An interesting debate on the issue of “political correctness”, however one defines it, in popular culture, featuring among others the British actor and writer Stephen Fry and the Canadian academic and YouTube lecturer Jordan Peterson. The latter, of course, has become something of an internet star among the ideological alt-right or those who travel in its wake. He’s probably the nearest the movement has to an articulate intellectual, in contrast to no end of smug diatribists, consequently garnering considerable animosity outside the permeable borders of its bubble. Though, admittedly, a few of the more extreme characterisations of the professor’s opinions by his critics seem somewhat unfair. However, if you lie down with dogs don’t be surprised if others presume you are covered in fleas.
Stephen Fry is a rather more surprising figure on the “anti-PC” side in the televised debate, though he does represent the fuddy-duddy, slightly conservative version of British – or specifically, English – liberalism. He has come a long way since his early comedic career, much of which was devoted to satirising Establishment Britain, albeit out of intimate knowledge and familiarity with its stately homes and hallowed cloisters. More a case of him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in, to borrow an expression from Lyndon B. Johnson.
That said, I do have some sympathy for those who reject such ersatz notions as “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces”, though I can see the merits of female-only rooms or gatherings in the short to medium-term given the poor behaviour of far too many men in contemporary Western society. In Ireland we have witnessed the latest examples of that in the headline-making news of the last few days, which are absolutely heart-breaking.
Have a watch and let me know what you think. And ignore the presenter’s somewhat OTT backslapping tone at the start, albeit partly in tribute to a late sponsor.