Inordinate Ordnance: The Problems with being Politically Correct
Thursday, October 18, 20120 Comments
Like a lung spot on an x-ray, there exists certain words in my lexicon, that I would rather not know about. Words like “social networking”, “collateral casualties”, “Mitt Romney” and “progress”. All buzz-words that define, not the thing they are meant to, but rather an entire stream of philosophy behind them.
One such phrase I find particularly discomforting is “politically correct”. These tiny two words dictate too much protocol in all things we do. From politics, to media, from welfare to entertainment, the tint of PC-ness stinks up all that could be fantastic. And why has the PC stain infected everything we create? Simply, not to offend.
And here is where we meet the wizard behind the curtain—political correctness is a way to usurp the possibility of offending some people. Under the guise of the possibility of offending someone, stagnation begins to set in. A stagnation geared to help those who are already in control (those who put PC-ness at the forefront of every person’s mind). I’m getting ahead of myself. Rather, the problem is potential offence taken.
Being offended is important. When we try to minimalize the amount of offence people will take, we minimalize the amount of change taking place. And offence must be taken, I cannot give it to you. Someone must take issue with something that goes against their morals, values and wishes and speak out against it, thus leaving room for different protocols and normative values.
Let’s say a prominent figure, say a politician, enacts a policy that offends your personal values. You take it as a personal attack, and act accordingly. If you weren’t offended, your voice would still be dormant, placated by the cool, soothing waters of politically correct sensory chambers we all exist within. This cracks the walls of the average citizen’s quaintness and it pisses them off. Eventually if you upset someone enough, they will do something about it.
What about hateful people? Well the beauty of a society free of the potential of hurt-feelings and PC-ness, these people are not longer quieted by the stigma of being PC, and will be free to spout hate speech. This sounds horrible, but think of it this way, if landmines beeped loudly, we wouldn’t be loosing limbs to them as easily. PC standards protect bigotry by putting a sweet smile on hatemongering. If my co-worker is a racist and is free to say so, I know they need to go. If not, they will silently hate, like a judgmental goldfish, devoid of intelligible contribution.
In fact, screw goldfish, what have they ever done for me? I hate they way they float, judging with there weird, balloonish eyeballs. Plus, I heard they are cheap.
What comes now? The goldfish readership I possess (it’s larger than you’d think), gets offended. They posse together, organize and launch a campaign to educate people on the benefits of goldfishness (or is it goldfishdom?). Anyway, they gain a following, sponsorship and before too long there is a positive, fighting community fighting for the rights of the gold-coloured animals and peoples. What my hate-speech has created is a community of like-minded individuals fighting for their values. This is how change is enacted. Not from trying to make everyone cordial, smiling idiots, too scared to criticize.
If we shut off the possibility of upsetting people, we start to become a state of goldfish, endlessly circling the tank until we die, unoffended. No offense to any goldfish who may have read this article, they are a proud and lustrous species. Even if they are bad tippers. Cheap little buggers.
Chris Carr is Editor-in-Chief of The Cannon. Inordinate Ordnance publishes every Thursday in The Cannon and in The Ontarion Student Newspaper at the University of Guelph.
The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.