Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, December 20, 2014


On my Facebook feed appeared a post from some academic who has a degree of connection to someone I know.  She wrote the following:

Instead of getting all huffy with North Korea, I think we should thank them for having such a non-violent response to a movie that was, to say the least, in execrably poor taste, politically offensive and racist.

The writer is a professor at the New School, and pretty much becomes a caricature of the ivory-tower, liberal professor (although I'd describe her as Leftist, rather than liberal).  And let's leave aside the ridiculousness of her assertion that North Korea's response was non-violent.  They specifically threatened violence.

But I really worry that we are increasingly losing our ability to be offended without going off the deep end.  This is not a problem confined to the Left.  The freakout from the Right over protests by athletes against extra-judicial police killings is very similar.  So is the "War on Christmas".

We have become perpetually outraged and can't abide by anything that might whiff of offense.

That's pathetic.  We need to be strong enough to abide things that are offensive to us.  Otherwise we become infatuated with our own outrage.

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