“Please do not offer my god a peanut.”
That’s what Apu says after Homer mocks the statue of the god Ganesh, in the Simpsons episode “Homer the Heretic”. Apu is an Indian, or to be more precise, a Slurpee Indian, and not a Casino Indian.
Am I being offensive? You wait; I’m just getting warmed up.
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The Simpsons is no respecter of religions. Ned Flanders takes one for the Christians. Krusty the Clown’s rabbinical father takes one for the Jews. Hindus… New Agers… Atheists… Presumably, if Zoroastrians or Jains could be shoehorned into a script, they’d come in for some ribbing, too.
But not Muslims. Funny about that.
9-11 can’t be the cause, nor even the first attack on the WTC in 1993, because the classic Simpsons episodes predate those events. Maybe Salman Rushdie was an object lesson, warning the show’s writers away from the topic. Or maybe it was just writerly intuition.
Not many prominent Westerners are willing to mock Muslims. South Park tried, but Comedy Central was prudent enough to suppress the offending sequence. Jay Leno has just broken the taboo — we’ll see how long it will be before the fatwa is issued and the Prophet’s hit squads try to take him out. If he’s smart, he’ll get plastic surgery right now before moving to Ashtabula to live under an assumed name.
Muslims are sensitive about their religion, you see, and tend to react violently when it is defamed. Make fun of Islam, and your business could be torched. You, your wife, your children, your uncles, and your cousins could be killed. Don’t mess with those guys.
But Muslims aren’t the only ones. Religion-, race-, and gender-based hypersensitivity has become a national preoccupation. With less violent results, mind you, but victimology is still a prominent pastime.
Maybe it started with the Anti-Defamation League, and then spread to the Italians. The Indians (Casino Indians, that is) took it up, or at least the faux Indian, Ward Churchill, did. If you believe the legacy media, women, homosexuals, transvestites — all are ready to be offended.
This is a media-driven phenomenon, hyped on the airwaves and cheered on by trial lawyers. When an African-American woman is ready to sue an airline because a stewardess said “eeny-meeny-miney-moe”, you know that things have reached epidemic proportions.
If you happen to use one of the increasingly numerous forbidden words or phrases, you could be in big trouble, especially if it occurs on the job or in an academic institution.
It doesn’t matter that when you used the phrase “a chink in the armor”, you didn’t mean a Chinese knight. It’s
re-education camp diversity training workshop time for you, bub!
And this used to be a free country. Funny about that.
If you look at archives of political cartoons from the mid-19th century, you’ll find a cornucopia of raunchy, vulgar, and insulting disrespect. Those cartoonists could give the Daily Kos guys a run for their money. Perhaps the objects of scorn were just as offended as their counterparts are today, but such treatment was not culturally verboten back then. It wasn’t just ethnic stereotyping; you were fair game if you were a Baptist, or from Tennessee, or a teetotaler. If you didn’t have a thick skin, you had no business being in politics.
Whence came this inalienable right not to be offended? Why the recent public requirement to cater to the terminally sensitive?
You’ll notice that not every group is included in the protected species list. It’s always open season on members of my tribe, the White European Males, dead or otherwise. But, hey, we’re the cruel oppressors and masters of the corporate power structure, so we can take it, right?
But how about the Irish? How come it’s still OK to make fun of the Irish? It’s not like they’re at the top of the ethnic heap.
Years ago, when I had perhaps taken more adult beverages than was wise, I said to Dymphna, “The only difference between the Irish and the English is that an Englishman has a father’s name on his birth certificate.”
My spouse laughed very hard, put down her drink, and kicked me in the male generative organs. Then she slapped me on the back and said, “It’s a good thing you’re amusing!”
If the Irish are strong enough to take it, why not the rest of us? What’s wrong with everybody?
The new politically correct game has some rules:
A protected group may not be depicted, described, or in any way represented as distinct, except by members of the same group.
This is why football teams can’t be named for Indian tribes, even if the Indians don’t care. A member of another race can’t take the part of a black character in a play or a movie. If you’re not a member of the group, such representations are inauthentic and forbidden.
It’s also why the people in the mortgage loan ads or the kids on a vaccination poster in the doctor’s office always look exactly alike except for their skin color and facial features. The “brown people” are just honkies whose faces are covered with shoe polish.
No negative characteristics, implied or overt, may be used in any depiction of a protected person.
Indians are never drunk. Black people never eat fried chicken. Italians are never criminals.
There is only one circumstance in which distinctive ethnic characteristics may appear: the Multicultural Festival.
That’s when we eat chitlins and tacos. That’s when protected people dance in their serapes or saris. It’s OK then. It’s blessed by the PC authorities because we’re not stereotyping, we’re celebrating diversity.
It looks the same, though. Funny about that.
Polack jokes have already entered the dustbin of history. My brother, who is most emphatically un-PC, converted all of his repertoire into West Virginian jokes. But even hillbillies have been ruled out of bounds, and have become “Appalachian-Americans”. No, I’m not making that one up. Google it; you’ll see.
It won’t be long before the Irish, the Swedes, the Dutch, and the Danes are added to the rolls of The Protected. Then there won’t be anyone left but us male WASPS, the ultimate monsters, always oppressing everyone else, even while bound like Gulliver by the Lilliputian PC ropes of the Postmodern Age.
All of this absurdity is yet another aspect of the Demonic Convergence, in which Marxism, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and Islam are merging into a single amorphous blob, the Party of Fellow Travelers and Strange Bedfellows.
Presumably the PC Masters will keep on calling the shots and enforcing the rules right up until the day when the Shari’ah is instituted, and they themselves either have to pay the jizyah, say ash haduallaa ilaaha il-lallaah wa ash hadu anna muhammadar rasullulah, or die.
That will be the same day that Madonna is forced into the hijab, and a stone wall is toppled onto Elton John.