Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chestnuts; Hoary Old

Josh writes:

It seems that so tiresome are accusations of "Political Correctness" these days, that the standard response of "Political Correctness doesn't fucking exist anymore -- as a phrase, it's so overused that it's become meaningless" is becoming equally tiresome. Nevertheless.

Today's Herald contains an article about Stephen Fry's new pantomime, including a digression into how "PC" pantos are becoming (can't find a link to the article -- it's not on the Herald's site, and I'm buggered if I'm going to hunt it down on whatever news agency it originated from). So what counts as "PC" today?

Avoiding Hansel and Gretal, with it's references to child kidnapping -- I suppose you could make a case that this is the sort of prohibitionist, cotton-wool-wrapping that has been a staple of PC claims in the past.

Avoiding Aladdin because of its stereotyped Arabian villain and Snow White because of its comical portrayal of dwarves -- again, pedantic attempts to avoid offense are, I guess, typical of what gets called PC.

The abandonment of the old panto tradition of having the male (child) lead played by a girl, on the grounds that it seems a bit like lesbianism, given his/her relation to the female lead. Hang on. Avoiding spurious racism = political correctness; avoiding spurious height-ism = political correctness; pandering to homophobia = political correctness? And precisely what the common thread between any of this and the Hansel & Gretel thing is is beyond me, too.

Could it be that maybe, just maybe, "political correctness" really is just used as a stand-in for "lefty/liberal/postmodern stuff I don't like"?

1 comment:

Blair said...


What was your point?