So I’ve started to wonder whether or not we’re all moving towards becoming a world of politically correct intolerant humourless gits! It seems these days you can’t actually speak your mind without someone getting offended and taking it personally. It has become a ridiculous situation that really has no logical end point. I remember growing up in Australia when Paul Hogan had his weekly TV series the whole family would look forward to. Hoges would take a pot shot at everything; no minority, religious group, cultural trait, or political event of the day was spared from his comic evisceration. As a consequence we laughed at everything equally, and learned that nothing was so sacred it was taboo as a subject for critique.
How things have changed. Now I live in Europe, and Hoges’s last TV show episode is decades behind us, it seems any kind of tolerance and ability to laugh at ourselves got left at the turn of the millennium. We’ve come to a time now when speaking your mind about something can be range from mildly awkward to downright dangerous, depending on the topic you’ve decided to espouse an opinion on. Religious groups have all declared themselves sacrilegious and militantly attack those that choose to parody them (using both the law and threat of violence as blunt force weapons); minority groups vocally demand apologies at grievances received from statements made left or right of the politically correct line; and hardliners in political parties are constantly demanding apologies when someone pokes fun at their country’s cultural idiosyncrasies. What’s next?! More monitoring of things we say in our lessening private lives, in the name of political correctness, and protecting innocents (or maybe innocence)?
On the one hand in the burgeoning age of digital culture where sharing as a concept has been taken to an extreme that even futurists 10 years ago couldn’t have imagined you can literally keep up with every thought going through your friends heads, yet we’ve simultaneously seen governments ban more personal activities (rights we used to call them), than before. But I guess the reality is governments have been priming us for a long while when it comes to privacy and personal rights deprivation. Smoking, drinking, gambling, government critical media; these examples provoke strong reactions in us now thanks to propaganda campaigns that have been going on for many years. Even here in Holland where personal freedom was once of the highest concern of the government, under pressure from external (read French, British, German) influences these freedoms are being scaled back. All to satisfy someone else’s idea of “what’s good for us all”.
Sadly I don’t see how political correctness can do any good any more, if in fact it did any good in the first place. Nobody ever took Hoges seriously back then, or made him write out a public apology. We laughed and if you were one of the group he was poking fun at, you laughed with him. Well, nobody is laughing anymore; the silence is positively deafening.
The Have we become a world of humourless gits? by Mentalechoes, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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