Friday, December 08, 2006

''It's political correctness gone mad'' gone mad




''The dead hand of political correctness is throttling the life out of the festive spirit," thundered the Sun, announcing, like the Mail, a front-page campaign to defend Christmas. (In Birmingham, the paper noted despairingly, "Christmas has been rebranded as Winterval.") Spurred on by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, and by the Christian Muslim Forum, which has launched a national battle against the de-Christianising of Christmas, local leaders of three faiths wrote to Franks in Luton this week. They warned darkly of the "anger within religious communities" that might erupt if he did not "refrain from renaming the Christmas festival using another (non-religious) name".
All of which might be reasonable, were it not for a few awkward facts...''

more...

Cartoon from This Modern World

UPDATE: US loonery from Fox News.

Hat-tip, Urban 75 where I like to post during breaks and bouts of coughing .

11 Comments:

Blogger Ms Melancholy said...

I have a problem with this whole debate (and have ranted at length on my own blog!) Like you ( I think) I find that those who object to ‘political correctness’ do so out of a deep-seated desire to defend their right to express offensive and divisive views. (Think The Sun, The Daily Mail etc.) However, this whole Christmas thing is just a red herring in my view. I don’t know of anybody who would seriously find it offensive to acknowledge the Christmas celebrations of another faith (or the brandy butter fest that it is for the rest of us.) Where I grew up, we celebrated Eid with our neighbours, who in turn celebrated Christmas with us. That’s not a big deal – it’s just neighbours getting on with life. This debate appears to start with a few local authorities getting over-sensitive in a fantastically ignorant misunderstanding of what multiculturalism is about, and is then leapt on by right wing commentators keen to indulge in a bit of muslim-bashing. If Luton council (and others) are seriously concerned about anti-oppressive practice I would suggest there are many other areas that they could turn their attention to. All this ‘Winterfest’ crap does is hand right-wingers a huge stick to beat us with. We need to pick our fights, and this isn’t one of them. In my humble view, anyway :)

December 08, 2006 10:37 pm  
Blogger DalaiDahmer said...

have you read zuky on PC?
ze isnt alone, but ze says it well.

PC is a pejorative, designed to stop folks fighting for sensitivityof language. as lynne truss said of punctuation, those who attend to the rules of grammer less than we do ourselves we consider deplorable, whereas we consider those who find our grammar to be inexact to be pedants.

it's clearly because we don't wish to view ourselves as anything other than perfect.

PC is used pejoratively for the same reason.


barbelith also discussed it pretty well, albeit in the context of a larger discussion.

December 08, 2006 11:09 pm  
Anonymous Maria said...

Reminds me of a book my ex got one year. It was a book of well known fairy tails, re-told in politically correct language. It was so funny, we were practically rolling around laughing!

What wasn't so funny, though, was the year the management at my parents' retirement community made new rules for what kind of decorations could be in the lobby during the holidays. Christmas tree is OK, but no manger or nativity scene. The funny thing is, the entire population at this retirement facility is white and Christian! Who were they afraid of offending?

December 08, 2006 11:20 pm  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

It seems to me that there are two events in a year; Christmas and Summer holidays. No sooner is one over than the adverts appear on TV for the other (at least this was the case when I did watch TV).

In Hull, shops and the Council started putting up Christmas decoration in mid-November. This is annoying as my birthday is November 18th, and I like to get this over with before I start thinking about Christmas.

But, these bah humbugs aside, I think Christmas is a time for celebration. I am an atheist, so I don't go in for the celebration of Christ. It's a time for giving and receiving presents. Parties, and having a good old drink. Buying the Christmas tree, it must stand floor to ceiling and fill the bay window space, and the decorating it with lights and tinsels etc. Putting up other decorations all around the house.

I tried hard last year not to let the debts spoil my Christmas. I still had a good time, but worried a lot. I am trying to make up for lost time. 25 years of prison christmases. I don't intend to let the PC brigade spoil my Christmases now that I can enjoy them relatively speaking. I will leave them with one word SCROOGE!

December 09, 2006 12:02 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Stories of the 'political correctness gone mad brigade objecting to Christmas' have been found to be a load of reactionary lies, hoorah.

I challenge someone to find an example of Christmas being censored: it isn't.
Pretending it is - an excuse to Minority bash.

Nobody can spoil you Christmas for PC reasons if you are at liberty to choose to celebrate it: it is yor time to do what you want, enjoy.

We have had a midwinter feast in the darkest time of the year in this country for 3000 years: predating Christianity for a log time. Gather your loved ones round the fire, feast and bring in green branches and light candles against the dying of the sun.

December 09, 2006 12:07 am  
Blogger DalaiDahmer said...

personally i don't celebrate christ through christmas, and feel that the entire holiday is an insult to the celtic ancestors of mine who were murdered and had their religion destroyed by the foreign influence of the christian church.
i'm over it, though.
those people won't be brought back to life by attacking the religion of their conquerors.

personally i don't care what religion you want to practise or where it comes from, and i suspect the majority of brits are the same.

the ubiquity of christmas shits on my happy a bit, but that goes for almost all ubiquity, especially if it comes with overplayed songs.

December 09, 2006 12:31 am  
Blogger kris said...

I propose Parliament enact a new winter holiday al la Seinfeld (series 8?) called "Festivus" (for the rest of us).

That would enable members of all of all faiths and cultures to indulge in the traditional "airing of grievances" over the turkey dinner.

December 09, 2006 8:01 am  
Anonymous Not Saussure said...

Clearly no one from The Sun has visited Birmingham lately; I can't say I blame them particularly, but I frequently need to go there and I assure folks that the news they've rebranded Christmas as 'Winterval' has yet to reach the ears of Birmingham City Council

The background to all this, if people need reminding, is that some years ago Brum pubished what with hindsight it might have been wiser to call a Programme of Winter Events, covering things that aren't really part of the Christmas festivities like Bonfire Night. Someone on the tabloids, clearly tired of writing about people in the US trying to enforce the constitutional separation of church and state by objecting to civic Christmas trees, wrote this up as an example of home-grown political correctness gone mad, and then neighbouring Solihull made sure it got the widest possible publicity by encouraging people who wanted a tradtional Christmas to come and do their Christmas shopping in Solihull rather than Brum.

It's now in the cuttings files, so it's firmly established as a fact that 'Birmingham does Winterval and not Christmas', even though simply getting the train there and walking a couple of hundred yards from New Street station would be sufficient to disabuse even a Sun journo of the notion.

December 09, 2006 6:31 pm  
Blogger Gary said...

How many of the Sun and Mail writers are actually Christians? Practicising ones at that? Because if they're not:

1. It really shouldn't bother them as its not a religion they practice, so is of no real concern to them.
2. They probably have no idea where the phrase let him without sin cast the first stone comes from.

December 11, 2006 7:35 pm  
Anonymous Matt Munro said...

Why is it that anyone who objects to PC is automatically branded a Sun/Mail reading reactionary bigot just waiting to indulge in a bit of minority bashing ? It's like characterising the PC brigade as a bunch of sandal wearing, guardian reading liberals, who are so smug and content in their cloistered little lives that they have nothing better to do than feign concern for minority groups in order to assuage their own guilty conciences and impress their PC mates.

Considering the PC brigades abhorence of sterotyping it is ironic that you constantly use sterotypes, you are not countering your opponents arguments, just undermining the people that make them - a central mechanic of the opression which you profess to be opposed to.

"I find that those who object to ‘political correctness’ do so out of a deep-seated desire to defend their right to express offensive and divisive views".

Whose definition of "offensive and divisive though" ? And why are their rights of self expression less important than yours ?
Is it because they hold right-wing opinions ? Because they are uneducated, tabloid reading, junk food eating, football watching scum ? In short because they are not members of the white liberal middle class ?

You seem to assume the authority to censor the opinions of anyone who disagrees with your world view. The democratic and rational thing to do would be to refute them with logical argument. I wonder why you chose not and resort to playground name calling instead.

December 18, 2006 2:58 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Matt, who is that aimed at? When you say 'you...' and go on to add...

' you are not countering your opponents arguments..'

' And why are their rights of self expression less important than yours ?
Is it because they hold right-wing opinions ? Because they are uneducated, tabloid reading, junk food eating, football watching scum ? In short because they are not members of the white liberal middle class ?

You seem to assume the authority to censor the opinions of anyone who disagrees with your world view. The democratic and rational thing to do would be to refute them with logical argument. I wonder why you chose not and resort to playground name calling instead.'

it would help if you say who you mean. Do you mean the author of the article which I quoted? The article in which it demonstrates that people who say things like 'Christmas is becoming illegal thanks to the PC brigade' have not got their facts right? That is the poitn of the article - to refute myths and replace them with facts.

At the moment it looks like you haven't read what the article said, and you are not being at all clear, just rather rude and it is not clear who you are even ranting at.

December 18, 2006 4:44 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home