Remember when you could have fun at someone else’s expense? Not in a mean-spirited way, but in a fun way. Ribbing your friends, your enemies, and just about anyone you had a funny comment about was a time-tested way of having a little fun in life. It wasn’t personal, and nothing and no one was off limits. That day is done.
The political correctness movement ruined honest political discourse, funny movies and decent sitcoms, and now it’s sucking the joy out of everyday life for people uninvolved in any of those things.
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it was only the 1970s when “Blazing Saddles” was made and embraced by a culture simply looking to laugh. It was offensive. It was silly. But most of all it was funny. Same goes for “Airplane!” Richard Pryor and George Carlin were mocking people and cultures, and it was hilarious. Now we are no longer ready to laugh; we’re ready to be offended. No, we seem to crave being offended.
Maybe there were a bunch of people in the pre-Internet age with hair-triggers to outrage, but licking a stamp and the speed of the U.S. Post Office didn’t allow for them to mobilize and terrorize people easily enough for it to matter. But I somehow doubt it. Political correctness had not yet sucked the fun out of life, and people could laugh at themselves. But the Internet has empowered these pathetic loners to unite, connect with like-minded parents’- basement dwellers, and form a cabal of “thought policers” to demand subordination and get it.
Plus, and most importantly, there wasn’t a major political philosophy built on the concept of dividing people to obtain power.
As progressives went from an unwashed few in coffee shops in Manhattan and Berkeley to unwashed hordes in elected offices, newsrooms and tenured professorships, they forged an Outrage Industrial Complex ready to be offended on behalf of others. They were quick to cry racism at any joke that involved someone with different amounts of melanin. They were quick to cry homophobia if the target was gay. Actually, they’re just quick to cry – and cry loudly enough to scare anyone who simply heard crying and didn’t want to be blamed for causing it.
Progressives took a nation that was getting along pretty well and highlighted differences. Rather than focus on what we all have in common, they demanded we “celebrate diversity. That celebration has mutated into a club with which to pound anyone who steps out of the line they’ve placed us in.
Political correctness was weaponized, then monetized, and now it is the Sword of Damocles hanging over everyone’s head, ready to drop if we don’t use their approved nomenclature.