THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT
LAST MONTH I wrote a piece about how people have become so preoccupied with being politically correct that it was killing any sort of opinion. To my surprise, I found an unexpected ally in one of Hollywood’s living greats: Clint Eastwood. Unfortunately, we were coming at the issue from utterly opposite ends.
Eastwood, a longtime Republican and selfavowed Trump supporter spoke at the GOP Convention, likening anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats to people who were excessively concerned with playing and saying things by the book. He should, however, stick to directing and producing macho movies, which he’s much better at than participating in politics. (Sir, with all due respect to a Hollywood legend, but even your style of movie direction needs to pick up pace.)
So while it’s true that many of us are too hung up on being politically correct these days. it can be easily rectified without getting crude, cruel or slanderous. Suggesting that a presidential election is as simple as people being afraid of speaking the truth in order to be considerate is foolish, to say the least. And looking for the simplest, Occam’s Razor style solution to complex sociological, economic and political issues is equally dumb.
As an occasional public speaker, I’ve found that giving an honest opinion in front of an audience, however inappropriate it may be, is not an issue as long as that opinion can be justified and qualified. It’s the same code of ethics that’s practised in most publishing houses, and if we do make a mistake, we apologise for the error.
Eastwood made a fair point ‒ the sort that Colin Quinn makes in the form of a joke in his standup special, Unconstitutional. Quinn typically starts by telling an anecdote and ends up apologising for the patriarchial worldview he’s advocating. Of course, the former SNL member has creative licence and his politically incorrectness is rarely if ever taken seriously.
It is more frightening when a public willingly ignores facts in favour of handed-down, friendadvocated “news” circulated on platforms that aren’t necessarily journalistic in nature. Add to that their eagerness in taking shortcuts and you have a populace that has immediate access to nearly any sort of information via a simple Internet search but shackled by a prejudiced or negligent attitude that prevents them from acquiring any real information.
I’m as guilty of that as any. For months, I’ve been ignoring my language-learning apps and watching mind-numbing Youtube videos of cats (and now baby pandas) instead.
No more. If nothing else, Eastwood has energised me into action, not merely about being politically incorrect, but about backing up politically incorrect opinions with facts and information in as many languages as I can possibly pick up in the next few months.
Meanwhile, I strongly advocate that we all pick up news and information directly from the sources and not simply take whatever is shared by a friend on Facebook. Or if we do, at least corroborate the veracity of these stories before we form an opinion of them. It’s the era of enlightenment. Be enlightened.
DARREN HO MANAGING EDITOR dar[email protected] Instagram: @DarrenHo Twitter: @DarrenJYHo