Get PJ Media on your Apple

Belmont Club

The Lives of Others

April 30th, 2014 - 6:32 pm

It’s been quite a week for Hate Speech. First Donald Sterling loses the Clippers and now the BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson may lose his job.

In the unseen footage – which was later edited out of the show – the £1million a year TV host is seen swinging his finger between two cars, while reciting a racist version of a children’s counting rhyme.

Clarkson can be heard chanting: “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” He then mumbles: “Catch a n***** by his toe”.

The shocking footage comes not long after Clarkson was involved in another offensive outburst, when he was accused of using the term “slope” while filming in Thailand for the flagship BBC car show.

The horror. Oh the horror. Really?

The publicly available biographies of Donald Sterling strongly suggest he has been, shall we say an opinionated person, for most of his 81 years, the sort of person who might even refer to himself in derogatory terms. Clarkson, who is 54 years old, has also probably been exactly who he is for a long time. The idea that Sterling or Clarkson are suddenly become racists after being paragons of tolerance  for these many decades is ludicrous.

Well they were paragons until outed by their private communications; Sterling’s via a recording by his girlfriend and Clarkson from outtakes on the cutting room floor.  The NAACP was happy to take Sterling’s money and the BBC delighted to employ Clarkson for so long as appearances could be maintained. Nobody really cared who either really was and happily took their money or marketed their star power.

PC doesn’t concern itself with the truth because it’s all about outward show.  Political correctness consists in the maintenance of appearances and the observation of forms. Who you really are, what you really do is unimportant, so long as it stays under wraps. You can be whatever you want, simply never let it known.

Thus the offense is to be caught. Jimmy Savile was alright as children’s patron just as Cyril Smith was a left wing working class hero. Abundant evidence suggests that many who knew them at any level of depth must have realized they were pedophiles. Yet the outrage only emerged when the facts became public.

Who cares about reality? spin’s the thing. It didn’t use to be this way.  In the old days the poet Edward Guest wrote about a lost virtue called sincerity:

My Creed

To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I’m alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.

Guest was a silly man. Modern political correctness stands this creed exactly on its head. Political correctness is not interested in what you actually are. It is only interested in how you look. Sterling was sterling until the recording.  There is not — nor was there ever — any intention for PC to purge the human heart of racial hatred or personal vileness, though that is its ostensible purpose. Codes governing hate speech are not meant to suppress hate. They are meant to suppress speech.

The minor purpose of political correctness is to provide a living for the purveyors of intellectual deodorant and perfume. How else would people whose profession is image management and legal review survive?  They are the real sanitation engineers of the modern world. But that is small potatoes, it’s actual purpose is … well to understand we should digress by revisiting a recent review of Elizabeth Warren’s book, A Fighting Chance by the New York Times.

In it Warren talks about ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’.

“The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes.” …

A telling anecdote involves a dinner that Ms. Warren had with Lawrence H. Summers, then the director of the National Economic Council and a top economic adviser to President Obama. The dinner took place in the spring of 2009, after the oversight panel had produced its third report, concluding that American taxpayers were at far greater risk to losses in TARP than the Treasury had let on.

After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice,” Ms. Warren writes. “I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.

“I had been warned,” Ms. Warren concluded.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Summers did not respond to a request for comment.

Summers should know how you go from being an ‘insider’ to an ‘outsider’. He was president of Harvard until one day in a fit of absentmindedness Summers told a faculty gathering that a comparative study should be made of women’s aptitudes in mathematics and engineering.

It was mere academic suggestion. A proposal into inquiry.  But people in the audience fainted because merely to suggest such a thing was the equivalent of a racial epithet. Summers was drummed out of Harvard.  If Elizabeth Warren was warned, it was because Summers knew whereof he spoke.

Which brings us to the major function of political correctness. Political correctness is about blackmail. It is used to control insiders and aspiring insiders by creating an inevitable tension between private behavior — which soon enough becomes secret behavior — and an unreachable and sanctimonious standard.   PC creates an institutional hypocrisy through which the nomenklatura can be policed. The price of being an “insider” is consenting to have the Sword of Damocles dangle over your head.

Do you wonder why the elite stick together? They have to. I predict that the next few years will be golden moments for lip readers, wiretappers, private detectives, keyhole listeners and dumpster-divers. And oh, there’s the NSA.  PC may eventually create a moral order, but it will the moral order of the snake-pit.


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Uddy Arsen, I am obviously not one to complain of verbosity, being a self-admitted wordy b*stard. My coat of arms would probably have the motto of "pedantic,verbose, irrascible".

However, I try to comply with our host's request, and when I break it [and I don't very often] I apologize in advance. Might I offer a suggestion?

Your style of posting is a lot of small comments scattered around. If you consolidated them into larger, coherent pieces; it would clarify your train of thought and reduce the post count. This is only a suggestion, of course. I recognize that everybody's writing style differs, and you gotta write what comes out.

The other point is the similarity of your handle with that of Buddy Larsen. Each one of us sees a header, and builds an expectation of what point of view is coming from that person. Some may look for certain headers, some may deliberately avoid certain headers. I can think of a couple of our regulars who I am sure have their blood pressure go up when they see mine. The similarity of nomenclature between you two causes a certain cognitive dissonance for a second. Not impossible to overcome, but also very difficult to overlook completely.

Now, you have every right to tell me to bugger off, and I will not take it amiss. This is not meant in any hostile fashion, and I have no desire or intent to stifle your speech. Y'all gotta do what y'all gotta do.

Subotai Bahadur
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
A request to Uddy Arsen, or Doug, or whoever: Our host requested a "four post" guideline some time ago, to help maintain the level of civilized discourse on his blog. You have serially ignored your host's request. Why?

The end result of your wildly excessive posting is that you are speaking to a rapidly-emptying room. I am sure I am not the only one who now skips all of your posts. Please reconsider what you are doing, before you do harm to Wretchard's wonderful blog.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
STERLING SILVER

A Mr. Adam Silver, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, has decreed that a Mr. Donald Sterling, owner of, among other things, the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, be fined, denied entrance to his own building and denied any influence or direction in the activities of the team he owns, all for using language in a private conversation that certain people, including Mr. Silver, disapprove of, all on the authority of the constitution of the National Basketball Association. No mention has been made anywhere that I can see that Mr. Sterling has the absolute right as an American citizen to say whatever he wants in a private conversation. If his millionaire employees don’t like what he said they have the option of quitting and finding a part time job, but I don’t see any of them being quite that offended. I have no concern for the travails of Mr. Sterling, having heard his name for the first time just days ago, but I have a great deal of concern for the Constitution of the United States, which I believe is not inferior to the constitution of the National Basketball Association.

I do not believe Mr. Sterling will sit quietly in a corner sucking his thumb. Mr. Summers took his unjustified feminist dismissal from Harvard lying down, but I don’t see Mr. Sterling knuckling under to the race hustlers. I predict he will bring civil suit against Mr. Silver and the NBA and win. The other owners know this and will not vote to force him to sell his team for his use of a few not well chosen words.

If this holds, and a man can be deprived of his property because his words offended people, where will it end? The answer to that question is easy. It will end in fascist tyranny, a state the United States is now perilously close to achieving.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (94)
All Comments   (94)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I've got a sneaking suspicion that certain parties that stand to lose alot of ground to the truth of things is thinking to themselves; "You know what America needs right about now? A good old-fashioned race riot..."
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Rather than useful jobs in our country, people have been offered bureaucratic "make work," rather than moral leadership, they have been given bread and circuses, spectacles, and, yes, they have even been given scandals. Tonight there is violence in our streets, corruption in our highest offices, aimlessness among our youth, anxiety among our elders and there is a virtual despair among the many who look beyond material success for the inner meaning of their lives. Where examples of morality should be set, the opposite is seen. Small men, seeking great wealth or power, have too often and too long turned even the highest levels of public service into mere personal opportunity. "
Hmmm... Right on. Who, when, and where said this? :)
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barry Goldwater --accepting the 1964 GOP nomination for President:

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Extremism in defense of sodomy is no vice.
AuH20

or something like that.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xniUoMiHm8g
(1964 campaign film --banned by Goldwater)

On election night, my Uncle Bill in north Louisiana had a few friends over to watch Goldwater win. I was a kid so i missed what may have been a high point in politics: Uncle Bill, a Marine, once the election was given to LBJ, right there in a roomful of people, walked over to the fireplace and took down the old double barrel 12 gauge hanging there, leveled it at the TV, and let off both barrels. Then he put the gun back on the rack, bowed to the frozen roomful of folks, said goodnight, and went on off to bed.

Aunt Ruth and the guests cleaned up the mess, and the guests went home. Nobody ever said a word --out loud anyway --about it again.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
That was awesome!

Go uncle Bill!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dang... such things never happened again until 2012.

Wish I was there.

My dad was in a business meeting when he got the word that JFK got shot. One of the heavies let out with a little smile: "Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah. I was in a library with a bunch of academics when Reagan was shot. Same jokes. Some things never change.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and the name of the person who told me.

He worked at a Taco Place, knew my brother in law from High School, and helped me get a job there.

Following my finishing the taco and burrito, I have no further memories of the event other than flashes of the funeral parade, etc. on TV.

When Bobbie got shot, I took more notice, since King had been assassinated only two months before, I was in the Army, and it seemed like the country was coming apart.

Didn't happen, and a decade later Reagan was elected, and things rapidly got better.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
There may be more to the Donald Sterling saga than meets the eye. For one thing, the LA Clippers are worth more now than they were worth two weeks ago. The Clippers have become a token of status for rich black people to own, so the franchise has become a seller's market.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look on the bright side – at least Donald Sterling doesn't parade around in blackface...
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Definition of politically correct (adj)

Bing Dictionary
po·lit·i·cal·ly cor·rect
1.deliberately avoiding offense: relating to or supporting the use of language or conduct that deliberately avoids giving offense, e.g. on the basis of ethnic origin or sexual orientation


I think one of the US institutions that gets the most PC deference is the military. God forbid one should diss one who dons the uniform. 'Thank you for your service! Really, THANK YOU for your service!! No, no, thank you for your service' It ranks right up there with all the other PC politics in the US.

In the defence of the NBA - are they not free to decide on the rules of inclusion in their 'club' ?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Political Correctness is enforced by socialists, communists, labor unionists, Democrats and the designated members of officially preferred victim groups. It is not enforced by normal Americans. It is not enforced by people who appreciate those who risk their lives in military service. Originally "Political Correctness" was a term used by American socialists referring to the official positions promoted by the Kremlin. It continues to be owned by the left. Only the left can use it.

Your post is a category error. Reach for another word, like "shaming." That's what those who spit on soldiers get nowadays.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, that definitely is is the politically correct definition of political correctness.

The whole pitch is queered by those whose very existence is defined by being offended in some way - the perennially aggrieved, the perennially outraged. The result has been that common courtesy inspired by kindness to one another is now replaced by politically authorised speech and conduct codes.

I'll take common courtesy over ideological speech and conduct codes every time.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gosh AP, what does deliberately avoiding offense and thanking someone who wears the uniform have to do with one another. I wont brow best you if you don't thank a soldier. I bought a whole room full of marines a drink at a bar in San Pedro. They had just finished establishing FOB Rhino and returned on the Peleliu. I thanked them because when they were in Afghanistan getting shot at I was making money and carousing around. I thanked them because they volunteered to go and I had the luxury of staying.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is one example Rojo -

On the PGA tour they often have a military guy who will tend the flag on a hole. Every player walks up and shakes his hand. If one of the players should neglect to do so I think there would be some, ummmm, offense taken.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're confusing PC with courtesy and respect.
PC is the opposite of respect. It is the demanding of false respect, by way of social and/or legal threat.
If the soldier with the flag got irate and threatened to sue (or actually DID file a lawsuit!) if his hand wasn't shaken, then you'd have an apt comparison.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are there people who tend the flags on other holes? If so, I would wouldn't be upset if the player treated the "military guy" the same way as the other flag tenders.

AP, I served from 1980-1992. I, and every other military person, *know* there are civilians who wish that we didn't exist. Just don't spit on any of us, OK?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spit on a soldier??? That's so not PC! Back before PC ruled (I.e. Vietnam era) it happened but no way, not now.

nope, caddies tend the flags when no military folk are so tasked.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, all I can say is I'm glad I am not on the PGA; all that walking and such.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think he was referring to the hypocritical PC mongers who really see the military as an organization for idiots. They just can't say it in public. This is different from the average person who really does respect the job our military does and the sacrifices of its members.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
and by the way, there is a big difference between not wanting to give offense and offending those who are intolerant of criticism.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every time something like this happens it adds another decade before the Third World will build space stations and invent fearsome technologies - and racists know that.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
A request to Uddy Arsen, or Doug, or whoever: Our host requested a "four post" guideline some time ago, to help maintain the level of civilized discourse on his blog. You have serially ignored your host's request. Why?

The end result of your wildly excessive posting is that you are speaking to a rapidly-emptying room. I am sure I am not the only one who now skips all of your posts. Please reconsider what you are doing, before you do harm to Wretchard's wonderful blog.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks, this is the second time I've been told, so there's really no excuse.
My rationalization last night was that just a few were posting, but that's what it was, a rationalization.
I'll leave my already prepared comment along with this and quit bothering you.
---
Mark Geragos guest hosted for Carolla, along with Rick Springfield, while Adam is off shooting his movie.

Needless to say, it was interesting to hear their views on Donald Sterling, but even more so to listen to their views on life from the perspective of this post regarding what PC really is:
"Kids today are so far ahead of us: They're totally accepting of "Gay Marriage" without even thinking about it (a good thing)"

...and they're teaching their kids "all the right things" (so they don't NEED to think) and...
A few days before, the guest was Alicia Witt, who evidently was a child prodigy, but when it comes to gay marriage her set in stone view is that IT IS HATEFUL to be opposed to gay marriage, period.

It's now GOOD to be close-minded...
...as long as you hold the correct views.

http://adamcarolla.com/rick-springfield-mark-geragos-matt-atchity-and-david-wild/
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uddy Arsen, I am obviously not one to complain of verbosity, being a self-admitted wordy b*stard. My coat of arms would probably have the motto of "pedantic,verbose, irrascible".

However, I try to comply with our host's request, and when I break it [and I don't very often] I apologize in advance. Might I offer a suggestion?

Your style of posting is a lot of small comments scattered around. If you consolidated them into larger, coherent pieces; it would clarify your train of thought and reduce the post count. This is only a suggestion, of course. I recognize that everybody's writing style differs, and you gotta write what comes out.

The other point is the similarity of your handle with that of Buddy Larsen. Each one of us sees a header, and builds an expectation of what point of view is coming from that person. Some may look for certain headers, some may deliberately avoid certain headers. I can think of a couple of our regulars who I am sure have their blood pressure go up when they see mine. The similarity of nomenclature between you two causes a certain cognitive dissonance for a second. Not impossible to overcome, but also very difficult to overlook completely.

Now, you have every right to tell me to bugger off, and I will not take it amiss. This is not meant in any hostile fashion, and I have no desire or intent to stifle your speech. Y'all gotta do what y'all gotta do.

Subotai Bahadur
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seconded.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm thanking all of you weighing in on behalf of the traditional Belmont form. Needless to say, i concur with every point, and with an inimitable extra flourish!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Donald Sterling, a dyed in the wool Democrat, is a jerk. So as the black president has professed while chiding Malaysia about its peccadillos, we in the United States have a long way to go. Yes there are still a lot of Democrat Party donors out there that must be purged, but I am afraid that isn't the kind of collective punishment that the president has in mind.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Donald Sterling is a dirtbag of long-standing. That has never been much of a secret. He has been able ride out several prior incidents, but the media and sports entertainment media is in full cry, so whatever happens in regards to his basketball team may now be out of his hands. Trying to defend his right of free speech, association, opinion, ability to operate his business, etc. is not a winning argument since no one is going to listen because of the subject matter, and Sterling certainly has the resources to argue his own case if he chooses.

The point I try to make in these kinds of situations is that there's a public face and a private life. By public, I don't mean celebrities or people in the public eye, but just the everyday interactions ordinary people all have with each other. There's only so much any of us know about our co-workers, or the garbage man, or the plumber, and you may be very surprised at the private lives some people lead, or the views they hold.

People you otherwise thought were stand-up guys might be Donald Sterling in their private lives, but do any of us really want to go there? Do privately-held views really have anything to do with operating the LA Clippers basketball team? Maybe they do, and if that becomes apparent then maybe it is actionable, but if not, should those private moments have any bearing at all on owning a basketball team, or collecting the garbage, or fixing the leaky faucet?

Is Donald Sterling allowed to be a dirtbag, as long as he’s not engaging in criminal activities or otherwise harming anyone? Are any of us? We should be very cautious about trying to find all the dirt under everyone’s fingernails. To do so would mean our society would become segregated to the extreme, or would come completely unraveled, or more likely both.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Liberals are bigots by nature. To them their ideology is like that $400 dollar bottle of wine. All cultures are equal except they are the only enlightened one in ours. A bigot shorne of n! gg rs such as happened to the party of slavery, the Democrat Party, must find new n! gg rs to take the place of the old. So you have the preoccupation of rednecks and oakeys who they ironically project as being racists like a right of transubstantiation. Suddenly the Party of Slaves can erase its past by being the uber PC champion of rights. Heck, they create special rights and fund the largesse on the backs of the rednecks and oakies! How holy is that? More ironic than that is rednecks and oakies are most likely ignorantly unaware and are a blank slate on which liberals cast their collective sins, a righteous hatred. Emmanuel Goldstein writ large.

It is no surprise that people of post Nazi Germany are amongst the worlds busiest scolds. Nazi's still, mind you, but now they are focused, not on the Jews but the Right Wing.

So Jews, blacks, Mexicans, et al, cannot be considered merely equal. As long as there is a Western European male to hate there is a justification for chest thumping superiority. For as hard as PC tries to foist itself off as being a fair arbiter of human value, underlying its societal manifestation is the stark reality that it is the vehicle of choice for those who self profess superiority over others. Once you belong to an exclusive club, heck, why let whitee in?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now the term "racist=n!gger". Mentally transpose that when you hear it.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 Next View All

One Trackback to “The Lives of Others”