Is political correctness really the root of all evil?
Are you a causehead? For those of you have not seen the cult classic 90s college film P.C.U. (stop reading this NOW and go see it), causeheads are people who “find a world-threatening issue and stick with it… for about a week”. This was probably the precursor to the internet-era’s social justice warrior; people who act like progressives purely for self-gratification and do so with the minimum possible effort. Admittedly, a causehead had to a bit more work than simply barraging their Facebook profile with anti-austerity or pro-LGBT (I am probably missing a few letters in this ever-expanding acronym) internet memes; they actually had to make signs with catchy slogans that had to be written by hand and do a modicum of research on the political issue du jour rather copying stuff from someone else’s wall. And yet, as annoying as causeheads and SJWs are one has to reluctantly admit that their hearts are in the right place even if their brains are stuck a few feet up their ass. And if their biggest sin is being too politically correct for their own good, well, one has to weigh their damage to society besides that of their polar opposite, the anti-political correctness asshole.
I should start with the disclaimer that I’m not particularly a fan of political correctness for political correctness’ sake (that bit should have been pretty damn obvious for anyone who knows me personally); if there is no apparent benefit deriving from an act of political correctness, or the harm avoided is disproportionately low compared to the inconvenience or disruption caused by it, then what’s the point? Sometimes, the PC terminology is even more questionable than the non-PC, for example the recent attempts to use of the term “people with different abilities” to replace “disabled” people. Yeah, I can see how disabled can be taken the wrong way. Just because someone lost some abilities doesn’t mean they’ve lost them all which is what the dis- suffix could potentially imply. But “people with different abilities” describes every single human being that exists. Last time I checked, not everyone who still had their two legs could run like Usain Bolt, who in turn cannot play the guitar as good as Slash, the latter who can’t write as good a horror novel as Stephen King. And if “people with different abilities” isn’t bad enough, let’s not forget the even more patronizing “handi-capable”. Whenever I hear the word “handi-capable” I imagine some cheerfully smug American middle aged idiot saying it with a high-pitched voice and an ear-to-ear smile, the same kind of idiot for whom the phrase the road to hell is paved with good intentions was coined for. Continue reading
I’m not a fan of political correctness but there’s a few terms that we read about in our everyday life that have lately gotten on my nerves. Maybe it’s because I find them misleading, and by being misleading, they end up becoming offensive, even racist. Or maybe it’s because they’re just plain stupid. Without further ado, here’s six terms that should be expunged from the human lexicon, and anyone who dares mention them again be banished forever to some desolate island off Antarctica.
Does this mean the US and Europe are stagnating markets?
According to this article by The Economist, the term “emerging markets” was coined by a World Bank economist in the early 1980s. The term was gradually picked up in business circles but since has basically replaced all other previous terms which describe the non-Western world in the mainstream media, most notably, the former preferred term “third world” which is now deemed somewhat politically incorrect (and historically incorrect since the so-called second world – the former Communist Bloc – no longer exists). Call me old school, but I find the term third world decidedly more agreeable than the aberration known as emerging markets. And that’s because by lumping billions of people into nothing more than “markets” you are basically describing entire societies as simply consumers – preferably consumers of stuff that Western companies make and will have no choice but to export given their own stagnating home markets. The irony is that these is no such term as “developed markets”, as Westerns obviously will prefer referring themselves as actual countries or economies. You know, things with living, breathing people, not just wallets and cash machines ready to buy your crap. Continue reading
No we don’t actually hate each other, ok we do.
Forget the Cold War, forget Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, if humanity has ever had a rivalry for the ages it is that between Britain and France. But just when we thought the seeds of discord had been buried in the sands of time, the recent spats between the two countries as a result of the Euro crisis have reminded us that old habits die hard. And I mean really old. As historian Desmond Seward notes in his short but classic account of the Hundred Years War, “Undoubtedly the antagonism between fifteenth-century Englishmen and Frenchmen reflected a genuinely national xenophobia. By Joan of Arc’s day, at least, the French were already using the word Godon – ‘God-damn’ – to describe an Englishman.” Touché.
Admittedly, one must be at least thankful that the rivalry between these two old and proud nations now extends only to the realm of politics, trade and sport. After all, it has taken almost a millennium of savage conflict to realize that differences are better settled on the football or rugby field rather than the battlefield. And one must not deny that behind the veneer of hatred and envy, there is also a less visible feeling of mutual respect and gratitude. After all, how many thousands of Britons did not give their lives in the trenches of the Somme or the hedgerows of Normandy? And how many Frenchmen did not die defending their country from the Kaiser and the Fuhrer so that Britain would not be next? Nevertheless, let’s travel back in time to explore the most noteworthy historical moments of the Anglo-French rivalry since the dawn of time. Continue reading