You Couldn't Get Away With That Today

in life •  5 months ago

Have you noticed how quickly the politically correct narrative has overtaken culture?

I don't know if it's just in the US, but I notice this all the time when watching old TV shows or movies.

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On bit in particular comes form the Office.

In that show there was an incident where the boss, Michael, called his accountant "faggy". The HR rep told him that this was inappropriate. Michael responded that he calls everyone faggy, and he just means it to say that they suck. The HR rep tells him to just use the word "lame" instead.

Even though the joke was itself about political correctness and culturally inappropriate language, it is dated because the correction to the offensive term would be considered offensive itself today: you cannot call someone "lame" because that would be offensive to disabled people.

In another scene, a Christmas episode, one of the women in the office dresses up as Santa Claus, which upsets Michael because he always gets to be Santa. So, he calls her "Tranny Claus", which is an hilarious play on words, but would in no way be acceptable in our current culture!

These are things that were considered slightly edgy 10 years ago but would be simply too offensive to utter today.

Another example is the movie Tropic Thunder.

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Although the depiction of Robert Downey Jr. in blackface and Ben Stiller playing a "retard" were considered controversial at the time, and the actors themselves had apologized for any offense the characters may have given people, I doubt that it would pass any major studio today.

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There are numerous examples that I could give from movies as innocuous as Austin Powers and TV shows as innocent as Animaniacs. The point is that the PC culture has been moving fast and is becoming more intrusive on our lives and our general culture, to the extent that we second-guess ourselves and what we say in our own homes and with our own friends and families.

This is a kind of self-imposed imperialism. People are not comfortable speaking their mind or even telling jokes. I find this to be a big step in the wrong direction which opens a door to greater acceptance of totalitarianism.

What do you think?

@shayne

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It's hammered into people's lives too; there's no escaping it. Sooner or later, with either a little hammering or a lot, everyone will conform.

It sort of reminds me of how smoking was basically eliminated from any sort of establishment here in Canada. First it started with airplanes, then restaurants, then hotels, then bars, then basically there isn't anywhere to smoke except the street corners only if there isn't a person within 1 km. It took the last 20 years but, slowly but surely, it was forced upon everyone for this change. And now, the next generation wouldn't even know that, at one time, every coffee shop across the country once had a smoking section in it with a glass wall. Political correct speech, to me, is changing in a similar way. It starts with the small things until before you know it, all of it has changed and most don't even know it happened.