I'm on vacation today so I have too much time on my hands so I've been pulled into the hot mess that is the controversy over Phil Robertson. So here's the most enlightened thing I can say:
If you believe others to be inferior and you are an arrogant bastard, then what you need is a constant stream of ideologically pure rhetoric. You require a strict orthodox line of reasoning to keep you from engaging in predatory behavior. You so distrust your instinct, intuition and background that you must keep your mind free of the contradictions that reality presents.
This can be by my reckoning the only rationale for preserving the principle which we understand to be behind the slapdash yet pervasive application of Political Correctness. People must honestly believe that being wrong is never worth it and so they slather themselves with righteousness. Maybe this is the result of the multiple-choice education so many people have received in our country. The shallow unsubtlety of it all is staggering. To have a view of humanity that is so frightful that it must tolerate the punishment of free speech is a condition of arrogance incompatible with sanity.
I want not to be upset over this. And I don't doubt the spirit of the many, nor do I doubt that wisdom, while not prevailing, is still in healthy supply. But right now I am actually weeping for my country. And when I am finished weeping, I'll write another essay.
In the meantime, I quote Camille Paglia via some other website.
Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, explained that the country has become too politically correct.
“To express yourself in a magazine in an interview — this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,” she said. “This is the whole legacy of free speech 1960s that have been lost by my own party.”
She also told Ingraham that while she's an atheist, she respects religion and has become frustrated by the intolerance shown by modern gay activists who seek to silence any opposition.
“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” she said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”
Paglia told Ingraham that feminism and the gay movement has been taken over by fanatics "who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement.”
(sigh). It's not as if I didn't know this. But they won't go away. In the meantime, I'm going to make sure my kids read Allen Bloom and E.D. Hirsch.
I've come across something subtly rabid and here is my response, which I guess is my final word on the particular topic:
Lenny Bruce reminds us that there's a difference between a big piece of art with a little shit in the middle and a big piece of shit with a little art in the middle. One is a big piece of art and the other is a big piece of shit. I find that your zero tolerance of shit has managed to incite you to destroy art.
It takes zero tolerance to transform a statement that offends you into a racist conspiracy, and to look for justification of that in the consistent sense of offense you take against those you arbitrarily define as the heart, mind and soul of Conservatism. That is, of course your privilege, but it is anything but tolerant, let alone inclusive. One might surmise by your position that a Conservative Christian has no rights the public is bound to respect. I paraphrase Taney purposefully, because what is at issue is the difference between a nation that turns aside when the rights of some are abused and one that is determined to hold all accountable to a single set of standards.
This is more important today than ever. While the United States has a population of over 300 million, the powers required to monitor the speech of all 300 million is already well in hand as has been shown in the case of the NSA. If you don't like how the term 'terrorist' has been bandied about, then consider very carefully your application of the word 'racist' and the number of Americans whose every word you would parse for your punitive purposes.
I'm confident that the power of the internet to aggregate the intolerant aggravations of political partisans will manifest itself in many ways, some unanticipated but many in ways well known to history. Consider your blog and your readership as a network of stooges and stool pigeons for the next charismatic elected into power, and remember I told you so.
Phil Robertson and his family and his show are a big piece of art, and I'm proud to live in a country where there hundreds of square miles for him and those like him to live in peace without outside agitation seeking retribution. I say so as a man with inlaws who still live across the Ouachita and picked cotton in the local fields in the days before the Internet's panopticon.