Has political correctness gone mad?
By Adam Tatelman, Staff Writer
Maybe I’m a straight white cis-gender male living in a phallocentric, casually misogynist rape culture that disadvantages everyone except me—but I often feel that my generation has become impractically sensitive. Since their profession revolves around walking the line of political correctness, it’s fitting that some of the first to address this issue are outspoken standup comics fed up with stiff audiences.
In an interview with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, comic Jerry Seinfeld said, “I don’t play colleges. I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’” After an amusing anecdote involving his 14-year-old daughter calling her own mother a sexist, Seinfeld added, “They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.
Seinfeld’s not the only one either. Fellow comic Colin Quinn noted that this trend began in the ‘90s. He saw people reacting not to the jokes but to the “buzzwords” in them.
The subsequent outrage over Seinfeld’s statements by leftist publications proves his point: three articles by three different writers at Salon all paint Seinfeld as a “bad joke” or “the next Bill O’Reilly” with creatively titled articles like “Jerry Seinfeld is a Wimp.” Stay classy, my friends.
It’s not a one-sided conversation, thankfully. On Real Time with Bill Maher, known PC opponent, Maher and fellow comic Jeff Ross came to Seinfeld’s defence with some zingers of their own. “If Jerry Seinfeld is too politically incorrect for you, maybe you should look in a mirror,” said Maher.
“Comedy is medicine,” replied Ross. “It’s the best medicine, laughter. You don’t want it generic. You want it potent.”
Honestly, I’m not a Seinfeld fan. I’ve always been partial to George Carlin’s irreverent sass. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, non-PC humour was what the well-to-do protest-happy liberal college students wanted. That breed of comedy thrived on campus venues. Now I’m wondering when left-wing society got so into censorship. That’s what they’ve been bashing the right for all along. It’s like the children of the ‘60s ran from their parents so hard, they became their parents—on steroids.
The irony is so thick you could press a suit with it. Maybe it’s time to develop a bigger vocabulary for dealing with people whose views differ from ours instead of relying on the tired “racist, sexist, and homophobic” rhetoric as a crutch to shut them up. Who knows? If we learn to be self-critical, we might also learn not to take ourselves so seriously all the time.