Kathy Shaidle packs a lot into this short post. It's all the more impressive when you consider that these important points were generated by someone as determinedly petty as Warren Kinsella. (For those not up to speed on the ethnic humorist's woes, see me below, or Ezra Levant here.) Here's a favorite passage:
Political correctness is a threat to national security, not to mention an encroachment on our ordinary lives, where we feel inclined to whisper constantly like we're living in the Soviet Union. Political correctness must be undermined at every opportunity if we wish to survive.
Absolutely. If a multicultural society is going to have any chance of survival, we need, as Kathy put it on another occasion, insensitivity training. Which brings me back to Ezra's post:
Realizing the staggering political stupidity of his unfunny joke, Kinsella quickly deleted it from his website, but not before plenty of people saved it. That attempt at revising history is an indicator that Kinsella knew that he had said something beyond the pale.
Ezra's right. Here's what Catsmeat Kinsella said originally:
Back in the Big Owe for a couple weeks, so what better way to kick things off than with some BBQ cat and rice at the Yang Sheng, hangout of our youth? Yay!...
Then I walk in.
Sitting there, two Conservative Guys who I Did Not Want To See. Just seeing them gave me indigestion, and I hadn't even tucked into a bowl of barbecued cat, yet.
As Ezra says, Catsmeat quickly disappeared that text and replaced it with this:
So there I was in Ottawa, thinking about Jason Kenney.
Jason wants you to forget about the Reform Conservative Party's history. He wants you to think they are "tolerant" and "diverse."
That's because his party is the one that had MPs who quoted Hitler approvingly. And who said non-whites should be "moved to the back." And, in one campaign, had a candidate who declared that there is an "Asian invasion." And, in the most recent campaign, whose candidates and staffers suggested First Nations people were all drunks, and that you wouldn't want an immigrant next door, because they tend to be criminals.
Anyway. Jason Kenney needs to come clean on that, wouldn't you agree?
Time for the best soup, at the best Chinese restaurant in the world - where I have been coming for 30 years.
And where people whose party talks about "Asian invasions" aren't welcome.
Those two posts are PC in a nutshell. When Kinsella heard the ethnic grievance guys were coming for him, he was scared - so scared he removed his post and faked up another. If you recall, he frequently accuses me of using words like "Chinks", "Japs", "Injuns", "wogs", etc. And it's true those words have appeared in columns of mine - they're out there on the websites of The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, The Jerusalem Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, Maclean's, The Australian, The National Post, etc - and, in fact, when Catsmeat got especially hysterical last spring, we reprinted them all at SteynOnline. No attempt to hoover the record here. I stand by those words and the context in which they appear.
Catsmeat should have done the same. He should have said, "Look, I've been coming to this joint and doing cat jokes for 30 years. It's as funny now as it was in 1974, but so what? I'll be doing it when I'm in here for my 100th birthday. Hey, I like barbecued cat. Why d'you think I keep coming back?" Evidently, the owner and the maitre d' and the busboy don't mind. Who cares if some no-name grievance group three time zones away gets its victimological knickers in a twist?
But instead he obliterated his genially nostalgic post about the "hangout of our youth" and replaced it with a piece of generic unfelt flattery and (being Kinsella) a vicious boot in the bollocks for his accusers, dredging up ancient slurs nobody cares about.
So much for the PC utopia: A stereotypical but affectionate and human reminiscence is replaced by the usual Kinsella thuggery. As the contrast between those two posts makes plain, prostration before the gods of political correctness actually makes for a more ugly world.
Why didn't I hoover my PC faux pas the way Kinsella did? Because that way lies madness. You can never tiptoe lightly enough once you start building a world of eggshells. PC makes communication impossible. It renders a people literally illiterate: The conventions of language used by functioning societies throughout human history - irony, indirect quotation, period evocation, and, yes, even obsolete comic stereotype - are all suddenly suspect.
Kinsella was hoist by his own petard, which is amusing. But he was scared enough to panic, which is just sad. And a bleak comment on the Trudeaupia he helped build.