Whenever I hear people complaining loudly about ‘Political Correctness gone mad’, I usually respond in the same way as when Sarah Silverman hears someone describe themselves as a “Diva”. (Note: NSFW)


‘Political Correctness’ is actually just an over-used (typically, and strangely, pejorative) buzzword for ‘being respectful to people’. And, call me crazy, but I don’t think anyone has the right to be disrespectful, rude, sexist, racist or homophobic without consequence.

So, when people complain about “political correctness gone crazy!” I think to myself, “no, you’re probably just a c—t.”

But it’s hard sometimes not to think that we’re way too sensitive to inconsequential things that aren’t really even that offensive.

A good case in point is Tim Mathieson’s recent comments about prostate examinations.

Petra Starke was onto something last week in her Punch column, noting that while it was a silly, tasteless joke, it was also (in the grand scheme of things) a completely insignificant one too. And, it should have been quickly forgotten.

Everyone has said things in their life that they instantly wished had never crossed the threshold of their lips. So, most people ignored it. But, because the media is always desperate to jump on a gaffe and point fingers at public figures, it became a big story in a full day’s news cycle.

I don’t know, maybe Asian women around the country were deeply offended (“How dare you insinuate that my fingers are probably slightly smaller than someone of a difference ethic background!”). However, I suspect they probably just shook their heads and moved on with other, far more important, things. Perhaps the slightly anxious middle-aged male patient standing before them.

It is not dissimilar to the controversy over The Chaser’s ‘Make a Realistic Wish’ sketch a few years back.

Yes, that was an unfunny joke which tried (and failed) to extract humour from a completely awful place. The outrage that followed, however, was lead primarily by talkback radio hosts who whipped up outrage among their listeners – most of whom had never even seen the supposedly offensive material in the first place.

People who had lost children to cancer had every right to be hurt (and thus Julian Morrow publically apologised to them), but thanks to it being amped up in that media feedback loop, a whole lot of people got angry because, well, they just felt they should.

Which brings us to the latest bit of controversy, which is cropping up around this Volkswagen ad, which is probably going to air right about now, during the Superbowl in the US.

It has, it seems, “struck many as being offensive since it suggests that all people in the Caribbean are relaxed and don’t feel stress” . How terribly offensive.

Accusing a group of people being upbeat… Does that even count as racism?

The fact is, some might see it as being in bad taste, which is fine. But many (most?) others would see it differently: as a very light-hearted bit of fun that is completely free of any malicious intent whatsoever.

It’s not just a simple case of something being racist or not racist, because everyone interprets things a little bit differently, and sometimes wildly differently.

Declaring something like this – which is clearly created in a spirit of fun, not insult – as ‘racist’ is quite difficult.

Another critic – Charles M. Blow, whose writing I really admire – was a bit more specific with his criticism. He declared that the ad is “like blackface with voices”.

That’s definitely bad, then. Right?

Well, I would argue that it totally depends.

Sure, when it was those guys on Hey, Hey smearing nugget on their cheeks and pretending to be the Jackson Five, it was completely awful. 
But John Safran donned black makeup and pretended to be African American in an episode of Race Relations and it was great television. Chris Lilley played black rapper ‘S.Mouse’ for an entire series of Angry Boys, and we didn’t exactly see much outcry.

Robert Downey Jr. did it in Tropic Thunder, and he was roundly praised for his amazing performance. It even landed him an Oscar nomination.

The point is, just because someone draws on racial stereotypes in the pursuit of entertainment, doesn’t necessarily mean that our finely-tuned racism meters should be sounding alarm bells.

Like I said, interpretations can vary wildly. But people, for the most part, know when something is approached in the right spirit.

Indeed, it has nothing to do with ‘Political Correctness’, or ‘Incorrectness’ at all, because there’s quite clearly no disrespectful intent.

As much as the loudest voices in the media like to draw neat lines around what’s acceptable, and what is not, for most people who live in reality, things aren’t (if you’ll excuse the lame expression) quite so black and white.

And, after-all, what do Jamaicans themselves think of the VW ad? Apparently they love it...

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEDT.

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132 comments

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    • Mr M'goo says:

      05:03am | 04/02/13

      I find it fascinating how certain instances are clearly racist and deserve to be shamed, while others are clearly not racist and don’t deserved to be shamed, depending on Stephens ‘objective’ perspective.

      Unless someone is physically harming you or depriving you of liberty through their words, NOTHING DESERVES TO BE SHAMED. Hate speech should be accepted. Why the hell can’t I hate you?

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      08:30am | 04/02/13

      Well, it actually does hurt - not physically, but it does hurt when someone calls me a f**king faggot. So, you know, try not to do that.

    • ZSRenn says:

      08:41am | 04/02/13

      I think you may have got it wrong it’s ok to hate someone because they are not PC inclined as they are “disrespectful, rude, sexist, racist or homophobic without consequence.” 

      However those that follow the PC mantra and agree with this disrespectful, rude, sexist, racist and homophobic without consequence mono tribe are not!

      Go Figure!

    • Chris L says:

      09:30am | 04/02/13

      The point of the article is that the intention behind the statement is what determines whether it is offensive or not.

      On that note I don’t consider the Hey Hey act to have been deliberately offensive. It was meant, as stated by the people involved, to be a tribute to the Jackson Five (albeit, poorly executed). The Jackson family quite graciously stated that they were not offended.

    • acotrel says:

      09:30am | 04/02/13

      What is wrong with a good punch in the moosh if someone insults you ?  And if you try really hard you can escalate the fight until it becomes world war three.

    • Greg says:

      10:29am | 04/02/13

      Only leftists are allowed to hate, and they are allowed to hate anybody who disagrees with them about anything. Then without any trace of self awareness, they declare that the people that they hate are the real “haters”.

      They like to say that they “tolerate anything but intolerance”, where intolerance is defined as any opinion that they don’t like.

      It was never sexist, racist or ageist to call John Howard “male, pale and stale”, for example. It’s never politically incorrect to criticise men, white people or heterosexuals for being male, white or straight. And since the obvious leftist hypocrisy cannot be denied, then leftists just declare themselves to be supreme moral arbiters who can exclusively decide when it is OK or not OK to be disrespectful.

      That’s when the accusations of being “way too sensitive to inconsequential things that aren’t really even that offensive” get issued.

      But Harrington is clearly well out of date with his own ideology, because the absence of any intent to offend is not considered as an excuse for politically incorrect behaviour.

      All it takes is for a single person to take offence, and it doesn’t matter how inconsequential the issue was or how sensitive the complainant is.

    • Greg says:

      10:34am | 04/02/13

      Leftist disrespect is funny, and any disrespect that does not comply with leftist ideology is hate.

      That’s all that people need to understand.

    • nihonin says:

      12:13pm | 04/02/13

      +1 Greg

      That’s why most comedians usually support Labor or the Greens.  Known fact and no I won’t provide links, opponents of my comment need to prove me wrong.  wink

    • Roxanne says:

      12:24pm | 04/02/13

      Now correct me if I’m wrong, but that Hey Hey skit had a bit of a twist.  Yes, they were in blackface, but the guy playing Jackson was a dark skinned bloke (Indian I think) wearing whiteface.  So who exactly is meant to be offended here?  Actually, had that American singer been on the panel (some crooner who I can’t remember, Bubble or something like that) then i don’t think it would have even been a blip on the radar.  Well, in order to be a modern trend setter, as a white person I take deep offence at a dark person wearing whiteface. There, am I trendy now?

    • Chris L says:

      01:00pm | 04/02/13

      Conservatives become confused and therefore angry because they can’t tell the difference between a statement that is demonstrably correct and one that just uses invented “facts” to support a deliberate insult.

      This statement is true until Nihonin can prove it wrong wink

    • Greg says:

      02:45pm | 04/02/13

      @Chris L, here is a demonstrably true statement:

      “Aboriginees are over-represented per capita within Australian gaols”.

      Here is a statement that just uses invented “facts” to support a deliberate insult:

      “Aboriginees are over-represented per capita within Australian gaols, because thay have all been oppressed by evil white people and their biassed justice system”

      No confusion and no anger necessary.

    • Chris L says:

      03:13pm | 04/02/13

      That’s a good example Greg, and I would be interested to know who made such a quote (just out of curiosity).

      Not sure if you got the underlying meaning behind my post, but that’s all fine.

    • acotrel says:

      05:12am | 04/02/13

      ‘A good case in point is Tim Mathieson’s recent comments about prostate examinations.

      Petra Starke was onto something last week in her Punch column, noting that while it was a silly, tasteless joke, it was also (in the grand scheme of things) a completely insignificant one too. And, it should have been quickly forgotten. ‘

      Another comment from another clueless woman. The joke was NOT ‘silly and tasteless’.

      You just don’t get it do you, so let me spell it out for you.  Men don’t like getting fingers stuck up their bums.  All of us straight guys are homophobic, and a lot of guys don’t like their genitals being played with by doctors.  It means they avoid the prostate check, and are more at risk of getting cancer and dying. The people who were objecting to Matheson’s hackneyed old joke, were simply those looking for a way to get at Julia Gillard, because she pinned Abbott to the wall like some bug with her misogynist rant. The fact that Matheson actually did a good thing totally escaped them, or they were just being bloody minded ! ! !

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      08:37am | 04/02/13

      “You just don’t get it do you, so let me spell it out for you.  Men don’t like getting fingers stuck up their bums.”

      Speak for your self, Acotrel! wink

    • maree says:

      08:47am | 04/02/13

      and if Tony Abbott said it ???

    • Stephen T says:

      08:53am | 04/02/13

      @acotrel: Right on all counts, Tim Mathieson’s recent comments were nothing to get all worked up about, yes Julia Gillard does rant [and rabidly at that] and interestingly all though we realised from your rants that you are a misogynist we hadn’t suspected that you were also homophobic.

      All jokes and argy bargy aside though you are spot on about the need for prostrate check-ups.

    • marley says:

      08:56am | 04/02/13

      @acotrel -  “Another comment from another clueless woman.”

      You really are a sexist dill.  You make Abbott look positively progressive when it comes to comments about women.

    • acotrel says:

      09:38am | 04/02/13

      @marley
      Are you really trying to claim that you know how old men feel about their nether regions ?  Men have died because of their precious bullshit.  A friend of mine died last year because he chose to ‘go down the natural route’,  when it was a matter of doing what was necessary to stay on the correct side of the grass.  Have another look at the video clip of Matheson telling his joke - the look on Gillard’s face tells it all.  She did not know what he was on about, and MOST WOMEN DON’T.
      Oh, and by the way, there are not many women chess champions.

    • JoniM says:

      09:42am | 04/02/13

      @actotrel

      “..noting that while it was a silly, tasteless joke, it was also (in the grand scheme of things) a completely insignificant one too. And, it should have been quickly forgotten. ‘”

      The reason it was, in fact very significant, is that it completely diluted the ALP’s main re-election strategy of trying to paint Abbott as a sexist neanderthal via those ridiculous misogyny rants and examples like looking at his watch whilst the PM speaks, when we now have the PM’s own latest squeeze exhibiting far greater evidence of the very accusations that were hurled at Abbott !
      Of course it was ridiculous ! And it highlights the ridiculous contrivence of the ALP’s Abbott smear as their main re-election strategy !

    • acotrel says:

      09:48am | 04/02/13

      @maree
      Tony is not one step away from the leadership of the LNP, He IS the leader so his comments are much more relevant.  Julia Gillard did not tell the joke, if she had it would have been inappropriate but still well intended, just as it would be if Tony told it.  Tony telling that joke would be acceptable, and the racist accusation crap would have been just as counterproductive.

    • acotrel says:

      09:56am | 04/02/13

      @StephenT
      I’ve learned to accept the truth about myse lf.  I always try to give others a fair go, and I’d never discriminate against gay people.  But a few years ago I went to a party with my wife, and was introduced to an openly gay man.  Before I shook his hand I knew he was gay, but I still lowered my voice slightly when I said ‘pleased to mee t you’. It was not intentional and I don’t think anybody else noticed, however I was conscious of it. The prostate check is a moment of truth for many men. It is a silly thing, but avoiding it can kill.

    • Steve Douglas says:

      10:17am | 04/02/13

      Oh acotrel You gave me the loudest laugh I have had all day i.e. fair go to all.  You are by far the most insulting commentator on this blog. Your personal attacks on conservative bloggers are legendary. But I do respect your right to your opinion no matter now rude they are expressed.

    • marley says:

      10:28am | 04/02/13

      @acotrel - first, you refer to “another clueless woman.”  Then you point out that there are few women chess champions.  You don’t trust women cops and you think female engineers can’t compete.  And you have the unmitigated gall to criticise Abbott?  Yep, “sexist dill” seems just about right to me.  And homophobic to boot. 

      Anyway, what makes you think you know how all men feel about having their nethers checked?  You know how you feel, period.  Very few women enjoy having pap tests or mammograms, neither of which is any fun at all, but they do it;  most men I know dislike have the finger test, but they do it too.  And I’d say that most women are in fact very well aware of how men feel, and can relate to it because they have similar attitudes to pap smears.

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      11:55am | 04/02/13

      The origin of the joke was if you go to get your prostate check, look for a doctor with small hands. No need for sex nor race to be introduced. When you embellish a joke, you place your own prejudices sub-consciously into play, The joke was not tasteless, the embellishments are, however, everyone is entitled to be a little bit flawed. Alsotrol exposes his own biases with his “clueless woman” response. Address the persons failure not the elements of the persons construction and you are fine.

      The worst thing about this incident is that the punch has now had a third attempt at running this story, when their are more important stories and more interesting controversies in the current news mix.

    • Steve says:

      05:28am | 04/02/13

      Our freedoms (of speech and to offend) are more important than our feelings.

    • James In Footscray says:

      05:34am | 04/02/13

      Almost no-one was offended by Tim Mathieson’s joke. Have we heard or read anyone getting upset?

      Rather, people were fascinated because the PM had taken the high moral ground on misogyny and causing offence.

    • acotrel says:

      08:55am | 04/02/13

      ‘Rather, people were fascinated because the PM had taken the high moral ground on misogyny and causing offence. ‘

      And that was unjustified ? -  Hardly, I suggest.
      Try as you might, Abbott has been pinned to the wall and nothing can undo that. He is what he is.

    • T-rev says:

      10:09am | 04/02/13

      Anyone who genuinely believes Abbott is a misogynist is a moron.

      Problem is, there is a large percentage of our population that are genuine morons.

    • BC says:

      05:46am | 04/02/13

      You begin a piece on political correctnessby dropping the C-bomb???

    • Monty says:

      10:16am | 04/02/13

      Yes BC I also found it extremely discriminatory against female parts - a blatant case of genitalism .

      Actually on that topic, has anyone else noticed the rise of the ‘c word’ in US vernacular? They seem to use it with gay abandon these days, usually as an insult to women rather than men.

    • RJB says:

      12:40pm | 04/02/13

      Notice that Harrington says he “thinks” to himself before describing that person as a “C” because he knows how offensive that would be received out loud, and no doubt,would be dealt with in an appropriate manner that requires liquid meals until the wire is removed.

    • donno says:

      05:57pm | 04/02/13

      Irony. Familiar with it?

    • Shalom says:

      06:02am | 04/02/13

      According to media report C Pyne said that the ALP Govt is in disarray and it is now like the Hitler’s Govt at the end of WW2.  In reply the in coming attorney general Mark Dreyfus said that C Pyne is insulting the Holocaust victims. What the hell. What has the Holocaust victims got to do with this mess of the ALP Govt. Please stop exploiting the Holocaust victims.

    • Chris L says:

      09:42am | 04/02/13

      Pyne was exploiting our collective revulsion at the nazis (and playing into Godwin’s law).

      Besides, equating a party that beat you in the last election to a murderous, war-mongering tyranny does, indeed, diminish the impact of the historical memory of a terrible chapter.

      I feel the same way about all those shows and movies that portray the nazis as bungling oafs. It gives the impression that people were tortured and massacred, and the world almost conquered, by a gang of inept fools. That doesn’t make those who succumbed to them, or died fighting them, look very good.

      Besides, comparing people to Hitler and the nazis is like calling them misogynyst. It’s lost its meaning through overuse.

    • acotrel says:

      09:58am | 04/02/13

      Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply to LNP politicians. ‘As you sew, so shall you reap’. We all know who the Nazis are.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      09:59am | 04/02/13

      Christopher Pyne’s comments actually confused me, is Pyne claiming that while the ALP are Hitler’s Govt that the Liberals are the Allies who ignored all the data relating to the death camps? On the other hand it sounds like he might be complimenting them but thinking that they are spreading themselves too thin, as that was the cause of the Third Reich’s downfall, trying to achieve everything in too short a time.

      Pyne’s lucky that he only mentioned the downfall of the Third Reich, otherwise his comments would have been out of line with the Coalition. If Pyne had said that the ALP Govt was like the Hitler Govt then he would be claiming exactly the opposite of what the Coalition is pushing.

    • acotrel says:

      10:05am | 04/02/13

      The battle lines are drawn, when are we invading Poland ? Christopher Pyne is just proving that he really is a dickhead

    • Gerard says:

      10:34am | 04/02/13

      Pyne was completely out of line in comparing the ALP to the Nazis in Downfall. He should have compared them to the Nazis in Springtime for Hitler.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      11:05am | 04/02/13

      Oh come on.  Really?!  Pyne likened the ALP to a scene in a movie where Hitler and the Nazi Party were in disarray.  How does this trivialise the holocaust? How does his comment equate the ALP to a “murderous, war-mongering tyranny”?

      Also let’s not forget Mark Dreyfus’ comment likening Tony Abbott and the LNP ‘s media announcement(s) to Goebbels (sp?) like propoganda. 

      Absolute hypocrisy.

    • gnome says:

      11:13am | 04/02/13

      What did the jews have to do with the fall of the nazis?  Perhaps Dreyfus can clarify that?

      And hyena- can you tell us what the allies should have done- perhaps stepped up their half hearted war effort or what?

    • Borderer says:

      11:23am | 04/02/13

      @Chris L
      the world almost conquered, by a gang of inept fools.

      They invaded Russia through the winter, they targeted London instead of military airfields, but most of all they were beaten by the Americans….
      Check-mate

    • Hamish says:

      11:29am | 04/02/13

      Oh can’t you smell the desperation of the rusted-on ALP-ers? I mean, c’mon, trying to get mileage out of this…It’s actually a pity feigning outrage isn’t an Olympic Sport or Australia could count on another couple of golds at every Olympics courtesy of our extremely talented ALP politicians (hey they’ve got to have some talents). Although, based on our performance in London, they’d probably choke anyway…

    • Anniebello says:

      11:38am | 04/02/13

      Oh Please,
      Pyne compared them to a SCENE in a movie.
      Dreyfus actually compared Abbott to Goebels.
      Who’s exploting the Nazi angle?

    • Hamish says:

      11:52am | 04/02/13

      Tony Abbott: ‘This government is just shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic’

      ALP: ‘OMG Abbott totally just, like, trivialised all those people drowning. I’m so offended I’m going to faint.’

      Most ALP supporters don’t realise the Titanic was a ship before it was a movie, so this is pretty much the perfect analogy.

    • encee says:

      12:02pm | 04/02/13

      Talk about a ridiculous over reaction. I didn’t take Chris Pyne’s comment to mean he was comparing the ALP to the nazis per se, just that the state of disarray is similar to the state of disarray in the 3rd Reich at the end of WWII.

      Jeez!

    • ZSRenn says:

      12:28pm | 04/02/13

      OK I see now Tim’s comment about Asians was not offensive but Pyne’s invocation of Godwin’s law is!

      OK I’ve got it now!

      I am so sick of this whinging about what is correct to say and what isn’t! Can we please talk about some of the real issues Australia faces in today’s post GFC world.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      12:31pm | 04/02/13

      @gnome, if they were only half-heartedly attempting to stop German domination of the world, then yes they should have stepped up their efforts. Given that the death camps were run by some of the more prolific of the Nazi movement, moves against these would have damaged morale amongst the German SS.

    • Borderer says:

      01:02pm | 04/02/13

      @PsychoHyena
      Given that the death camps were run by some of the more prolific of the Nazi movement, moves against these would have damaged morale amongst the German SS.

      Here was me thinking that their morale was being damaged by freezing to death in Russia, the way the Soviets kept sending T34’s one after another till they were out of ammunition. The way that allied air power had destroyed their control of the sky or how they didn’t have enough fuel to drive their tanks let alone keep warm.
      Sorry but the average soldier didn’t give too much of a rats about the FINAL SOLUTION, not even the SS. In fact the SS disdained those hanging in the rear areas gassing people, every soldier could volunteer for frontline service and they felt the same as the allied soldiers did about their REMF’s.

    • Chris L says:

      01:13pm | 04/02/13

      Touche Borderer. You win this one.

      Others please note, I don’t agree with comparing Abbott, Howard or Pauline Hanson to Hitler either (I pointed out my disdain for the overuse of such parallels in my comment). There’s only one reason one would choose Hitler or nazis for a comparison and that is get people to equate them with the target of the comment. A poor and lazy strategy no matter who it comes from.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      06:02am | 04/02/13

      Hi Stephen,

      Is this article truly all about political correctness gone totally wrong or the fact that in a way this whole debate about trying to be politically correct is just getting a bit tiring and monotonous for everyone. Lets all bear in mind also that sometimes what we consider to be shocking comments and expressions can also create a certain kind of audience for the most obvious reasons.  So who is to say that what we consider to be rude statements might be seen by some others as just part of normal everyday language. 

      Especially late night shows targeting the adult audience I personally don’t see any problems about such shows being aired for pure entertainment purposes.  I am only guessing that true journalists, news networks and newspapers have to master the art of being politically correct all the time.  Forget about using big words,  just like you suggested it is so much about respect shown for certain groups of people from very different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

      No reason to be so uptight and so rigid but at the end of the day it is all about “treating others in a way that you would like to be treated”, right?  However in conclusion I must say that if so called shocking statements mean more airtime, more readers and more audience, why bother with being respectful or politically correct?  I guess that there isn’t all that much to gain by being on our best behavior all the time and rules are meant to be broken, some of the time.  Kind regards.

    • James In Footscray says:

      06:07am | 04/02/13

      Almost no-one was offended by Tim Mathieson’s joke. Do we know anyone who got upset?

      Rather, people were fascinated because the PM had taken the high moral ground on offensive speech.

    • marley says:

      06:29am | 04/02/13

      I really don’t care whether the media “like(s) to draw neat lines around what’s acceptable, and what is not.”  It’s up to the listener, reader, or viewer to decide whether to buy into the outrage or not.  What I do care about is when the government tries to draw those lines.  None of us has a choice then.

    • Mahhrat says:

      06:40am | 04/02/13

      I see two issues:

      1) - Post-modernist victim mentality, aka the “professional victim”.  There are people who are genuinely hurt by things - that Chaser ‘gag’ hurt the cancer victims.  We apologise to them, fair enough.

      There are, unfortunately, some absolute scum who act out rage and take offense at all kinds of things, and they do it exactly and only because it brings them power.

      There are things that need to be discussed that aren’t because of the howls of outrage that occur - completely inappropriate reactions to honest questions. 

      2) - The media itself.  The 24/7 news cycle has exposed the frailty of journalism.  In an era where I can get some of my best news from placed like Reddit, Twitter and various forums, I just don’t *need* journalists in the same way I used to.

      Faced with dwindling relevance and in trying to compete with user-fed news sites, media has become a darling of itself, creating drama.  We see it here sometimes, though usually there’s some good comments that call out the BS when they see it (Marley, I’m particularly looking at you smile ).

      The two together are almost unstoppable.  Media is crying out for easy stories they can process quickly, and the professional victims give them that in spades.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy - right up until we turn off.

      The net result is a drop in compassion.  We don’t care as much any more.  It takes something truly tragic - like the recent bushfires and floods - to get us to open up to others now.  That’s a damn shame.

    • Rick says:

      06:54am | 04/02/13

      Political correctness? Nah. It’s all about respect

      and tolerance which the soul of “Political correctness”
      Nah. It’s all about put up and shut up or…....

    • acotrel says:

      06:59am | 04/02/13

      Julia Gillard tells it like it is.

    • nihonin says:

      08:31am | 04/02/13

      But people see through the polish, as it is, acotrel.  wink

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      08:41am | 04/02/13

      At which moment in the 24 hour news cycle was that, @acotrel? I missed that singular nano-incident.

    • Maree says:

      09:10am | 04/02/13

      There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead ! Yep ! Just like it is !

    • acotrel says:

      09:41am | 04/02/13

      @Maree
      There is no carbon tax, but there IS a price on carbon.

    • Mr Sam says:

      10:38am | 04/02/13

      Did you see the Four Cornors doco my dear acotrel! The lady is her own worse enemy! Too funny!

      ps: There is a carbon tax, liar, liar.

    • Anniebello says:

      11:42am | 04/02/13

      I can’t wait for the ‘I never said September 14’ when she visits the GG next month. Just give the ‘new talent’ time to get their names on the doors (and on the list of ministers severance perks) and it will be on.
      Actually according to the broadcasters’ rules - it is already *sigh

    • gof says:

      07:01am | 04/02/13

      No. “Political Correctness” is about regulation and degradation of the individuals rights.
      Most of what you are describing is just good old fashioned manners and commonsense, something that leader of the opposition does not possess!

    • acotrel says:

      10:10am | 04/02/13

      +1
      He has got no couth. He would make a great diplomat for Ghenghis Khan or Attila The Hun.

    • Rosie says:

      07:01am | 04/02/13

      Australians were divided the day Julia Gillard became our first female PM and more observant when it came to political correctness. As leader, Gillard only made things worse by setting moral, ethical etc standards that even her and her team couldn’t abide with. All Gillard’s doings have returned to bite her and even Tim Matheison, someone very close to the PM has become one of her innocent victims.

      Julia Gillard as leader should lead from the front.

    • acotrel says:

      10:55am | 04/02/13

      So you will be standing at the upcoming election ? Will your bra be fitted with machine guns too, like Fascist Barbie ?

    • Chris L says:

      04:00pm | 04/02/13

      Strueth Acotrel, we’re discussing the importance of simple respect in communications here. Are you trying to provide an example of what not to do?

      Granted there’s not a great deal of respect from the other side of this conversation, but you seem to be working toward lowering the bar.

    • nihonin says:

      07:10am | 04/02/13

      ‘So, when people complain about “political correctness gone crazy!” I think to myself, “no, you’re probably just a c—t.”’

      Better than being a bitter blinkered dumb c—t., at least we now all know, Sarah Silverman only ever listens to any argument as long as it aligns to her ideology and beliefs.  lol.

    • WTF says:

      07:36am | 04/02/13

      Who was Tim’s joke supposed to be offensive to? Asians? Non Asians? Women? Men? People with small hands? People with big hands? Who?

    • AliceC says:

      07:50am | 04/02/13

      Go Sarah Silverman!

    • PsychoHyena says:

      07:56am | 04/02/13

      @Stephen, but that’s the point, you have proven the political correctness going crazy through your reference to the VW ad and the hysteria around that. As you say, political correctness is about respect, but when that respect involves NOT identifying and respecting the individual talents/issues that people can have due to their gender, race, culture, etc then it has gone crazy.

    • james says:

      08:03am | 04/02/13

      So you don’t believe people have the right to disagree with you on issues of gender, ethnicity or sexuality “without consequences”.

      Stephen you are a scary bloke, and probably not much fun at parties.

    • Neil says:

      08:35am | 04/02/13

      You’ve never seen someone act like a Diva, immediately drawing out the race card, as if it makes them some sort of intellectual, when anyone starts talking about the levels of immigration?

      PC is often used to simply shut down debate, and insult and dehumanise white people, like when lefties have said a tv show or something was “hideously white”.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      09:31am | 04/02/13

      Yes @Neil. It is PRIMARILY used to shut down debate and often concerning the most crucial debates which voters and citizens need and want to have,  and some ALP politicians especially definitely DON’T want to have.
      Like this government and their tired old,ALP hackneyed and paternalistic mindset about being the champions of the “workers” and the “working families”. Blah, blah, blah….  All designed to be nothing other than divisive which is to the great detriment of this wonderful country.
      It is all so patently dishonest and contrived. But,  hey, they’ve got to find some way to justify their oxygen uptake, I suppose.
      What we really need is a government which is working for ALL Australians and we’re not going to get it from this ALP mob who need to fall back and re-group for a very long time.

    • Joe Blow says:

      08:37am | 04/02/13

      “Sure, when it was those guys on Hey, Hey smearing nugget on their cheeks and pretending to be the Jackson Five, it was completely awful. 
      But John Safran donned black makeup and pretended to be African American in an episode of Race Relations and it was great television. Chris Lilley played black rapper ‘S.Mouse’ for an entire series of Angry Boys, and we didn’t exactly see much outcry. “

      The logic of the politically correct is pretty obvious - if it appears on the left-wing’s mouthpiece (ABC) it’s all good.  If it’s on commercial radio or TV then it’s rascist.  Similar logic to that of Gillard’s government - if a conservative says it then it’s blatant rascism or sexism, but if one their own says similar then it’s just “poorly chosen words”.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      10:02am | 04/02/13

      @Joe, explain then Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder as an Aboriginal Australian?

    • Swingdog says:

      10:32am | 04/02/13

      @PsychoHyena Small point of clarification - he was pretending to be an Australian actor blacking up as an African-American.

      @Joe Blow - Nothing to do with where it appeared. It’s about awareness - the guys on Hey Hey blacked up in earnest because they didn’t realise that it wasn’t still the 1970s. Saffran did it to make a point.

    • Greg says:

      10:58am | 04/02/13

      The broadcasting channel itself is not the determining factor, it is the ideology and intent of the show that matters.

      Films like Romper Stomper and American History X contained many politically incorrect individual scenes, but they were meant to support the overall leftist message. Tropic Thunder is in the same category.

    • James1 says:

      12:17pm | 04/02/13

      “Films like Romper Stomper and American History X contained many politically incorrect individual scenes, but they were meant to support the overall leftist message.”

      What?  Are you saying that being against racism and racially motivated violence is “leftist”?  I thought we were all against this, whether left or right.

    • Greg says:

      02:23pm | 04/02/13

      @James1,

      “Are you saying that being against racism and racially motivated violence is “leftist”?  I thought we were all against this, whether left or right.”

      How very niaive of you. But I suppose it depends on your definition of racism and racially motivated violence.

      Leftists insist that white people cannot be victims of racism or racially motivated violence. Thy insist that so-called “reverse racism”, or black-on-white violence, has always been provoked in some way and the white victim deserves whatever they receive. Leftists are not opposed to this form of racism or racially motivated violence.

      They insist that every white-on-black crime is always a “hate crime”, but that black-on-white crime never is, and always has some other motivating factor.

      Consider Django Unchained, featuring black actor Jamie Foxx, who recently appeared on major US show Saturday Night Live, and said:

      “I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that? And how black is that?”

      Can you ever imagine a white actor saying how much he enjoyed killing black people in a movie? No matter what the circumstances?

      Do you think that it would be headline news, with every leftist worldwide competing to condemn the comments to the maximun extent possible?

      Or do you think that the comments would receive the same amount of publicity that Jamie Foxx’s comments received?

    • jade (the other one) says:

      08:42am | 04/02/13

      Just a few points on your interpretation of the Carribean ad, and the use of blackface.

      The problem with the Carribean ad, is the same problem that is at the heart of African-American offence to blackface. It is rooted in racist caricatures and stereotypes of black people as lazy, indolent and incapable of handling the pressures of a white world.

      The reason that Chris Lilley was not criticised is that his portrayal of a rapper was in this country, and was not exported to America. The blackface portrayal on Hey Hey it’s Saturday was performed in front of a US Jazz artist from New Orleans who was understandably horrified to be presented with something so unbelievably taboo in his culture. With no warning, it is completely understandable that he would be upset and I feel that he was rather dignified and controlled in his response, something that many Americans with his background in his position would struggle with.

      Robert Downey Jr was very, very clear in his comments on his Tropic Thunder role, that the make up he used was not blackface make-up. Furthermore, the entire point of his role was to highlight and satirize the problematic nature of blackface in Hollywood. Showing that he had a strong grasp of the depth of the issue.

    • Kika says:

      10:58am | 04/02/13

      No, Angry Boys was broadcast in America. It was screened on HBO on 14 May 2012.

      I think the difference is the ‘blackface’. Chris Lilley and Safran did what Robert Downey Jnr did - portray their character as being an African American. Blackface as in the singing minstrels make fun of black skin by use of the historical use of ‘black’ shoe polish (Most ‘black’ people are a shade of brown, not black) and painting on the exaggerated features.

      It’s the intent behind the different characters which matters - Downey Jnr, Safran and Lilley weren’t making fun of black people, but were portraying themselves as black.  The blackface done on Hey Hey WAS making fun of black people in the historical blackface way.

    • jade (the other one) says:

      11:23am | 04/02/13

      I didn’t realise Angry Boys had been exported! Thanks for that.

      You’re right in what you say as well about the way it was used being integral to whether offence was caused. As I pointed out, Downey Jr used blackface (and not without major controversy and condemnation, contrary to the author’s suggestion) to draw attention to it’s problematic use. I never saw Race Relations, and so cannot comment.

      As for S. Mouse - there was controversy in the US, with some in the rap community labeling it racist, stereotypical, and problematic.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      08:56am | 04/02/13

      “inconsequential things that aren’t really even that offensive…a good case in point is Tim Mathieson’s recent comments about prostate examinations.”
      Yes, it was inconsequential but no more so than the imaginary “misogyny” rant and fabricated tales about Mr Abbott. The only offensiveness about the “first bloke’s” comment was it’s total lack of cleverness and any real humour or wit.
      But let’s be intellectually honest here in this discussion. The only reason it got legs was by way of demonstrating to Gillard (and her sycophantic Roxon)  the ridiculous extent to which she has taken the notion of political correctness and tried to impose restrictions on freedom of expression.
      Yes, much of what is often said or written in such blogs as this might be offensive but, hey, it will all sort itself out in time. It’s a relatively new forum format, like so many other internet media options, and the anonymity allows people to vent their frustrations and thoughts in a way they can otherwise not do. Hell, it will probably all get better simply getting rid of the ALP.  Better a rude comment than having a stroke from stifling your vexations!

      And even it if doesn’t sort itself out, there should be no intrusion by any paternalistic, kindergarten-teacher mentality via the likes of Gillard and co. It is highly presumptuous and dangerous for any politician to mess with freedom of speech and good manners are absolutely none of their business.  Typically, she misses the target and priorities are all wrong, but not without selfish motivations! Nothing if not reliable.

    • Tom says:

      09:43am | 04/02/13

      I think that one of the key points that you are missing (wilfully ignoring?) here is that Gillard’s misogyny speech was a direct response to Abbott accusing the ALP of misogyny for accepting Slipper’s vote. Have you forgotten all that confected outrage from the LNP over the contents of one of their own member’s private text messages? Did you genuinely find those messages offensive? If you did, and you believe that the LNP genuinely did , then you probably should have another think about which group should be held responsible for the paternalistic, kindergarten teacher mentality of which you speak.
      I see all this confected outrage coming mostly from the opposition benches, and it being cooked up entirely to further political ends.

      Try to remember this, all you myopic, amnesiac little conservative shills, Abbott was the one who brought the word misogyny into the political discussion, trying to make political mileage over his ham-fisted handling of the Slipper-Brough succession. Gillard simply slapped him down with a number of his own on-the-record quotes.

      Anyway you slice it, the Libs are the guiltiest party in pursuing this PC, he-said, she-said crap political gainsmanship. I guess they figure that it is an acceptable substitute for actual policy.

    • Borderer says:

      11:09am | 04/02/13

      @Tom
      Thanks for that load of bollocks as you attempt to rewrite history.

      Who made the allegation that someone had a problem with women without any actual evidence?
      Who lied to a group of protestors to incite racial violence?

      Just because you say it often doesn’t make it true.

    • AdamC says:

      09:07am | 04/02/13

      This article is hopelessly confusing. On the one hand, the author seems to dismiss the negative aspects of political correctness. In the very next sentence, however, he laments the fuss over Tim Mathieson’s ‘Asian doctor’ comments.

      Newsflash, Stephen, that was a textbook case of ‘political correctness gone mad’.

      I do not believe for a minute that anyone was seriously offended by Mathieson’s comments, but they were certainly politically incorrect. The same goes for that spate of ads that suggested - horror! - that black people in America like fried chicken. There was also that brouhaha about Tony Abbott using the word ‘housewife’. 

      Stephen Harrington cannot have things both ways. Either he is in favour of people being able to ‘tell it like it is’ and sometimes indulging relatively harmless stereotypes (i.e, being ‘politically incorrect) or he is not. This piece read like an overlong exercise in not takinga definitive position.

    • Hamish says:

      09:40am | 04/02/13

      I’m pretty sure the position is ‘I believe everyone should be able to say whatever they want…as long as I agree with it or find it humorous.’ It’s the standard leftie position pertaining to free speech.

    • Nostromo says:

      09:34am | 04/02/13

      >So, when people complain about “political correctness gone crazy!” I think to myself, “no, you’re probably just a c—t.”

      Sarah Silverman certainly has a dark one…just like her sense of humour, assuming we agree that’s what it is. If sarcasm & puns are the lowest forms of humour, then most comedians these days are competing to lower the bar into the ground as far as humanly possible & they just keep on diggin!

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      09:42am | 04/02/13

      VERY bad start for Mr Dreyfuss, trying to make a big deal out of Christopher Pyne’s reference to Hitler. I would not be presumptuous enough, as a non-Jew,  to suggest that Jewish people would find that offensive or not, but I would be surprised if they did. Most Jews I have known are far too intelligent for that.
      Bit it would seem that no one is allowed to make a reference to Hitler (when Mr Dreyfuss himself has in the past!!!) without causing offense. Totally ridiculous and petty. But that demonstrates how desperate are this lot.

    • Greg says:

      11:02am | 04/02/13

      ” I would not be presumptuous enough, as a non-Jew,  to suggest that Jewish people would find that offensive or not”

      Why not? Jewish people don’t hold back in telling non-Jews what they believe should be considered offensive.

    • Borderer says:

      09:52am | 04/02/13

      Political Correctness is a crutch used by the less intelligent in order to stone wall a debate. They bandy around their “ism’s” because they can’t sucessfully support their argument, essentially using guilt or shame to win.

      Take the asylum seeker debate, the primary fall back position is to tag those against asylum seekers as being racist, they then have to waste time attempting to prove they aren’t racist instead of arguing against an open border policy. There are people involved in the debate who are racist, oddly that doesn’t actually invalidate their point of view despite the other side trying to discount their opinion as belonging to a “Bunch of bigots”.
      In comes character attacks “Latte sippers”, “Rednecks” and so on, each trying to invalidate the others opinion because they can’t attack them directly. Conviently forgetting about the actual issues involved.

      I had someone say I didn’t understand the recent violence in Logan Qld because of my privelleged upbringing and that my opinion was arrogant. Any point I had must be invalid no matter how accurate I was because I couldn’t hope to know what these people were going through.
      I destroyed their defence (my apparent elitism and yes they used that word) by actually bringing my own history into play, where I lived in Sydney made Logan seem nice. His fall back was that I’m not Aboriginal therefore I can’t possibly understand…. So despite coming from a poorer background, with less government assistance and growing up in the 92 recession I don’t know what I’m talking about…. seems legit…. This is of course the principle reason why these sort of people offer few solutions…. Too much time spent trying to be right rather than exchanging ideas and coming up with an answer. PC does not elevate debate, it dumbs it down.

    • gnome says:

      11:27am | 04/02/13

      It isn’t just a stonewalling device, political correctness is simply the reverse of the truth.

      A thing is a fact, but mustn’t be spoken because it is politically incorrect.

      A thing is not true, but may be said because it is politically correct.

      Insert your own examples, because if I try to suggest some, however true, they mustn’t be expressed because they are politically incorrect, and might give offence.

      But don’t dare criticise political correctness- the truth is too hurtful.

    • Meh says:

      09:55am | 04/02/13

      “call me crazy, but I don’t think anyone has the right to be disrespectful, rude, sexist, racist or homophobic without consequence”

      That is crazy. As you discussed everyone has varying levels of tolerance to various topics. My right to offend you through free speach must take precedence to your right not to be offended, it is a sign of a tolerant society.

    • Audra Blue says:

      10:07am | 04/02/13

      The Chasers deserved to be blasted but only because their stuff is brain meltingly unfunny.  Same with Chris Lilley. 

      Everyone needs to just get a grip and concern themselves with more important things.

    • Trevor says:

      10:30am | 04/02/13

      So, if I disagree with you, you can, you will in fact, label me as a “c—t”, without being rude or disrespectful in the slightest way. I think I understand

    • Chris L says:

      01:27pm | 04/02/13

      He’ll inwardly think it, not say it aloud.

      He may also print it in an article, but at least he didn’t name you specifically.

    • Ian1 says:

      10:30am | 04/02/13

      One person’s offence is another person’s defence. 

      Political correctness, I would argue, is about instilling utopian values into the public psyche.  Of course, this isn’t Utopia, but we’re closer as a Nation to it than many others, whom we wouldn’t yoke with.  Can I say that?

      Problem with forcing ideas, is that public opinion is often like a pendulum.  Once the ‘crazy’ level of PC being pushed is reached, a return swing with accelerating momentum undoubtedly follows.  There just aren’t enough people left to push the PC beyond human.  Noble ideals perhaps, though arguments against them are incredibly sophisticated.

      Of course, once the flesh is shed and all that remains is debatable, how could you identify any of the anti-utopian elements left unopposed?

    • Jack says:

      11:01am | 04/02/13

      Cue the “but what if Tony Abbott had made the VW ad” nutjobs.

    • Greg says:

      11:10am | 04/02/13

      “Sure, when it was those guys on Hey, Hey smearing nugget on their cheeks and pretending to be the Jackson Five, it was completely awful.”

      A classic example of the hypocrisy of political correctness.

      An Indian man using blackface makeup to imitate an African-American man
      who used plastic surgery to look like a white woman.

      And somehow white men are held to blame, and are expected to apologise.

      Says it all really.

    • jade (the other one) says:

      12:29pm | 04/02/13

      @Greg - I hold the producers of the show to blame for that idiotic brainfart. Had they done a SKERRICK of research into their guest judge’s background, or the background of blackface in the US, I imagine they would have understood that such a reaction from a jazz singer from New Orleans would be expected and would have selected different acts.

      The whole issue was caused by the total insensitivity to the cultural background of their “guest”, which is indicative of wider insensitivity inherent in Australian culture.

    • Roxanne says:

      12:42pm | 04/02/13

      @Greg, my above post was trying to say exactly what you just did.  Good point sir!

    • Greg says:

      01:58pm | 04/02/13

      @Jade, it was a 20th anniversary show, and the acts were selected on the basis that they were done 20 years earlier, without provoking outrage from the hyper-sensitive idiots who infest contemporary society:

      http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/hey-heys-jackson-jive-explain-why-we-did-it/

      Only one of the performers was an Anglo-Australian, the rest were more multicultural, so how is that “indicative of wider insensitivity inherent in Australian culture”?

      And where was the outrage on behalf of white people when black people put on whiteface for the White Chicks movie?

    • jade (the other one) says:

      02:56pm | 04/02/13

      @Greg - Why shouldn’t Harry Connick Jr express his feelings about something that in his culture is taboo, and extremely offensive?

      You raise “White Chicks” and whiteface, showing your ignorance of the chequered history of blackface in the US. The issue has never been about white performers using black make-up. It was the fact that white performers used black make-up to ridicule and denigrate black people, using outrageous caricatures and racist stereotypes, in an era when black people did not have equal rights, as a way of reinforcing white supremacy. By contrast, “White Chicks” was an unfunny, juvenile movie, lampooning the privilege and wealth of a particular subset of American college students. And “White Chicks” was not without significant controversy in the US, for a variety of reasons, not least because some African American groups felt it lent blackface a legitimacy as a resurgent genre.

      You honestly, really cannot see that a citizen from a country where such a genre is considered universally unacceptable, except as a cultural artifact to be placed in its proper context as a relic of racism, might be shocked and appalled when surprised by a performance of this nature? I felt extremely sorry for Harry Connick Jr to be placed in such a position by the thoughtlessness of the show’s producers. I also felt sorry for the performers who were likely unaware of how offensive their performance would be to most Americans, and African-Americans in particular. I do wonder however, whether they would have been as offended as Connick Jr was were Mahatma Cote to be resurrected for the show?

    • Greg says:

      05:03pm | 04/02/13

      @Jade,

      I have no problems with Harry Connick Jr or anybody else expressing their feelings about anything. I support free speech, after all. Even though he was really just trying to claim some sort of sanctimonious moral supremacy, by claiming victimhood on behalf of others for some unintended alleged offence made within a country where blackface had no cultural significance, and on a TV show that was never meant to be shown in the US.

      If Harry Connick Jr wanted to make an idiot of himself, why should I care? It is similar to getting upset about swastikas in Hindu countries, when they used the symbol for thousands of years before the Nazis.

      It was all of the subsequent confected outrage being used as another excuse by Big Media to vilify Australian culture, whithout allowing the balanced publication of any contrary opinion, that I found offensive.

      As for White Chicks, it is a movie where black performers used white make-up to ridicule and denigrate white people, using outrageous caricatures and racist stereotypes, in an era when white people do not have equal rights, as a way of reinforcing non-white supremacy.

      Yet this movie made with a $40 million budget and a worldwide distribution received much less criticism that a 2 minute amateur segment on a low budget TV show in Australia.

      That is what political correctness is all about. Even if there is some minor and reluctant criticism of deliberate anti-white vilification, it is dwarfed in proportion to the massive criticism made against preceived and unintended insults against non-whites.

    • Colin says:

      12:22pm | 04/02/13

      Oh, goodness. The dribbling, welded-on, “Freedom of speech” advocates are at it again: “We want to be able to say anything to anyone at anytime because we are loud-mouthed, self-opinionated bigots who want to maintain the White-Anglo-Saxon-Male status quo.”

      Their idea isn’t the freedom to say things that “Should” be said. No; their raison d’etre for “Free Speech” is so that they can continue to fill the world with hateful, spiteful, racist, misogynist comments whenever they like and at whoever they like so as to continue to foment the bigotry and hatred against those of a sexual orientation or racial background that they see as not fitting in with their (Primitive, naive, ugly) worldview.

    • Sam says:

      12:51pm | 04/02/13

      Hell yeah and don’t foget it you thought-control freak.

    • Anniebello says:

      01:56pm | 04/02/13

      Yes Colin.
      The “dribbling, welded-on, “Freedom of speech” advocates ” have just as much right as you have to say “loud-mouthed, self-opinionated bigots” “White-Anglo-Saxon-Male” and “their (Primitive, naive, ugly) worldview.” .... and pretty much your entire post.

      Why is it always the white people who can be called racist and be abused because of OUR skin colour, OUR gender and OUR beliefs without redress?

    • Colin says:

      02:09pm | 04/02/13

      @  Anniebello

      “Why is it always the white people who can be called racist and be abused because of OUR skin colour, OUR gender and OUR beliefs without redress?”

      Do I really need to tell you? Really?!? Sigh.

      Why? Because it’s mostly the white folk doin’ all the abusin’, THAT’S why..!

      This world is made in the image of centuries of colonisation by White races of Empire-builders who subsumed, subdued, repressed, abused, and enslaved anyone of any other colour or race…Or is history just a big TV screen of white noise to you?

    • Greg says:

      02:37pm | 04/02/13

      @Colin, it sounds like you have been watching too much fiction (aka ABC/SBS documentaries) on TV.

      Real history includes many “Empire-builders who have subsumed, subdued, repressed, abused, and enslaved anyone of any other colour or race”. The truth is that all races, including whites, have been enslaved by others at some point in their history. The only thing that is exceptional about White-Anglo-Saxon-Males is that they were the first to outlaw and abolish slavery.

      It continues to this day in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

      Those are the facts, and they won’t change no matter how many names you call me.

    • Michael says:

      02:45pm | 04/02/13

      “Whitey - You WILL live in perpetual shame for what your ancestors did (or didn’t do)”..... Colin’s leftist dribble 101.  Sad really.

    • Roxanne says:

      02:51pm | 04/02/13

      @Colin, I read the Punch each day.  You confuse me.  If you are indeed a male (which I seriously doubt) then you would be the most spineless, pathetic, snivelling little dishrag around Your outrage on behalf of others is laughable.  Your superiority and smug condesencion have the same biting power as a gold fish bite.  Seriously, are you employed by the Punch to be a troll? If not, you should be. Normally I don’t read the drivel you write, though I did do so accidentally this time (I was distracted).  I am sure you have some snappy comeback ready to prove how wonderful you are and how I am somehow less than, but I won’t be reading it.  I just wanted you to know how I felt. By the way, your outrages on behalf of women offend me, so please stop it.

    • marley says:

      03:10pm | 04/02/13

      @Colin – perhaps you really are a troll after all.  It seems unlikely that any thinking person could write a diatribe which is such a perfect exemplar of the “loud-mouthed, self-opinionated,” “spiteful” bigotry he professes to despise.
      What exactly does “freedom of speech” mean to you, anyway?  From your comments, I gather that you think “freedom of speech” should be limited to that expression you consider to be grammatical, literate, and socially acceptable by those persons you consider to be informed, articulate and educated.  So, in other words, your definition of freedom of speech is not one that any thinker on the subject would begin to recognise.  Which does raise the question of whether you could in fact meet your own criteria…

      I, on the other hand, think that so long as speech is not defamatory or directly inciting violence, it should run wild.  It is every bit as much a fundamental human right as the right to vote or the right to equality before the law.  Or are you arguing that “bogans” shouldn’t enjoy those rights either?

    • Colin says:

      04:20pm | 04/02/13

      @ Marley

      “Or are you arguing that “bogans” shouldn’t enjoy those rights either?”

      Yes, I am.

      Reasoned dialogue about things should only be carried out between those people who actually have the mental acumen to string logical thoughts together. The hordes of bogans, Great Unwashed, call them what you will, should confine their conversation to things that they actually understand. Like drinking beer, football, and “glassing” each other…

      @ Roxanne

      “If you are indeed a male (which I seriously doubt) then you would be the most spineless, pathetic, snivelling little dishrag around Your outrage on behalf of others is laughable.”

      Apparently you won’t read this, but I reserve my Right of Reply anyway:

      Frankly your diatribe is just another in a long (long, long, long) line of justifications as to why the person who questions your own status quo beliefs about how the world seems to be and how it actually is, is a “complete pratt” or whatever term of abuse you like because you - and everyone else like you - are frightened of the Truth. Frightened of accepting your own responsibility for the way the world is, and frightened to have anything changing. Ever.

      But, then, you and your ilk always shoot the messenger as a Harbinger of Doom without even - for an instant - contemplating the message.

    • NSS says:

      05:18pm | 04/02/13

      “I, on the other hand, think that so long as speech is not defamatory or directly inciting violence, it should run wild. “

      Spot on, Marley. My exceptions as well, and clearly, Colin doesn’t meet his own criteria.

    • marley says:

      06:26pm | 04/02/13

      @Colin - good to know where you stand.  Fundamental human rights, that’s a no. Democracy, that’s a no.  Patronisation of the lower classes, the non-white and women, that’s a yes. 

      I’m going to take a wild guess that you’re about 16 years old, and haven’t ever had to deal with the real world.  People that have, know full well that wisdom doesn’t necessarily reside with the highly educated (two of the most incompetent people I ever had the misfortune to work with had PhDs).  There’s a lot of wisdom to be found amongst those you would call “bogans.”  And nothing I’ve read from you suggests you’re any smarter than the guy who just built my deck.  So, if I’m going to give one of you the vote, sorry, but you lose.

    • Colin says:

      02:58pm | 04/02/13

      @ Greg

      “The truth is that all races, including whites, have been enslaved by others at some point in their history. The only thing that is exceptional about White-Anglo-Saxon-Males is that they were the first to outlaw and abolish slavery.”

      OF COURSE it’s the truth because you saw it on a television show. After all, TV wouldn’t lie to you would it? The history isn’t written by the victors either, hey?

      Now, Greg, you go on believing what you’re told and everything’ll be just fine. Wouldn’t want to upset the status quo now, would we?

    • Greg says:

      04:20pm | 04/02/13

      No, I didn’t see it on a TV show, which is the last place that would mention this fact. I do my own research, and my own thinking. It is the truth because it is a fact that cannot be proven wrong by a world full of leftist, white-hating academics.

      As for victory being written by the victors, what is your point? Are you saying that the Nazis get unjustifiably bad press?

      I am also all in favour of upsetting the status quo, and all of the politically correct lemmings that support it.

    • Borderer says:

      04:20pm | 04/02/13

      The law to abolish the slave trade was written by William Wilberforce in 1807, member of parliment for Kingston upon Hull in the United Kingdom. Notably he did not have movies made about him despite doing this 50 years before Lincoln was even born.

    • Anniebello says:

      03:03pm | 04/02/13

      @ Colin ..

      Mostly the white folks. MOSTLY ???? And that makes it right does it?

      I have been abused by Muslims because I haven’t covered myself up in my own country. I was walking in the school yard, minding my own business and he charged up to me.

      I have been abused because I wear a small cross around my neck by complete strangers who don’t even care what my actual religion is, just it’s offensive to them.

      I have called a Aboriginal woman neighbour a bad parent because she won’t send her kids to school, how is that racist? Yet I was called a ‘white c-t’ , not a nosy parent - a direct attack on my skin colour. I have also been abused for what ‘my ancestors’ did 200 years ago ??? My ancestors nailed a plate to a post and sailed on. Yet again I was judged on my skin colour.

      Yes history shows white supression of other races. It also shows barbaric behavior of others races towards other races whatever the colour. Perhaps you need to change your TV channel and look at all of history,  not just the bits that suit your argument. We can’t change history but to keep banging on about things that are in the past keeps us from moving forward.

      All I am saying is that racism (sexism, whatever-ism) works BOTH ways and if you want one side to play fair, the other side has to as well. To expect anything else is discriminatory.

    • NSS says:

      03:20pm | 04/02/13

      Humour is humour, the insult is in the “ear” of the audience. Any comedian who wants to get a laugh must gauge their audience and adjust their routine accordingly. You wouldn’t tell a Mohammad joke in Tehran, for instance, unless your hubris was so all-encompassing that you didn’t care about offending absolutely everyone (and you clearly had a death-wish.). Sometimes comedians get it wrong in this country and overstep the mark, just as the Chaser boys did. The joke was funny, in a twisted way, but managed to offend just about as many people as it amused. Ergo, bad judgement on their part.

      The same problem occurs in everyday life when people cannot distinguish between genuine commentary and an insult, including political commentary based on gender, sexual orientation, race etc. This skill,  is also dependant on ones audience. However, those who are genuinely insulted in that audience have every right to say so, and the commentator must accept the consequences ie outrage. Freedom of speech also implies freedom of audience outrage, even if others can’t see it, as we see here all the time.

    • Sickemrex says:

      05:42pm | 04/02/13

      That sounds like common sense NSS and I don’t think common sense comes into the political correctness issue. An attempt at humour stands for itself. If it’s funny, people will laugh. If it’s not funny, people won’t laugh. If someone finds the joke offensive, by all means they can do so. A joke simply is what it is. Surely it’s not unreasonable to expect the deliverer to give some thought to the consequences.

      For example, I have quite a few indigenous friends that I can banter with in a Murri accent because it has been clearly established through normal social discourse that they find it funny and not offensive. I would not dream of walking up to a Murri I didn’t know and saying exactly the same thing. The problem with political correctness is that it tries to apply a one size fits all rule to issues that vary widely depending on the situation.

    • Pattem says:

      03:33pm | 04/02/13

      Conversation with my slight-fingered Hong Kong wife:

      Me: Let me tell you about Tim Mathieson’s prostate joke:...
      Wife:  What?  They’re making a fuss about THAT?
      Me: But are you offended?
      Wife:  Hahahaha…no!  Really, they’re making a fuss about that…hahahahaha.

      I knew she’d find the whole hole thing amusing.

      If Punchers didn’t continue writing about this, the story would die a quick death.  Why perpetuate it?

      Why can’t you pull your finger out…  smile

    • Chris L says:

      04:28pm | 04/02/13

      Nice endin’!

    • Pattem says:

      05:59pm | 04/02/13

      @Chris L

      I resent the whole joke by Mathieson now.  If I tell people my asian wife poked me, they’ll look at me funny, and I’ll have to say: “Not THERE!”

    • Helt says:

      03:57pm | 04/02/13

      I know eh? Why is it always the Chinese called to task for the problems with Tibet. Ive heard Tibetan people say uncomplimentary things about the Chinese so its all even I cant see the problem

    • Fed Up says:

      04:34pm | 04/02/13

      I’m afraid i have to be politically incorrect Stephen….you’re an idiot and whats with the “gay” name….why not Steve.
      Political correctness is un-Australian.
      Just because you little pansies dont have a thick skin and cry mama all the time when confronted you want to change the rules.
      You come up with your buzz words like homophobe in which you change the true meaning of and label people which could be construed as hate speach.
      You’re no better than us…in fact you’re hypocritically worst.
      So take you ‘happy holidays’, ‘your partner’ and your political correctness and take a hike.

    • Ben says:

      04:36pm | 04/02/13

      >> ‘Political Correctness’ is actually just an over-used (typically, and strangely, pejorative) buzzword for ‘being respectful to people’. And, call me crazy, but I don’t think anyone has the right to be disrespectful, rude, sexist, racist or homophobic without consequence<<

      And, call me crazy, but I think an academic who uses a straw man argument to make a point doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. ’

    • Swamp Thing says:

      04:44pm | 04/02/13

      Stephen, time to take a good, long look at yerself - maybe you are the c*nt in the equation? Could be in the realms of possibility hey mate?
      Everyone else: there’s nothing at all wrong with being a proud, white man.
      You can do that without cramping anyone elses style. At worse you will infuriate those who think you have nothing to be proud of. That is their problem btw, not yours -  let ‘em go home and bite the pillow or rant on here or whatever makes them feel special & pc.

    • John says:

      06:41pm | 04/02/13

      Want to find out who really rules over you? Find out who you can’t criticize -Voltaire

      The above quote pretty much says it all about political correctness. If you feel like you will be demonized by your speech, it means you are being dominated by those you can’t speak out against.

      If you feel you can criticize, then you must have some form moral authority who believes he or she has the moral high ground. In the west today, people can speak out, but it doesn’t mean they will be heard, media is controlled, and those who wish to speak out don’t get the air time, meaning criticism is suppressed, meaning we have rulers who rule over us.

 

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