Friday, September 22, 2006

The Coalition of the Thin-Skinned

“Please do not offer my god a peanut.”

Apu NahasapeemapetilonThat’s what Apu says after Homer mocks the statue of the god Ganesh, in the Simpsons episode “Homer the Heretic”. Apu is an Indian, or to be more precise, a Slurpee Indian, and not a Casino Indian.

Am I being offensive? You wait; I’m just getting warmed up.
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The Simpsons is no respecter of religions. Ned Flanders takes one for the Christians. Krusty the Clown’s rabbinical father takes one for the Jews. Hindus… New Agers… Atheists… Presumably, if Zoroastrians or Jains could be shoehorned into a script, they’d come in for some ribbing, too.

But not Muslims. Funny about that.

9-11 can’t be the cause, nor even the first attack on the WTC in 1993, because the classic Simpsons episodes predate those events. Maybe Salman Rushdie was an object lesson, warning the show’s writers away from the topic. Or maybe it was just writerly intuition.

Not many prominent Westerners are willing to mock Muslims. South Park tried, but Comedy Central was prudent enough to suppress the offending sequence. Jay Leno has just broken the taboo — we’ll see how long it will be before the fatwa is issued and the Prophet’s hit squads try to take him out. If he’s smart, he’ll get plastic surgery right now before moving to Ashtabula to live under an assumed name.

Muslims are sensitive about their religion, you see, and tend to react violently when it is defamed. Make fun of Islam, and your business could be torched. You, your wife, your children, your uncles, and your cousins could be killed. Don’t mess with those guys.

But Muslims aren’t the only ones. Religion-, race-, and gender-based hypersensitivity has become a national preoccupation. With less violent results, mind you, but victimology is still a prominent pastime.

Maybe it started with the Anti-Defamation League, and then spread to the Italians. The Indians (Casino Indians, that is) took it up, or at least the faux Indian, Ward Churchill, did. If you believe the legacy media, women, homosexuals, transvestites — all are ready to be offended.

This is a media-driven phenomenon, hyped on the airwaves and cheered on by trial lawyers. When an African-American woman is ready to sue an airline because a stewardess said “eeny-meeny-miney-moe”, you know that things have reached epidemic proportions.

The little chinamanIf you happen to use one of the increasingly numerous forbidden words or phrases, you could be in big trouble, especially if it occurs on the job or in an academic institution.

It doesn’t matter that when you used the phrase “a chink in the armor”, you didn’t mean a Chinese knight. It’s re-education camp diversity training workshop time for you, bub!

And this used to be a free country. Funny about that.

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If you look at archives of political cartoons from the mid-19th century, you’ll find a cornucopia of raunchy, vulgar, and insulting disrespect. Those cartoonists could give the Daily Kos guys a run for their money. Perhaps the objects of scorn were just as offended as their counterparts are today, but such treatment was not culturally verboten back then. It wasn’t just ethnic stereotyping; you were fair game if you were a Baptist, or from Tennessee, or a teetotaler. If you didn’t have a thick skin, you had no business being in politics.

Rastus CigarsWhence came this inalienable right not to be offended? Why the recent public requirement to cater to the terminally sensitive?

You’ll notice that not every group is included in the protected species list. It’s always open season on members of my tribe, the White European Males, dead or otherwise. But, hey, we’re the cruel oppressors and masters of the corporate power structure, so we can take it, right?

But how about the Irish? How come it’s still OK to make fun of the Irish? It’s not like they’re at the top of the ethnic heap.

Years ago, when I had perhaps taken more adult beverages than was wise, I said to Dymphna, “The only difference between the Irish and the English is that an Englishman has a father’s name on his birth certificate.”

My spouse laughed very hard, put down her drink, and kicked me in the male generative organs. Then she slapped me on the back and said, “It’s a good thing you’re amusing!”

If the Irish are strong enough to take it, why not the rest of us? What’s wrong with everybody?

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The new politically correct game has some rules:

1. Mortgage diversityA protected group may not be depicted, described, or in any way represented as distinct, except by members of the same group.

This is why football teams can’t be named for Indian tribes, even if the Indians don’t care. A member of another race can’t take the part of a black character in a play or a movie. If you’re not a member of the group, such representations are inauthentic and forbidden.

It’s also why the people in the mortgage loan ads or the kids on a vaccination poster in the doctor’s office always look exactly alike except for their skin color and facial features. The “brown people” are just honkies whose faces are covered with shoe polish.
2. No negative characteristics, implied or overt, may be used in any depiction of a protected person.

Indians are never drunk. Black people never eat fried chicken. Italians are never criminals.
3. The Multicultural FestivalThere is only one circumstance in which distinctive ethnic characteristics may appear: the Multicultural Festival.

That’s when we eat chitlins and tacos. That’s when protected people dance in their serapes or saris. It’s OK then. It’s blessed by the PC authorities because we’re not stereotyping, we’re celebrating diversity.

It looks the same, though. Funny about that.

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The little Dutch boyPolack jokes have already entered the dustbin of history. My brother, who is most emphatically un-PC, converted all of his repertoire into West Virginian jokes. But even hillbillies have been ruled out of bounds, and have become “Appalachian-Americans”. No, I’m not making that one up. Google it; you’ll see.

It won’t be long before the Irish, the Swedes, the Dutch, and the Danes are added to the rolls of The Protected. Then there won’t be anyone left but us male WASPS, the ultimate monsters, always oppressing everyone else, even while bound like Gulliver by the Lilliputian PC ropes of the Postmodern Age.

All of this absurdity is yet another aspect of the Demonic Convergence, in which Marxism, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and Islam are merging into a single amorphous blob, the Party of Fellow Travelers and Strange Bedfellows.

Presumably the PC Masters will keep on calling the shots and enforcing the rules right up until the day when the Shari’ah is instituted, and they themselves either have to pay the jizyah, say ash haduallaa ilaaha il-lallaah wa ash hadu anna muhammadar rasullulah, or die.

That will be the same day that Madonna is forced into the hijab, and a stone wall is toppled onto Elton John.


In Russet Shadows said...

There's always a thin skin if you really want it. You could have a thin skin about your age, your lack of hair, your hair color, your geography, or your handedness. :)

The PC victimology paradigm has reached its ludicrous zenith and is cascading into popular derision, like the flaming-out hunk of space junk that it is. Seriously. Who can take a political philosophy seriously that lectures us stone-facedly about "vertically-challenged" people and those who practice an "alternative lifestyle"? Did you catch the literature article submitted to a postmodern journal as a satire of postmodernism? The editors were so wrapped up in their insider lingo that they missed the satire and published it as a serious piece. That day will soon be upon the PC gooblydgookists.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Italians can't be criminals? What about the Sopranos?

And wasn't there a case where the football team couldn't be named after casino Indians even after the tribe specifically approved it (the Seminoles?)

Eating fried chicken is negative?

The PC victimology paradigm has reached its ludicrous zenith Dude, I fear that it is still to crest. At this point you can question PC itself as long as you don't cross it, unlike Islam, the medieval church or Marxism-Leninism in the USSR, but we may well see some manner of heresy type charges in the future for even questioning whether PC is correct. That questioning is evidence of being sexist, racist, patriarchalist etc, which are all punishable crimes.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

That will be the same day that Madonna is forced into the hijab, and a stone wall is toppled onto Elton John.
Now that is all bar pro Islamic propaganda. If CAIR learn to explain the tenets of their religion in such a way I fear popularity would skyrocket.

Profitsbeard said...

Two illegal immigrant imams have collected their year's savings, a total of $8.99, and are standing outside of a corner variety store in a generic Western city. (No, not necessarily Detroit.)

Mohammad (No, not that one!) says to his friend Hamza:

"Hamza, you're the smart one. You take our money and go get something with it that we both can use!"

Mohammad nods, takes the small wad of cash and enters the shop.

An hour later he emerges with a paper bag showing a rectangular shape inside. They both hustle around the corner and Mohammad excitedly asks Hamza to show him what he bought.

Hamza dramatically yanks out the item from the brown sack.

It is a box of kotex.

Mohammad is uncertain what that is, and looks expectantly at Hamza to explain.

Hamza grins and says:

"Look, Mo!" as he turns the box over, and expounds, gushingly:

"With this we can go horseback riding, biking, water-skiing, sailing..."

Kiddo said...

Heeheehee, good one Baron. BTW, have you ever noticed another amusing slight of hand on The Simpsons that comes in handy for the PC-ness? Notice that when they end up in the "bad part of town" or the "bad part of any town" the people are always portrayed as Depression-era hobos? I always thought that was a rather slippery way of getting around those pesky taboos. Actually, I like the hobos.

I think this attitude is just in the air right now, going around. Thanks to the new "Insultifada". I too was compelled to write about encroaching sharia, but you managed it in a much more concise and humorous way.

Nilk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nilk said...

Slightly OT but a very important breakthrough with regards to the Protected Species in society.

Today's Oz (yes, it's called "The Australian") has some excellent op-eds which display a remarkable lack of anything resembling dhimmitude.

Creed of the Sword by Dr Mark Durie
Live by the Word, Die by the Word by Paul Kelly (ed at large)

And our Treasurer, Peter Costello, has been sinking the boot in again.

Sorry to hijack the thread.

To bring it back on topic, I've always refused to play the pc game. I've no problem being diplomatic in work situations, but I've never gone over the top and have always made it clear to those I work with that I refuse to toe the pc line.

I deleted the comment above as I had included one of my fave unpc jokes, but then I remembered the PG rating.

The joke isn't r-rated, but in these days of discretion would most likely be found offensive.


Eric said...

Bill --

If a radical Muslim is one that wants to lop off your head, a moderate Muslim is one that's content to sit back and watch.

As for PC being the "provence of the molly-coddle"...I do think there's a correlation between PC and the overly cautious, safety-at-any-cost society in which we now live. Compare today's playgrounds to those of the '60s and '70s, for example.

But it'd take a bigger brain than mine to fully develop the thesis.

Jason Pappas said...

I found that good natured ethnic jokes tended to diffuse fears of prejudice. Now at work there is a fear of law suits which has dampened the manner in which we used to enjoy differences.

I also noticed that NYC cap drivers, named Mohammad, don’t like ethnic jokes either. It also makes them lose their driving skills.

Thanos said...

Excellent post Baron, to quote something said when the Pope flap first started "Thin skins make for lousy neighbors and weak faiths."

Now, Completely off-topic, as yet unconfirmed reports of Bin Laden's death....

X said...

Jason, my dad has the same attitude and makes fun of everyone. He says he's old enough to get away with it. That aside, he doesn't even believe in the concept of race. We're all quite sick of racial politics in our family...

Terry Crane said...

First, Jews take it all-right, watch "The Producers" if in doubt. Second, Italians hate it, yet in no curcumstances did Italy recalled her ambassador or boycotted US goods because of ethnic stereotypes in US films.

American Indians are the native population of US, so some appreciation IS due, and I am not sure the Casino thing was their idea. I do not remember any protests about Chief Running Water in the South Park. In any case, their situation is unique, and should be treated clearly separately from Africans, Hispanic, etc, let alone Muslims.

So while I in general respect your oppinion, this argument is flawed. We observe a specifically Islamic thing, and researching it would be a very interesting story.

BTW, it si very often that the same people who demand Jews to be "protected" are strong anti-Zionists. They just hate the idea of Jews protecting themselves, something they are not prepared for. So please, no "protective" status for Jews, just be loyal to your true ally that already done so much for you.

Baron Bodissey said...


I think everybody should have to take it; nobody should be exempt. I’m an equal-opportunity offender. Anyone who is offended can close the browser window, change the channel, not buy the DVD, etc. It’s time to take the onus of responsibility off the people who make the jokes.

It’s really the height of absurdity that teams are supposed to change their Indian names, when the Indians don’t even care — by a vast majority, as indicated by polling data. It’s the PC Overlords who care and want to manage how we express ourselves.

But this has nothing to do with whether we ally with Israel, or India, or any other country. That’s a matter of statecraft, and should be subject the calculations of both prudence and morality.

And none of the rest of it — all the “hate crimes” and other forms of violence — should have anything to do with it, either. If you torch the Jewish Community Center, then the penalty should be the same (i.e. very severe) whether you do it for fun, for profit, because your estranged wife is inside, or because you hate Jews. Why is killing people for the simple pleasure of it less evil than killing them because they’re Jews?

These are the hobgoblins of little minds.

Alexis said...

I think you may wish to take a look at a new sale at Dennis Mitsubishi in Columbus, Ohio.

With Keith Dennis "launching a jihad on the automotive market", including "fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies", he's got a lot of free advertising. His advertising sounds so interesting I'd like to hear it!

Now, will there be mass protests against a car salesman?

X said...

Wow, all that free advertising. He must be piddling himself with laughter...