Friday, 16 April 2010

Political Incorrectness

A week or so ago (at the time of writing this article) it was in the news that comedian and Mock the Week ex-panellist Frankie Boyle was being criticised for making a joke about Down’s syndrome as he offended a woman in the audience who had a five-year-old child with the condition. Frankie Boyle has never been the cleanest of all comedians and has a reputation for making rather blue jokes, knowing this why did the woman in question go to see him? She claimed to be a fan so it’s not like she didn’t know what she was letting herself in for and more importantly, what makes it ok to tell racist/sexist/homophobic jokes or jokes about other conditions but not Down’ syndrome? A joke is just that a joke, and should be treated as such, if you are easily offended don’t go to see comedians with a reputation for being offensive, and furthermore, don’t be a hypocrite about it. Either all jokes at the expense of a minority are fine, or none are. Let’s not start making a hierarchy of who it’s ok to rip-on and who it’s not ok to, because that’s when the bigotry does start.

This leads me to the topic that is the title of this article, political correctness. There are so many things we aren’t allowed to say because certain people might find it “offensive” but who actually decides what is offensive? The people who are part of the minority that the PC-enforcers are trying to defend or the enforcers themselves? Because in my experience it seems to be the latter. We apparently can’t say blackboard and have to opt for chalkboard because blackboard might offend [black] people. I’ve spoken to a few black people and none of them have agreed with this, “It’s the colour of the board” one reasoned, which is true so why can’t we say blackboard? Or Baa Baa black sheep? What next? Going to have to opt for white or “really dark grey” when picking out new hardware, which on that note, why isn’t whiteboard “offensive”?

Surely it’s the context a word is used which deems whether it’s offensive or not, not the word itself, homosexual can be just as offensive if not more so than queer depending on the context. If it’s used in a gay rights debate and someone arguing against says “Being queer is unnatural and against god and you’ll burn in the fiery pits of hell for it” how is that any different to if you replaced queer with gay, homosexual or bum bandit? It’s not, and it’s still just as offensive. As long as a word is used in a satirical or light-hearted manner I don’t see it as an issue, and if you think it is, you are the one with the problem. Stop being offended on behalf of minorities and deciding what is offensive to a group which you have no idea what it’s like to be part of.

I can tell pretty distasteful jokes; I’ll be amongst the first to admit that but that doesn’t mean I’m a chauvinist, it just means I know the time and the place for humour and I have a simple understanding of irony which most people nowadays seem to be deprived of. I don’t have a problem with any group (apart from maybe stupid people and Halo Fanboys, actually maybe they’re the same thing...) but I don’t see why I should change what I believe in to appease some bigwigs who didn’t quite make number 10.

If you start drawing lines between what can be said and what can’t that’s when you start separating people from the rest of the world which is exactly what people in minorities don’t want and that’s what bigotry is all about; treating people differently because of their differences and when you do treat them different it highlights their differences which again is not what they want. It’s political correctness itself we should be fighting, because it’s the exact opposite of what being “correct” is all about. The day we start calling gay people “sexually challenged” I’m moving to Iran...

“Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred” ~ Jacques Barzun

1 comment:

An Agitated Octopus said...

Lol, ur ghey. :V

Am I funny now? :c