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Quickies: Political Correctness, Anxiety Disorder Management, and Feminist Comic Books

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5 Comments

  1. I think Sarah Silverman got political correctness exactly right, comedians are there to entertain. Using words like gay as casual pejoratives is not OK.

    There are occasions when certain people can step over the line. But it has to be done intentionally and for a purpose. Chris Rock did his famous N-word routine exactly once. And the point of the routine is partly that white folk should not feel they can intimidate black folk by using the N-word but he was also demonstrating that being black doesn’t make you immune to anti-black prejudice. Or as he would put it ‘like how fucked up is that?’

    That said, it is really important for people to have a sense of proportion and bear in mind that comedy is really hard and sometimes a statement made on the spur of the moment is going to turn out to be ambiguous or worse. The writers who created Alf Garnet/ Archie Bunker were not racist, they invented the characters as a way of showing racists just how stupid their arguments were. Back in the 1970s, that was a necessary approach. Today it isn’t. So the reason Archie Bunker was acceptable in the 1970s and isn’t today isn’t because of ‘political correctness’ it is because Archie Bunker isn’t necessary any more.

    Today you wouldn’t need to make Archie Bunker a racist, you would make him a global warming denier, a gun nut, a tea party conspiracy nut.

    What irks me is not ‘PC’ but when people set themselves up to police it and demand instant ostracism for any violation. No, Larry Summers was not ousted because of one unfortunate speech. I knew members of the Harvard faculty who were moving to oust him long before the speech. It wasn’t the speech that did him in, it was the fact that he had vetoed tenure for a enough women and minorities for that to have become a very clear pattern. At the time, I suspected that the reason he was asked to give the speech in the first place was to catch him out.

    • Archie’15 would be a racist, but he would be in denial about it. (He would also be a global warming denier, gun nut and tea party conspiracy nut, and would listen to Rush, Alex Jones and Coast-to-Coast, but he would think the latter had a distinctly liberal bent.)

      • Back in the day, I knew people—thankfully not a lot—who would watch AitF and say that they liked Archie because “he really tells it like it is.” If any of them are still alive, they’re probably Trump supporters.

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