While in the supermarket, where I was buying Pringles to sustain barsine and myself during tonight's Gilmore Girls viewing (I have been very noble and not watched Tuesday's episode yet so that we can watch it together), I happened to glance at that awful magazine, the RTE Guide. The cover star was a man of roughly my own vintage called Ryan Tubridy, who presents a radio show that I never listen to but who is nevertheless kind of hard to avoid in this country. Anyway, I was flicking through the rag while in the checkout queue, and in the interview with Tubridy, he ranted on about how political correctness was "a scab on my generation" and, bewilderingly, how "one man's political correctness is another man's rudeness" and that it takes the "fun and chemistry" out of social interaction.
I'm sure I've said it before, but it bears repeating: political correctness just means not calling someone a nigger.
Got a problem with it now, Ryan? PC is not rudeness. It's simple politeness. It's about not using racist or sexist slurs. It's about not calling people by terms they don't use themselves. It's about a teeny tiny bit of sensitivity. As Bill Bryson pointed out nearly ten years ago, the most ridiculous excesses of PC that are cited by its opponents nearly all originate in a joke book of PC phrases which appeared in the early '90s and have never been seriously suggested by anyone. I just hate the idea that not tolerating bigotry, ignorance and plain old bad manners somehow takes the "chemistry" out of life. Ryan Tubridy, you're what we PC types like to call a fucking gobshite.