Thursday, June 03, 2004


Normally, bloggers blogging about blogging can seem so insular that it turns your mind inside out, the internet equivalent to drawing a tesseract. However, I've always been of the mind that tensions in one area of society, even one as small and arguably fringe as the blogosphere, tend to reflect or impact on others. Blogs are neither wholly mirror or hammer but this medium is fundamentally (I'd hope at least) about dialogue with other communities even when it seems like we're just hollerating at one another.

When I originally posted up my No Mo No Homo entry, I wasn't trying to call out anyone in particular. My point was that the practice has become so pervasive on the internet, that it's beyond just putting individuals on blast for doing it. In other words, I was hating the game, not the players. Not surprisingly though, some people have taken offense, or to be more exact, have gone on the defensive, including the delightfully contrarian Bol @ and Matt @, not to mention people who replied in the comments section of the posting.

My original point was pretty clear: the practice comes off as juvenile and homophobic EVEN if you have the best of intentions (i.e. making Killa Cam look like an idiot, which, really ya'll, isn't that hard to do - he's going to hang himself with his own rope without any outside help needed). If you disagree with that, that's on you. I'm not going to stop thinking it's stupid but I'm definitely not going to start up a "No Homo" watch and post up a list of violators. As Matt reminds us, there are infinitely bigger enemies out there to go after - forget (no homo), people really need to start posting up (no bush). I'm not trying to escalate this anymore than it needs to.

However (ya'll saw that coming, right?), I do get rather eye-rolly at folks who, in trying to explain their use of language, pull out the weakest rhetorical card in the deck: No P.C.

As a term "political correctness," is without doubt, one of the most genius covert operations that the Right ever pulled off in the 1980s - forget Iran-Contra. Is it any coincidence that back when people were just beginning to take language seriously - passing legislation banning hate speech, recognizing the political power of words, etc. - that P.C. came into vogue as a way to ridicule and belittle those attempts? Believe me, I'm not saying that the Left hasn't gone overboard with how they police language and intellectual content (I've spent 12 years at UC Berkeley, ok? I'm on the frontlines of rampant intellectual activism).

But what the Right managed to do was create a term that became both so popular and pejorative that it made people run in fear whenever they whipped it out. P.C. became the label no one wanted slapped on them and in a sense, the Left screwed up in not realizing that they were losing the war on rhetoric and allowed P.C. to become so powerfully disarming. It didn't matter how important the issue was: making historical textbooks for students more accurate and honest for example - the moment someone said, "that's P.C.!" it was like stitching the Scarlet Letter on. Suddenly, people found that they had to spend an inordinate amount of time proving they were NOT being P.C. in order to make their issues heard. It's like intellectual filibustering but what's so brilliant is that the term does all the work for you.
(By the way, if you want to see the anti-P.C. brigade exposed for exactly what they are, read this. According to them, it's all the Jews' fault. This forum is like AM talk radio masquerading as high-brow intellectualism.)

This is all a long-winded way of saying that playing the P.C. card = weak sauce. To defend the use of speech by claiming that you're too busy to be P.C. ironically means admitting that you're lazy enough to use "no P.C." to begin with. If people want to use (no homo) in their posts, then they should do it without having to defend/explain themselves. I certainly wasn't suggesting anything otherwise. But for the love of god, don't resurrect this P.C. nonsense. Political correctness, as a cheap shot rhetorical device, deserves to stay where it died - in the 1990s, along with acid wash jeans, Sonic Youth and Bush presidencies.

If you don't feel like you're doing anything wrong, then just say that. But own your words, no matter what you do. Especially in this insane blogosphere we've created amongst ourselves, words are all we have. (Ok,that and scary amounts of pictures of Lindsay Lohan's cleavage).