Now here’s a thing. I am anti-PC, of course; but until a few months ago, I
was pretty sure I knew it when I saw it. This is a useful thing to know in
my line of work, as when I feel vituperative, I can deliberately violate
PC codes and scandalize all the PC-niks thereby — which is a fun thing to
do when you feel bored.
Recently, though, PC seems to have drifted off over the horizon. I now
outrage the PC-niks quite inadvertently, saying things which seem to me
utterly innocuous. I blogged about this a few weeks ago in The Corner, in
relation to a trip I made to U.Mich. Prior to going, an NRO reader there
informed me that one of the graduate students in the department I was
scheduled to address had found my website, read some of my columns, and
taken mighty offense. This grad student had printed off the offending
columns and pinned them to the department bulletin board to spread the
outrage. Well, I had a few quiet guesses as to which columns had
scandalized him, and went off to U.Mich. Sure enough, there was my stuff on
the board… but none of my guesses panned out. The things that had
outraged the guy were harmless stuff like this.
At this point I knew I had lost touch somehow. I didn’t even know what
was PC any more.
Another illustration of this alarming state of affairs turned up today. A
blogger called Noam Alaska posted the following on his site, then helpfully sent it on to me (thanks, guy!):
“In Defense of Ann Coulter
“Perhaps my headline may be a bit of an overstatement. However, let me say
this. Back in September 2001, the National Review fired Ann Coulter after
she suggest that airline security pay particular attention to
’suspicious-looking swarthy males.’
“And yet, week after week, they continue to publish the hateful ravings of
the repugnant John Derbyshire. Here is a tidbit from his latest missive:
“‘For myself, I am serenely optimistic about the war. I think we did the
right thing taking down Saddam, I think we should do more of this kind of
thing, and I believe we shall get out of Iraq in a way that leaves the
American public satisfied as to our national honor. As to what the Arabs
think about us: Try as I might (and I confess I haven’t tried very hard) I
can’t summon up an ounce of interest in what the Arabs think about us. Nor
the Bushmen of the Kalahari, neither. Though I think the Arabs should be
considerably worried as to what we think about them.’
“This kind of thing has become almost trademark Derbyshire trash talk, but
he continues to receive paychecks from his employer.
“Why the Coulter/Derbyshire double standard? I’m assuming it’s because
Coulter is something of a superstar in right-wing circles, so when she says
outrageous things, people pay attention. However, because ‘the Derb’ works
in relative obscurity in a conservative backwater, there is no pressure from
outside to hand him his walking papers.”
Now of course this guy is entitled to his opinion. But what is it? That I
am “hateful” and “repugnant”? Fair enough; but what is it in the extract he
quoted that makes him think so? Just read through the extract again (from
“For myself…” to “…think about them.”) What is there in that passage to
excite such wrath? I am honestly baffled.
The only thing I can think of is that this Baked Alaska dude thinks it is
outrageous of me to compare Arabs with Bushmen. This (he thinks) is
demeaning to Arabs, and thereby violates the multi-culti dogma. But wait a
minute: if that’s what got his goat, isn’t he being demeaning to the
Bushmen of the Kalahari? And doesn’t that violate multi-culti dogma?
No, I just don’t get it. These people have gone into orbit somehow. Please
don’t bother offering suggested explanations, though. I care about the
thing just enough to finish this posting. In fact, come to think of it, I’m
not even sure I care that m…….