Monday, November 27, 2006

Be Nice, or Else

Turns out all sorts of turkeys got trotted out on Thanksgiving--it seems the News-Press ran one of Dr. (of Physiology) Laura's columns (no link, as the N-P considers itself above the internets). Now, while Craig Smith deftly dealt with her inability to let Sara Miller McCune's comment at the Lifetime Acheivement Awards pass without a scold (she does stay true to character, Ms. Schlessinger does), INOTBB figures it needs to point out the end of civility did not begin with blogging.

In her column, Dr. (of Physiology) Laura--a woman who has called homosexuals "deviant" and "disordered," among other sweet things, and she gets to do it with a radio megaphone--calls for kindness and civility. She writes:

What has caused this horrendous decline in common decency toward one another? Oh my gosh, let me count the ways! From blogs to radio talk to television talk to columnists to public school/university political correctness to the Balkanization of communities based on cultural ethnicity, sexual orientation and politics . . . most people are just so mean.

OK, so she does know enough to count herself--radio talk and columnists--twice. But what in the world is political correctness on the list for? Even if you think it's a horrible over-reaction, doesn't political correctness make us stop calling each other bad names? Isn't the usual complaint about political correctness is that it make us deny our true natures (ask Michael Richards about that one)? She then goes on to say:

Instead of debating, some folks largely live to character assassinate and censor. Instead of negotiating, some folks largely live to search and destroy.

Here, she's described her employer Wendy McCaw perfectly. Fire folks and release private employment files to publicly defame them. Don't allow letters to the editor from people who disagree with the paper. Don't take ads from people who disagree with the paper. Don't list TV stations that run programs unfavorable to the paper. Sue and sue again--former employees, other newspapers. And as for not negotiating, how much time have Wendy and her minions spent at the table with the lawfully elected union for her newsroom employees? Not as much time as they've spent putting the words "mafia" and "Teamster" in the same sentence.

But Schlessinger has more:

Instead of rational argument, some folks largely live to call others vulgar names, gossip and humiliate. Instead of gracious acceptance of olive branches, some folks largely live to insulate themselves in their own hate, while accusing others, who simply have a different opinion, for the chasm between them.

You're right, and I apologize for insinuating you're a turkey, Dr. (of Physiology) Laura. I hereby apologize to all turkeys, who I didn't mean to impugn with the ill-chosen comparision. After all, not even a turkey would get to your bullet point at the end of the column (a good half of which is filled up with long quotes from letters to her saying how correct she is about everything):

Required Reading: UCLA student health center psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman has written a must-read book about the central cause of the increased incidents of psychological and emotional problems of college/university students, including suicides. The book is Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student (Penguin, 2006).

While the book seems to be the usual diatribe about our kids today--we tell them sex is ok, we let them have abortions, they all then get depressed and want to kill themselves--it's the way Schlessinger presents the book that fascinates. She cheats a bit here, as the book is officially authored by "Dr. Anonymous," for it seems Grossman was worried about how her work would be received by others in her profession. Where did Grossman reveal she was the author? On Dr. (of Physiology) Laura's radio show! How convenient! The other bit of a cheat is the book, while published by Penguin, bears the Penguin imprint Sentinel HC. That makes this book from the same house that has released classics like The UN Exposed: How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World and The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse than You Thought. My guess is due out in 2007 from Sentinel is the book Bat-Shit Crazy: How There's Some Rightwing Nut-job Out There to Buy Your Breathlessly Told Paranoid Fantasy.


Anonymous allegro805 said...

This is an excellent piece. Totally exposes (as if we need further examples) the total bulls**t hypocrisy of McCaw, Armstrong and Ms. Laura.

"Political correctness" has made people "meaner"??

And speaking of "Your Breathlessly Told Paranoid Fantasy" -- that could be the title of almost every one of Travis's recent editorials.

These people are N-U-T-S. Oops, there I go, being mean.

Keep up the good work.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No kidding it's excellent...trouble is...those who are most hypocritical will never get it.
Didn't Ms. Laura say it was time to end the "meanness?" And she does so, of course, by being mean and nasty in her comments, both personally delivered and written.
She loves to say she sails, but she pays guys to sail for her, gets a new boat when her amateur status expires in the previous one, and basks in the glory of trophies...and other members of the Y Club run when they see her coming!

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight ... according to Drs. Laura and Miriam, the biggest threat to the mental health of college students is that they aren't able to freely express their belief that kikes and niggers are responsible for all their problems?

12:44 PM  
Blogger George said...

Uh, anonymous, I assume you're trying to "prove" what little good political correctness has done us, but here's hoping no one takes you at your word.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Mr. Richards, you can't hide your identity by claiming to be "Anonymous."

You were on one of the biggest sit-coms in history; everyone knows who you are regardless of the name you use.

9:47 AM  

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