In a video from last week, Paul Weston inveighs against the easily offended, among them the Reverend Cressida Dick*. And he goes to bat for Boris, who
complained, observed, remarked upon that ugliest of female garments, the burka bag. And for that sin, the Hon B Johnson was vilified by the usual suspects:
*If I were a lesbian (no, I’m not) as is
Chief Commissioner Dick, I’d change my name lickety-split. To something more dignified and Latinate – perhaps “Phallus” would be more in keeping with her exalted position.
Paul mentions an essay by Roger Scruton on taking offence. I looked for it and as feared, found it locked behind the paywall of the UK Spectator, and a gilded paywall, at that. Imagine! They want nine Euros a month for a subscription. Sheesh. Or is that pounds? Never mind; it’s still outrageous. I’ll stick with the free American Spectator. It’s the ones I steal from consistently, as I do with Dr Turley, that I feel obliged to pay.
Meanwhile, here’s a chunk of the relevant material from an English website I plan to investigate later. They clipped this from Mr Scruton:
The emerging witch-hunt culture would be an object of half-amused contempt, were we still protected, as we were until recently, by the robust law of libel. It is still possible to laugh at the absurdity of it all, if you sit at home, avoiding contact with ignorant and malicious people, and getting on with real life – the life beyond social media. Unfortunately, however, ignorant and malicious people have discovered a new weapon in their unremitting assault on the rest of us, which is the art of taking offence.
I was brought up to believe that you should never give offence if you can avoid it; the new culture tells us that you should always take offence if you can. There are now experts in the art of taking offence, indeed whole academic subjects, such as ‘gender studies’, devoted to it. You may not know in advance what offence consists in – politely opening a door for a member of the opposite sex? Thinking of her sex as ‘opposite’? Thinking in terms of ‘sex’ rather than ‘gender’? Using the wrong pronoun? Who knows. We have encountered a new kind of predatory censorship, a desire to take offence that patrols the world for opportunities without knowing in advance what will best supply its venom. As with the Puritans of the 17th century, the need to humiliate and to punish precedes any concrete sense of why.
I recall the extraordinary case of Boris Johnson and the burka. In the course of discussing the question whether the full facial covering should be banned here, as elsewhere in Europe, Johnson humorously remarked that a person in a burka has a striking resemblance to a letterbox. He was right. A woman in a burka resembles a letterbox much as a man in white tie resembles a penguin or a woman in feathers resembles a chicken.
I like his arch correspondences; is he covering his tracks with those similarities? Sometimes I watch fat feathered chickens strutting and clucking; that’s when Walter Mitty’s wife comes to mind.
But I can see the faces of penguins and chickens. A woman in a burka? Not so much.
NOTE: Paul is a sly divil. See what he says at the end, hoping to catch us Americans unawares. Fortunately, me own mither used that word.