Political correctness and social media

Dear Editor,

I believe that this politically correct business has gone way too far.  When one throws in the anonymous electronic mob charitably titled social media, there is sanctuary for the weak-kneed, disaster for reasoning, and the end of the English Language as versatile wondrous communication tool.  The result is an ongoing orgy of intimidation. For all intents and purposes, this limiting draining combination (political correctness and social media) effectively returns man and speech back to the fluency of guttural grunts and silent cowering in caves.

From my perspective, political correctness functions as a leash on the tongue; worst still, it condemns free and clear thinking into a medieval dungeon, with the doors welded.  I will always make allowance and exception for outright rejection of the palpably offensive, harmful, and poisonous.  Now this brings to a fateful place: what is considered inoffensive nowadays?  Why are those few who are inclined to see things this way steamrolled into silence or the inconsequential?  Why do so much (especially extremes) have to be read into any situation, including the unintended, by the clandestine, pseudoilluminati that very little honest open communication is possible? The unfortunate result is that everyone wastes time and energy on form (p’s and q’s) so as not to disturb the dodo birds waiting to pounce: Gotcha!  Racist!  Misogynist!  Closet this or that and the rest ad nauseam.  It is the height of absurdity when decent well-meaning individuals are compelled to pause and analyze six ways to Sunday (no offence meant to those who hold the Sabbath sacred), any pronouncement to be absolutely certain that no sensitivities are injured, including those of nonexistent tribes in the Amazon or Equatorial Africa.

When does this patented nonsense, such artificial constructs cease?  How and why were they allowed to flourish in the first place?  As if to compound exponentially the issue (let it be said: problem), there is this monstrosity, this rampaging beast named social media; without a doubt, it has been a fantastic development with major benefits, when used responsibly and wisely.  Such usage now is not the case and a rarity.  Just recently, the executives who concocted this sometimes wicked, mainly erratic, and always uncontrollable genie went out with public mea culpas.  They confessed to the deliberate brain manipulations that is part of the social media fixation.  The once feared Reds, Yellows, Manchurians, and all those other Cold War bogeymen have nothing on this ne plus ultra brainwashing perfected by the West.

They called it, get ready: social validation feedback loop.  I would have been proud.  And therein lies the problem: people fall in love with themselves every day, and all day long; and while they do so, countless others join the electronic herd in one great communal (Hippies-style) love-in.  It is a cyber horde of mostly losers who find identity and voice to ambush he unsuspecting innocents for having missed a step (a suspicious word); or to expose a special evil (frank talk); or to smash a particular bone in the throat (plain truth).  Genghis Khan and his own Golden Horde are put to shame by these modern day electric horsemen and women, supposedly warriors all, and looking for a cause, any cause.

Call out a proven liar (it is racist); question a position (it is homophobic); and dare to differ (it is anti-this or pro-that, neither acceptable by the etiquette enforcers).  In too many instances, the ugliest possible interpretation (which suits and excites) and places the innocent on the defensive takes flight.  With all of this a settled part of practiced speaking and writing patterns, authentic expression has been diminished into dumbness and a frugal lukewarm presence.  Nobody speaks their minds anymore; and those who do must include more qualifiers and hurdle more obstacles than those required for Olympic trials.  The only ones speaking to truth are those cooing in cradles and those who have absolutely no regard for the mental riffraff (there, I said it!) performing behind cyber veils and thrilling to the power and reach of an amorphous mass.

I admit readily to being someone who toys and experiments with the language; sometimes it is used as a cluster device (MIRV).  Some claim ignorance; I think that is relevant.  I accept that as part of the reservation (regrets to any Native Americans around), carved out for themselves by those who can read to a point, but cannot think.  It is a case of too little groundings in anything and a refusal to improve.  I strive to learn something new daily; it is healthy and progressive, too.

My last word is that political correctness locks matters into a simpleton’s world of black or white, with no shade of anything in between.  And social media, for all its positives, serves as the turbocharger that fuels the fire.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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