste and intelligence of us, the masses. If you don’t believe we’re essentially smart — if you think that you have to tell us all how to behave and that we’re unable to think for ourselves and that we have to be protected because we’re unable to defend our own ideas and choices — then you essentially do not believe in democracy or capitalism.
I’m a big Howard Stern fan because he’s unafraid to be honest, he will say what any of us are thinking about any sacred cow, from sex to race to politics to religion. It is time for a new era of honesty.
Post PC I
: When the NY Fire Department decided to make a memorial inspired by the famous photo of New York’s Bravest raising a flat over the rubble of the World Trade Center, they decided to ethnically diversivy the firemen (what, no firewomen?). Steven Den Beste finds this news and finds it appalling.
More Post PC II
: In the Baltimore City Paper, Keith A. Owens, who’s black, writes about being asked whether black people “feel more relieved and less under the gun after the Sept. 11 tragedy because now the pressure is off us and on the Arabs. In other words, are Arabs the new niggers?” After an obligatory paragraph explaining his use of that word, he says his brother-in-law finds white women don’t clutch their purses around him and white men want to shake his hand because, “They know I’m not going to blow anything up.”
If he didn’t know any better my brother-in-law would have made the mistake of thinking that he had finally arrived. He was now on the good list. Screw those Arabs. Hell, they don’t like black folks anyway. After all this time of being given the nigger treatment, isn’t it good to see someone else catch a few licks? And don’t they deserve it?
But here’s the thing: If the Arabs are the new niggers, then are we crazy enough to believe that America is now a better place to live for the “former niggers”? And who will the next niggers be? Is this how to move ahead in America?
More Post PC III
: Instapundit decries newspaper editing of Tommy, an “abused, physically challenged” kid who plays a mean pinball.
More Post PC IV
: Glenn Reynolds weighs in from campus:
Funny, I was discussing with a colleague the other day the Ally McBealization of our female law students: leather pants and pierced-belly-button-baring sweaters are unremarkable now, where they would have been utterly unthinkable on female law students just a few years ago. (And it must have Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin seething.) I do think that there’s a change in the wind. We have a long way to go, but things are certainly different.
I’d be quite curious to hear the good professor’s take on the PC atmosphere on campus now. I’d bet that society is about a decade ahead here; the whole hooha at Harvard lately is demonstration of that.
: An amazing story in the Times of London on the reemergence of gay life in Afghanistan after the Taliban.
Kandaharís Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naive young boys. Before the Taleban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship.
It is called the homosexual capital of south Asia. Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy ó locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior ó that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Mullah Omar mobilising the Taleban.