John Cleese says political correctness has gone too far, especially on America’s college campuses, where he will no longer go to perform. The very essence of his trade — comedy — is criticism and that not infrequently means hurt feelings. But protecting everyone from negative emotion all the time is not only impractical (one can’t control the feelings of another), but also improper in a free society. Cleese, having worked with psychiatrist Robin Skynner, says there may even be something more sinister behind the insistence to always be politically correct.
I give you a common definition:
The term political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC or P.C.) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Since the late 1980s, the term has come to refer to avoiding language or behavior that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race. In public discourse and the media, it is generally used as a pejorative, implying that these policies are excessive.
John Cleese: I’m offended every day. For example, the British newspapers every day offend me with their laziness, their nastiness, and their inaccuracy, but I’m not going to expect someone to stop that happening; I just simply speak out about it. Sometimes when people are offended they want — you can just come in and say, “Right, stop that.” to whoever it is offending them. And, of course, as a former chairman of the BBC one said, “There are some people who I would wish to offend.” And I think there’s truth in that too. So the idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to. And a fellow who I helped write two books about psychology and psychiatry was a renowned psychiatrist in London called Robin Skynner said something very interesting to me. He said, “If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior.” And when you’re around super-sensitive people, you cannot relax and be spontaneous because you have no idea what’s going to upset them next. And that’s why I’ve been warned recently don’t to go to most university campuses because the political correctness has been taken from being a good idea, which is let’s not be mean in particular to people who are not able to look after themselves very well — that’s a good idea — to the point where any kind of criticism or any individual or group could be labeled cruel. And the whole point about humor, the whole point about comedy, and believe you me I thought about this, is that all comedy is critical. Even if you make a very inclusive joke like how would you make God laugh? Answer: Tell him your plans. Now that’s about the human condition; it’s not excluding anyone. It’s saying we all have all these plans, which probably won’t come and isn’t it funny how we still believe they’re going to happen. So that’s a very inclusive joke. It’s still critical. All humor is critical. If you start to say, “We mustn’t; we mustn’t criticize or offend them,” then humor is gone. With humor goes a sense of proportion. And then as far as I’m concerned, you’re living in 1984.
“If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behaviour.”
I think that is one of the most illuminating and insightful quotes I have ever heard. Brilliant!
The first example of this that came to my mind is, Islamic men blaming WOMEN — for THEIR lack of sexual control, when aroused by the sight of female flesh, or even their hair. I cannot think of a more ludicrous and unacceptable situation. That’s much worse than those idiot judges who blame girls with short skirts, for being attacked and raped.
‘Political Correctness’ was an idea invented by the Chinese Marxist and the world’s greatest mass-murderer of his own people, Chairman Mao.
This is the reason the Liberal Democrat cohort, who call themselves “Progressives, and actually only have about twenty odd percent of the voting public supporting them, screech, wail, propagandize, and work at controlling the U.S. courts.
And to prove his point, the BBC banned Fawlty Towers.
Political Correctness is the triumph of emotions, victimhood, and false beliefs over logic and reason. It stifles intellectual discussion.
“Political correctness is the language of cowards” – Billy Connolly
The idea of preventing anyone from saying what they want to say bothers me more than anything and I would say I am an overly sensitive person.
This ultra-PC attitude concentrated on campuses, but expanding into general society, was and continues to be fostered by 3rd Wave Feminists who were themselves incubated in university Gender Studies faculties. 3rd Waver graduates then go on to become active either in governments themselves or as lobbyists to governments in an effort to legislate PC behavior, criminalizing speech that anyone may find offensive. It is a movement that must be stopped as soon as possible and while it is still not illegal to speak about stopping it.
People get a rush when they feel like they’ve defeated an evil. What counts as “the evil” differs from group to group.
Twitter is a place where you can feel like you’re vanquishing evil while sitting on your couch. The current PC culture is so toxic, that something which even offends you is evil and shouldn’t exist. SJW’s claim a moral highground, but all they are are bullies looking for that rush. These people are a threat to speech because if they had their way, they’d push to expand “safe spaces” (opinions that are different) outside of campuses.
This PC stuff leads to a very scary place.
“Political Correctness can lead to an Orwellian Nightmare.”
“How do you make god laugh? Tell him your plans” = Gold.
He’s absolutely right comedians criticize everything And that’s why they’re now not allowed on many campuses.
“When people cannot control their own emotions, then they have to try to control other peoples behaviours”. The brilliance of John Cleese – he just waved away social justice warriors and PC culture with a simple flex of his intellect.
Soon, everybody will be afraid to speak.