This Will Offend You

PCI have gotten into arguments through the years over the good and bad points of being “politically correct.” I have always contended that, despite eliminating some obvious hateful or historically hurtful terminology, political correctness is too often just a political grab for the conscience of the country and upsets as many people as it coddles. But my real argument with political correctness is when it is applied to historical events, documents, pronouncements, usually accompanied by the inane insistence that “they should have known better back then.”

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Academic Freedom taken behind the wood-pile

College CharlestonThere are so many good reasons to live in South Carolina, especially if you are retired, but there are also many bad reasons. Good weather, low taxes, and fried chicken, however, cannot make up for the stupidity and intolerance inherent in the state. It’s unfortunate that my friends and family scattered around this country regularly hear on the news how my adopted state is such an embarrassment, but after living for thirty years in New Jersey, I’ve gotten used to it. The one thing about South Carolina (and many other places so don’t be too smug) is it’s adherence to ideology at the expense of the truth and it closed-mindedness driving out critical thinking and academic investigation. Here’s another example from J. Bryan Lowder at Slate:

South Carolina Champions Academic Freedom … by Punishing Colleges for Assigning Gay Books

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Censorship in America

This popped up in my news feed from Truthout:

People's History… former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels sought to remove Howard Zinn’s work from state classrooms just weeks after the historian’s death in 2010. … Daniels wrote, “This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away.” After he described “A People’s History” as a “truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page,” Daniels asked: “Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?”

And this idiot is now the president of Purdue University in Indiana. They must be very proud in the Hoosier State.

Shoot ’em ups

I am totally against any form of censorship—even the right-wing gun nuts need to be heard (how else can they dig their hole deeper?)—but I have to note that there is a glorification of violence and mayhem in the movies and video games. Does that cause real violence? Most studies show that it not only doesn’t cause violence but that it is a cathartic experience that can actually result in a decrease in violence.

I’m too dumb to know the right answer here but still, there’s a lot of violence in the movies.