First against the wall ... 'Political correctness gone mad' parrots

07:30, Dec 18 2010
Into the stocks, into the stocks.

Steve Kilgallon has been pondering the fates of all those people who get up his nose. Were he ever – heaven forbid – to have any real power, they'd be in big trouble. 

"IT'S PC gone mad." The tired cliche wheeled out by those easily outraged by reality, but who can't quite muster the functioning brain cells to explain precisely why they are so outraged.

Despite swimming in the intellectual shallows, those who resort to saying "PC gone mad" see themselves as straight-shooting, honest, not afraid to tell you what they feel and possessed of an uncanny ability to smash through the bluster and spin.

Here's what they really are: stuck in the past, pigheaded, objectionable, offensive bigots.

What they are implying by uttering the words "PC gone mad" is that some awful, totalitarian left-wing movement has stealthily implemented a wide-ranging series of directives across the free world to limit free speech.

It's the sort of rewrite of history favoured by the foaming-at-the-mouth section of the extreme right (that tiny minority who watch Fox News, think Rodney Hide's a bit too moderate and don't like brown people).


By their standards, this is rather cunning. It changes the whole idea of not being offensive to black people/women/the disabled/anyone who isn't you from a generally good thing, which came along as part of society's inevitable parabola of enlightenment, into an invasion of civil liberties sneakily imposed by those pesky socialists.

In essence, the "PC Gone Mad" parrot wants to take us all back in time as far as possible, preferably to the days before wheelchair-accessible buses, women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery.

These are the people who secretly long to call disabled people spastics, label black people very unprintable things and chain their wives to the kitchen stove. They are not very clever. It's no coincidence one of their pin-up boys is George W Bush.

They don't always say "It's PC gone mad". While incapable of original thought, they are also willing to roll out the other cliches of the bigot: there's "I'm not racist but... (aren't all Pacific Islanders stupid, aren't all Jewish people tight)" or as a general catch-all: "I don't want to offend you but... (you have a bottom the size of small tax haven in the Pacific, have fewer social skills than Paul Henry, smell like Rotorua on a still summer's day)".

Yes, saying "PC gone mad" is the get-out-of-jail card – a free licence to be rude, objectionable and crass. It's like being the old person who feigns dementia to tell young people how lazy, ignorant and stupid they are.

Like any good PR man, the kingpins of the "PC gone mad" tribe have subtly built this campaign against a concept that never existed on a fine tissue of outrageous lies, published in in-house journals like Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. The tales of the European Union insisting all bananas must be straight. Schoolteachers changing the lyrics of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to "Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep", and the blackboard becoming the chalkboard. Travellers beheading ducks and eating them.

They're all rubbish, but 1984 has finally come to pass: we're all stupid enough to believe them.

With this basic fabric established, any slight societal change that they don't like is hooted down with cries of "It's PC gone mad". A quick search this past week discovered the following things that the parrots have lately declaimed in such a fashion: the use of macrons in Maori place names (from a Kapiti Coast councillor), defending Paul Henry's moronic comments on TVNZ (various listeners) and a racist British MP being sacked.

As the far right often say, the punishment should fit the crime. The PC gone mad parrots long for the good old days. So my government shall get medieval upon them. They shall be thrown in the stocks and stoned to death, perhaps by some one-legged black lesbian socialist primary school teachers. I can't think of anything less PC, so at least they shall die smiling.

Sunday Star Times