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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Et tu, Apu?

Friends, you may or may not have noticed, but the PC culture wars have come to The Simpsons, which I have watched and enjoyed for many years.  Hank Azaria, who voices many of the characters, is under fire for propagating an admittedly stereotypical Indian character named "Apu".  Does Apu make Indian immigrants look ridiculous?  Most assuredly, but the whole point of The Simpsons is to make EVERYONE look ridiculous.  The sad fact is that all too many leftists lack the necessary sense of humor to see what a valuable service to society this sort of satire is.  We need a safety valve, after all, and we need to preserve the ability to think critically, even about cherished institutions and ideas.

The best part of the article below comes at the end, when the author reminds us that PC bullying only works if we allow it to work.  If we self-censor out of fear that the PC police will read us the riot act, or if we back down when they do, it only encourages them.  There are levels of "insensitivity" that all of us should avoid, I'm sure, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water -- let's maintain our ability to laugh at each other, and at ourselves.


  1. Dr. Waddy: I read that part of the article my leftist computer allowed me to access. You are so very right in noting that PC bullying works only when we allow it to work. President Trump sets a courageous example of refusal to let the totalitarian left take the initiative. People of good will sometimes say "yeah but if you say anything they don't like you get called this and that." My reply is "who are 'they' and why are 'they' able to intimidate in this way". "Why should we allow 'them' to set the rules?" I know there are some people ( eg. bureaucratic subordinates) who cannot risk their careers and material well being in defense of principles which they cannot count on to save them. That's where, for an example, retired ones such as me can be useful. My first question to the PC Gestapo often is "define that term you just used to condemn me out of hand". Being convinced of their unquestionable righteousness many on the left can do no more than to titter nervously about the perfidy of challenging them. Leftists have a sense of humor all right; their exalted exemplar demonstrated it at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Its vicious and it defines them. It fairly predicts the status under their sway of all who dare to defy them.

  2. Quite right, Jack -- the left does have a sense of humor, and it is downright acidic. What they lack is any ability to laugh at themselves or even recognize the concept of humility. You're right -- retirees are in a very strong position to stand up to the PC police. Many in the working world are browbeaten. I'm lucky in that I have tenure, but most Americans only survive according to the grace and favor of the left, which is always happy to destroy a life or a livelihood to make an example of its latest victim. It's scary out there!

  3. Dr. Waddy: I forgot to add: when a PC thug says"oh you know what I mean by racism or sexism", I say "no, I don't know what YOUR definition is; that term has been so overused and misused that it lacks inherent definition." If they can produce a credible definition then I say "now please tell me specifically what I have said or done which fits that". Sometimes that leaves them fuming because they consider such accusations to be self evident. In the work world, so often the middle level supervisors are the problem. Often they are loath to risk their hard won positions to defend a subordinate who"ain't got no juice". They answer to managers who are insulated from the everyday consequences of their often self serving PC mandates. The left will simplify that if they take over: "a classless society with totalitarianism for all!" is their promise.

  4. Jack, it's very true that the definitions of leftist slurs are seldom specified. Presumably that's by design. In the same way that the law and the constitution mean whatever they say they mean, so does "racism", etc. Language is merely the exercise of power, and whoever controls the language controls everything else. I presume that's their assumption, and it isn't a bad one...

  5. Dr. Waddy: Good points. Its all rock 'n roll to them. Accordingly, they build political structures without moral or historical foundations and, like foundationless buildings, they eventually tumble. Language certainly is exceptionally important in the mobilizing and exercising of power and a good argument can be made that it is decisive, at least in many cultures.