What me? Politically Incorrect?

A few days ago my friend Lauren Bulfin said that she enjoyed my blog but it made her feel guilty because there’s so much on it that’s politically incorrect.

Politcial correctness is a misleading term anyway as it doesn’t refer to any universal sense of morality but, instead, refers to what a society happens to be believing at the time. To that end, it would have been politically incorrect be sitting in Berlin in 1941 saying that Jews are people too. Honestly, my personal opinion is that political correctness has never been conceived as an institution to battle oppression, but instead is an entirely aggressive tool meant to cull the weak-willed into a pattern of action that, essentially, serves only to maintain the current power structure (I’m much more of a civil disobedience guy).

Political correctness is not about morality, it’s about group mentality, and much of the axioms that are perpetuated under the banner of political correctness are themselves immoral and in many cases self-contradictory. For example, it’s currently politically correct to defend the rights of homosexuals, and it’s also politically correct to respect the beliefs of the church…well, the church is AGAINST the rights of homosexuals! Somehow I think it’s a little ridiculous to claim your for one group and then go and join another group that hates everything the previous group stands for. At some point in life, you’re going to find that you have to make a choice and the result of that choice is that some people are going to be angry (it may be non-politically correct to say, but it’s REALITY and I’m Pro-reality…I’m also Pro-thinking which means I’m pretty much ANTI-religion).

The problem is that many people hear “moral” when somebody says “politically correct” and those words are NOT synonyms. Political correctness is just what people believe TODAY, and the EXACT SAME THINGS might, on a whim, be the very essence of Political INcorrectness tomorrow. Political correctness is the fast food of moral philosophy…heck, it’s even worse, it’s like daytime TV.

Now that I’ve had my rant, let me get back to the purpose of this article. Lauren has recently graduated from college, and since all my memories of college are getting fuzzy, plus the fact that I’ve been out of college for a long time, I thought I’d have her prepare a document for me detailing how the modern college student/professor would view my philosophies. I assume there will be a lot of criticism, which I also assume are based on ignorance and idiocy rather than fact, but I’m curious to read and ENGAGE them and see what kind of thoughts they will provoke.
By the way, don’t be mad at Lauren for anything she says, after all I did ask her to write this for me.

So, without further intro, here are Lauren’s thoughts (my thoughts in bold):

When I told you that your blog was politically incorrect, I meant it as a compliment. As a fairly young person, I was raised under this type of self-censored speech. The only thing it leads to is bullshit and hypocrisy and not getting things done for lack of an honest dialogue. I chafed under political correctness on my extremely liberal campus, ultimately deciding to keep silent rather than compromise my views, such as: I know that you and your friends are one of the few members of your racial group on campus. But you’ve made it far enough in life to go to be admitted to a prestigious liberal arts school. My boyfriend (of the time) is your age and he does heavy manual labor because he doesn’t have working papers and needs to feed his family in El Salvador. In the scheme of things, your life could be a whole lot worse. Stop trying to make me feel guilty. It’s not working.

Ah, but I digress. I figured I’d put that out there just so Ben wouldn’t feel like he was the only one exposed. I really do like the streets of Lima blog. It has the punchy, sharp tone of a copyright editor who works too hard and wants to kick back and say all the things that would get him fired from his dayjob.

When Ben asked me to write about which parts of his blog were politically incorrect, my first thought was: you’re kidding, right? All of it. But based on the limited research my slow browser has let me do, I would now revise that to say at least 50% of the articles contain statements that could be taken out of context and used against him. For example: “just some little disaster that would have killed 20 to 30,000 isn’t enough to bother me over.” (Taken from your most recent post.) I did compile more quotes like that, but they make me cringe, and as a Buddhist, I’m all about context and taken in context, some of these statements are not meant to be taken seriously. Still, I would say that this blog disqualifies you from running for all but the lowliest of political offices.

[It’s a shame that our world has degenerated into a state where people think it’s acceptable to blame the speaker over a misinterpretation of a statement when it is taken out of context (whoever spreads the misquote should be blamed), it’s essentially lying about what a person said and other countries do have recourses in place to go after people who do this to you. America does not (or at least not effective ones) and it’s absolutely ridiculous.]

Several articles had premises from which you don’t need to take quotes out of context because they are just so politically incorrect to begin with. The article about the pisco sour beauty contest? That was bad even for you.

[If it’s something they do in Peru, isn’t it ethnocentric to say it’s offensive? Furthermore isn’t non-ethnocentricism one of the founding pillars of political correctness?]

The coverage of that topic in anything but an omigod-this-is-sexist way really opens yourself up to attack, especially the photo of a scantily-clad woman stomping grapes with the comment: “she looks pretty happy.”

[I believe women are the equals of men (and that american PC philosophy does a lot to disempower and disenfranchise women by instilling an absurd defeatest mentality), so if a woman decides she wants to take off her clothing and stomp some grapes and have her picture taken, it would be sexist of me to be critical of her, or to even presume that she’s not in control of the situation]

I admit, woman can enjoy displaying their sexuality (I’m really moody about it though) and maybe this woman was, but there are power implications behind this act which make one unable to know for certain.

[ah, but if you can’t know for certain then it’s inappropriate to assume something is wrong until you’ve done the research. “Power Implications” is a really vague term that I keep hearing and I wish somebody would explain it as it seems to me that women have more power than men in the majority of the situations I’ve witnessed in my life (the fact that people gasp in horrified shock and instantly deny my statement rather than even give me the courtesy of listening to my argument is a testament to this fact).]

And then at the end, you just made it really politically incorrect, but I’m not going to spoil it for people, go to the Peruvian Beauty Contest Winners article.

[Doesn’t seem so bad to me]

100% of the articles dealing with women that I came across could be interpreted as offensive. There were a lot of generalizations about American and Peruvian women.

[Odd that I’ve never seen anybody complain ever about much more severe anti-male generalizations that appear in American Media (it’s because it’s OK to bash men in American society). However, in general, I hate it when people start being critical of generalizations. It’s almost impossible to speak for more than two seconds without making some sort of generalization. And what is the argument? That generalizations are always wrong? THAT’S A GENERALIZATION!!!!!!!]

However, all those mushy articles you wrote about loving your wife were enough to make you not seem like a sexist asshole.

[My philosophies aren’t willy-nilly, I actually live by them and I have a good, stable relationship…unlike the PC driven behavior in the US which is critical of ME yet somehow leads to a…what…87% divorce rate]

She looks so pretty and happy in your wedding photos, by the way. And I did like your refreshing take on the whole skeevy older rich men going out with younger women sha-bang-sha-bang that is so common in Peru. Like, hey, she’s getting paid to do this and she probably needs the money. Asi son las cosas, why they are that way is another matter.

[Frankly, I honestly believe America is a severely anti-male country. The fact that the suicide rate for men is 5 times higher than for women is a testament to this. The fact that you’re not allowed to bring this up in polite conversation is borderline fascist, and I’m always willing to offend fascists. In my experience, emotionally, people are broken in the US, here in Peru they’re a lot happier. I think the strength of various relationships has a lot to do with that.]

I was all for that stuff about Greenpeace and how people support causes that they don’t understand just to feel righteous. One of the criticism I hear against people of my political backgrounds is that we’re hypocrites and I am all for not being a liberal hypocrite, so I appreciate reading stuff like that.

But most importantly, reading your blog gave me the courage to write about my trip to Jungay over the fiestas patrias the way it should be written. My account of hanging out with really nice, impoverished, semi-alcoholic locals contains lines such as: “yeah, I’m the reason they ate more than once a day.” I look forward to seeing it on LivinginPeru.com, and if it’s too politically incorrect, then this site.

Me again–
Thanks Lauren, you didn’t come down on me all that hard after all. You know…snif..snif…sometimes it’s hard being a sensitive male coming out of an anti-male culture to blossom like he deserves to. I…will…be…strong! I will choke back my tears!

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1 Comment

  1. Rodney

    Fantastic Article. Articulate and well written. Bravo to Lauren for being brave enough to take you on Ben. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.

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