Ed Driscoll

'We Have Reached Peak Problematic'

I find this article by Daniel Payne of the Federalist to be problematic. So very, very problematic:

In the great boiling stew of social justice discourse, we have reached what could convincingly be termed “peak problematic.” There is quite literally nothing that the Left cannot construe as “problematic.” Modern feminism, in particular, is obsessed with “problematic language,” which can roughly be defined as any language that does not slavishly adhere to modern feminist sensibilities.

Because academic progressivism is intellectually exhausted and out of ideas, it had to invest in a kind of catch-all word that would serve as a useful vilification device. “Problematic” was that word. Now, instead of thinking about and discussing mildly complex issues, you can just call things “problematic” and act as if you’ve said something intelligent. But you haven’t. You’ve just parroted a stupid leftist talking point.

So, in conclusion: “problematic” is almost always a nonsense qualifier, one that’s used to avoid actual thought. We should confine it to the linguistic and political dust-heap of history. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy pop culture phenomena like Taylor Swift. It’s fun! Life is supposed to be fun; contra the Left, we do not have to trudge through our earthly existence in a constantly dour and self-critical frame of mind.

I find that last assertion in particular contains within it so very many nested problematics, to build on a recent leitmotif of Sonny Bunch at the Washington Free Beacon.

Seriously though, isn’t declaring something “problematic,” particularly with little or no reason as to why, simply a milder version of using an isolated “I’m offended” as an arguing point?