By Robert Wargas US politics
November 11th, 2013
Tim Stanley has already drawn your attention to a perfectly odious video of Dan Savage’s recent appearance on the Australian show Q&A, in which he “jokes” about mandating abortion to combat “overpopulation.”
Miranda Devine: "THE sneering foulness of the Left is bubbling up like overflow from an unblocked sewer at the realisation the Abbott government is here to stay."
Q & A
I urge everyone to watch the video of the entire episode, which you can find here. I did so a few days ago and have been turning the detritus over in my mind ever since. The entire episode really is a marvel of political correctness and identity politics, and a few brief comments are necessary, I believe, to remind everyone of the type of attitudes and opinions that underlay such a large segment of contemporary society. Those familiar with these slimy phenomena needn’t even watch the episode to understand the following points; they will read and nod with familiarity. Call it a refresher course, then.
1) Note how crude and vulgar Savage acts in general. Early in the show he refers, in an exceptionally explicit manner, to his alleged ability in oral sex. He seems to direct this comment at Peter Hitchens. I want you to imagine for a moment what would happen if a heterosexual man appeared on a television debate show and mentioned his prowess in oral sex to a female panelist. This would quite rightly be construed not only as creepy and disgusting but as an act of harassment, especially if the obvious purpose of the comment was, as in the case of Savage’s, to make his interlocutor feel uncomfortable and humiliated.
2) Savage acts the way he does because he believes he is entitled to do so. He believes his status as a member of The Oppressed exempts him from the rules of common decency and politeness that his Bourgeois Oppressors follow. You will notice all aggrieved people act in this way: they abuse others in the most heinous way while simultaneously demanding that those they’re abusing act deferential towards them. Note also that, in Savage’s case, this contempt for common decency extends to dress as well: he doesn’t feel compelled to wear a shirt or tie or jacket to an appearance before an enormous television crowd.
3) The audience encourages the panel’s radicalism. The panellists, emboldened by the howls of approval, are therefore encouraged to outdo one another in expressions of identity politics.
4) Notice how, with the exception of Peter Hitchens, all the other panelists are categorically obsessed with their own social identities, mainly in terms of gender and sexuality. For them, there is no reality beyond this identity; it is what defines them, determines their place in life as well as their moral standing. Like all radicals, however, their obsession (and pity) is limited only to select groups. If a feminist says, “As a woman, I feel that…” everyone keeps quiet and listens. If a conservative male says, “As a man, I feel that…” he is excoriated as a reactionary misogynist. Double standards are the single standard of political correctness.
5) As a corollary to point 4, notice how all the panelists (again, excepting Hitchens) turn every answer into a speech about how some nefarious force is responsible for all their problems. Nothing is their fault. The ills of the world are due to the racism, sexism, classism, and other -isms of the eternal oppressors. Nonetheless, the panelists seem almost to rejoice in their perceived oppression. It’s almost as though they enjoy it. Why not? It defines them. Like all radicals, their worldview is an odd and toxic marriage of self-worship and self-pity.
Do I really have to remind you that such people and attitudes have controlled our universities for well nigh half a century now? If you are someone who has never attended a university, let the episode and these brief observations serve as a kind of primer on the criminal misuse of the academy. Then again, these attitudes are so widespread nowadays, a university education is no longer necessary for the dumbing down of Western civilisation.
Robert Wargas is an American journalist who lives in New York. He has written for Newsday, PJ Media and Publishers Weekly. Most recently, he worked as a historian at the renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, where he helped the institution document its record in biotechnology and molecular biology.