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Insensitivity Training: The Crybaby Culture

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Jun 21, 2007.

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  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Insensitivity Training: Facing the Crybaby Culture<br>
    By Mark P. Shea<br>
    Every couple of days it seems somebody falls apart due to
    “insensitivity.” The problem has been buzzing around in our headlines
    for years. We all remember back in January 1999 when a group of
    Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professionals came unglued after
    David Howard, a white aide to Anthony Williams, the black mayor of
    Washington, D.C., used the word “niggardly” in reference to a budget.
    It mattered not one iota that the word has absolutely no etymological
    relationship with “nigger.” (It’s of Scandinavian origin and means
    “miserly” or “stingy.”) Letters were written; protests were mounted.
    Howard himself bowed and scraped in abject remorse like a Stalinist
    show-trial witness confessing to crimes against the regime. Ten days
    later, Howard was sacked in a rite of sacrificial appeasement to
    outraged sensitivity gods. Only his own membership in an Approved
    Victim Group saved him: It turned out that, as a homosexual, Howard was
    himself backed up by an entire community of Professionally Aggrieved
    Grievance Professionals with their own deeply rooted sensitivities that
    likewise demanded appeasement. The mayor therefore offered Howard a
    chance to return to his position. Howard refused but accepted another
    position with the mayor instead.<br>
    Such tales are not isolated in our culture. One can go on and on, if
    for no other reason than the sheer amusement of the thing. A couple of
    years ago, for instance, Southwest Airlines was hit with a lawsuit for
    racial harassment. Their crime? They do not assign seats. You simply
    pick a seat, and the plane takes off. So, in the final prep for
    take-off, one of the flight attendants came on the intercom and said,
    “Eenie meenie minie mo, pick a seat, we gotta go.” Two African-American
    passengers naturally could not endure this horrific assault on their
    exquisite sensitivities. Lawsuit city.<br>
    Speaking of cities, Los Angeles issued a request to all manufacturers
    of computers to cease referring to “master” and “slave” units on their
    equipment after a hurt soul filed a complaint. Numerous computer
    manufacturers slavishly complied.<br>
    Fortunately, the hypersensitivity industry has also pinpointed the deep
    wells of pain opened by the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves.
    Particularly offensive is the heart-breaking use of the “tomahawk chop”
    by Braves fans. In other sensitivity news, Notre Dame recently had to
    fend off charges from Irish Americans doubled over in anguish by the
    torment they feel at the label “Fighting Irish” and the Notre Dame
    mascot (a leprechaun with his dukes up). The Notre Dame Observer (March
    23, 2006) had to answer these charges by reaffirming offended Irish
    people in their okayness and assuring them that the plucky little
    leprechaun is “a celebration of the resiliency and strength of the
    Irish people,” symbolizing how “the Irish have suffered through
    numerous hardships in their history—occupation by a foreign power,
    religious discrimination, famine and overt racism here in the United
    States have all been faced by the Irish people, and yet they persevered
    to become one of the most influential peoples in history.” (Let me say
    that, as a member of America’s suffering Irish-American community, I
    thank Notre Dame for drying my tears of outrage. On behalf of the
    groaning legions of agonized Irish in America, I forgive you, Notre
    Not everyone is similarly inclined to mercy, however. Sometimes the
    tinder-dry sense of outrage caused by our culture’s gross insensitivity
    to practically everything threatens to erupt in a conflagration of hurt
    feelings. For instance, a couple of years ago a proposed picnic to
    honor baseball Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson led some 40 students at
    the University of Albany, State University of New York, to protest that
    the word “picnic” originally referred to the lynching of blacks. It
    turned out the protestors were what the dominant Europhallocentric
    Hegemony calls “wrong,” since “picnic” actually comes from a
    17th-century French word for “social gathering in which each person
    brings a different food.” But the sensitivity professionals at SUNY did
    not let stultifying categories of “right,” “wrong,” “ignorant,” or
    “informed” get in the way of their festival of emotional incontinence.
    The strained feelings of offended black students were in such a pitch
    that the university instead put out a memo asking all student leaders
    to refrain from any use of the word “picnic.” Explained the Campus
    Affirmative Action office, “Whether the claims are true or not, the
    point is the word offended.” Therefore, in publicity for the event, the
    word “picnic” was changed to “outing.”<br>
    However, the use of the word “outing” offended—wait for it—the gay
    community, so the event formerly known as a picnic was ultimately
    publicized with no noun to describe it.<br>
    Meanwhile, in the sphere of gender and sex, terrible battles are being
    fought by another gathering of the extremely sensitive. From the
    feminist musicologist who recently announced that Beethoven’s Ninth
    Symphony was an expression of rape, to the courageous Euro-feminists
    who suffer “because a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be
    triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women,”
    great strides are being made. A feminist group at Stockholm University
    recently sought to ban all urinals from campus, following their removal
    from a Swedish elementary school. Likewise, the word “history” was
    banned a while back at Stockport College in Manchester, England,
    because it contains the sharply wounding syllable “his.” And few can
    but admire the Oscar-winning performance of Dr. Nancy Hopkins of MIT
    who told the Boston Globe that she had to leave the room or else she
    would have “either blacked out or thrown up” after then-president of
    Harvard, Larry Summers, suggested that there might be differences
    between men and women in aptitude to the hard sciences. Summers paid
    for this mild observation with his professional life, of course.<br>
    Every once in a while, there are collisions between various aggrieved
    peoples, which make the suffering they must endure all the more
    terrible. For instance, a few years ago Native Americans in Washington
    State (members of one of the highest-ranking Approved Victim Groups)
    decided they wanted to revive the ancient sacred mystical ancestral
    tradition of going out in a power boat with echo locators and lots of
    high-tech gear to kill a whale.<br>
    This presented the sensitive people in western Washington with an
    apparently insoluble conundrum: If the local media complained about the
    murder of our cetacean brethren suckling at the breast of Gaia, they
    would be imposing their Dead White European Male Cultural Hegemony on
    the bleeding wounds of suffering Native Americans! The depths of pain
    that could well up in the Native American community made strong
    editorial writers and TV pundits blanch with terror. But if the
    Manufacturers of Culture in Seattle media didn’t complain, they would
    be letting Free Willy die at the hands of evil predatory Homo sapiens
    who have been raping Gaia for eons. The high-pitched cry of pain from
    the Green Community would be audible to our mammalian animal companions
    for miles. We would once again have failed to act while our Mother
    Earth was taken one step closer to extinction by the defiling disease
    that is humanity!<br>
    At last, after much deliberation in closed-door sessions, the hierarchy
    of values was clarified by the arbiters of correct sensitivity: Native
    Americans trump Euro-Americans, but whales trump all humans.
    Accordingly, media reports were filled with cries of anguish from the
    Green Community on behalf of outraged whales, but there was a
    moratorium on reports about Native Americans outraged over
    chardonnay-sipping Euro-American TV pundits telling Native Americans
    how to run their lives. Instead, Euro-American critics of Native
    American environmental destruction would only be reviled for their
    cultural imperialism and insensitivity when they were white sports
    fishermen complaining that Indian gill netters were indiscriminately
    denuding the rivers of all fish. For as everyone knows, people who hunt
    and fish for sport are a form of life lower than Neanderthals,
    murdering Mother Earth for the sheer pleasure of killing. No one cares
    what they think. Problem solved.<br>
    Of course, religion is also a rich field for the terminally sensitive.
    On a Beliefnet blog, for instance, a reader recently complained about
    the horrors of insensitivity that he must endure as a non-Christian in
    a religious American culture:<br>
    Sure, I can tell people I’m not interested. But what if I sit in my
    cubicle and have to read Bible verses all day long because they are
    posted on my co-workers [sic] cubicle? Or if every email I get at work
    is encouraging me to accept Jesus? Or if people come up to me on the
    street because I “look Jewish (or Hindi or Muslim)” and [tell me] I
    should accept Jesus?<br>
    Indeed, we have all known the nightmare of having to look at a Bible
    verse on a coworker’s desk. And who among us can walk to the store or
    cinema without being battered by a torrent of clamorous evangelists
    body-blocking us on the sidewalks, e-mailing our Blackberries and
    text-messaging us with threats of hell? One can scarcely think for the
    din of Christianist agitprop in which we swim, morning, noon, and
    night, 24/7. We can only admire this man for his ability to keep his
    sanity despite the non-stop assault on his extremely sensitive nature.<br>
    This is not to say it doesn’t cut both ways. Christians are also
    capable of receiving non-existent insults as blows to the solar plexus.
    In 2005, for instance, the Bush White House sent out cards to thousands
    of people wishing them a happy “holiday season.” O the humanity!
    Reaction from the pained in the Christian community was swift and
    terrible, because, of course, if a president of a secular nation—acting
    in his office as president—doesn’t single out Christians for greetings
    during the holiday season, that can only mean that he has joined the
    war on Christmas. It can’t possibly mean that he is president of all
    Americans and being respectful to all Americans. In short, it can’t
    mean that he meant well. No, he was, with malice aforethought,
    delivering a slap to the face of every Christian in the Republic. The
    only response any true follower of the Prince of Peace should have to
    this crushing blow to our crucified feelings is a howl of outrage!<br>
    But American Christians and Jews—heck, even American unbelievers—are
    still pikers in matters of thin-skinned religious sensitivity. When it
    comes to sheer childish inability to cope with a world not to their
    liking, nobody does it like Muslims. As the Cartoon Riots demonstrated,
    millions of Muslims combine a wondrous inability to face the slightest
    criticism with a completely un-ironic blindness to their own brutal
    tendency to bully.<br>
    Oversensitive Christians and Jews have light years to go before they
    can achieve the feats that the Muslim world excels in on an almost
    daily basis. The death toll from wandering mobs of enraged Christians
    after the release of the Church-bashing Da Vinci Code currently stands
    at a very disappointing zero. The Passion of the Christ was likewise a
    miserable failure, both in its inability to whip Christian mobs into a
    frenzy of Jew-hating pogroms and its inability to engender a murderous
    underclass of embittered Jews burning down theaters or pinning Jewish
    tracts to the dead body of Mel Gibson with a knife. Likewise, the riots
    that did not break out and the charred cities and dead bodies that did
    not trail in the wake of Iran’s recent display of Holocaust-mocking
    cartoons stand as a testament to the inability of those darn perfidious
    Jews to freak out every time somebody looks at them with
    less-than-respectful eyes.<br>
    Not that Islam’s pioneering chutzpah in offensitivity hasn’t yielded
    real benefits for Muslims. For instance, a couple of years ago, Burger
    King cringed with lickspittle apologies and withdrew an ice cream
    confection from its menu after the lid of the dessert offended a
    British Muslim. The man claimed the design resembled the Arabic
    inscription for Allah, and branded it sacrilegious, threatening a
    jihad. The Muslim Council of Great Britain, instead of telling the man
    to “get a life,” patted Burger King on the head for acting in obedience
    to the threat. Meanwhile, in America, the New York Times (which would
    not run the Danish cartoons “out of respect for Muslim sensitivity”)
    runs images of Piss Christ and lectures Christians on art appreciation.<br>
    Likewise, the British press tried recently to ban images of pigs, lest
    Muslims be offended; while some British schools also removed or
    restricted such “anti-Muslim” children’s books as The Three Little
    Pigs, Charlotte’s Web, Babe: The Sheep-pig, Cars and Trucks and Things
    That Go, Olivia Saves the Circus, and Animal Farm. This, while Arab
    television was running a series based on the Protocols of the Learned
    Elders of Zion. And, of course, there were recent paroxysms of outraged
    sensitivity over the presence of the cross on the British flag: a cruel
    reminder of the sufferings of Muslims during the Crusades (which the
    Muslims both started and won).<br>
    Here in the United States, this peculiar willingness to scrape before
    the sensitivities of the Professionally Aggrieved has created a rich
    mulch of bureaucrats, pundits, and various members of the Chattering
    Classes who have shown themselves singularly well-disposed to lick the
    hand of violent Muslim thugs in spaniel-like obsequies even as they
    piddle on the floor in outrage over the imminent imposition of
    theocracy at the hands of some bogeyman compact of damp-handed bishops,
    Evangelical soccer moms, gun-toting members of the Hallelujah Bible
    Church of NASCAR, and a couple of Republican Jews. Andrew Sullivan has
    made a second career of seeing in “Christianists” precisely the same
    danger to the Republic as that posed by Osama bin Laden. Some
    Evangelical politician sends a letter to his fellow believers asking
    for prayers for his campaign? That is exactly the same thing as bin
    Laden’s conviction that God is on his side in his murderous war on
    every American man, woman, and child.<br>
    This peculiar conviction that, “If you’ve seen one Abrahamic religion,
    you’ve seen ‘em all,” also apparently governs much of our policy in
    transportation safety. Alloyed with our peculiar fear and shame over
    the possibility of giving offense, it has yielded the wondrous policy
    of acting as though absolutely everybody is at equal risk of being a
    terrorist, just as, 20 years ago, grievance activists in the homosexual
    community persuaded everyone we were all at equal risk for AIDS.<br>
    This logic, however, turned out to be flawed since, in actual fact, the
    AIDS virus is not a mugger or serial killer, striking victims
    completely at random. Indeed, it turns out that AIDS follows perfectly
    predictable and knowable transmission vectors having to do with certain
    behaviors. If you are a human being who does not choose to swap bodily
    fluids indiscriminately, your chances of getting AIDS are essentially
    zero. If you do engage in that kind of behavior, you are at extremely
    high risk for AIDS.<br>
    In much the same way, it turns out that not everybody is at equal risk
    for being an Islamic terrorist. Studies are well on the way to showing
    a strong correlation between Muslim terrorists and a condition known as
    “being Muslim.” Though the data are still being analyzed, it’s probably
    not rash to say that every Islamic terrorist is a Muslim, though of
    course not all or even most Muslims are terrorists. But given that the
    Muslim community does seem to be the locus of the problem of Muslim
    terrorism, it would seem prudent for security officials to focus their
    efforts there and not spend a great deal of time scrutinizing nuns,
    six-year-old farm boys, and Lutheran Bridge Club members for their ties
    to al-Qaeda or similar Islamic organizations.<br>
    Naturally, this suggestion is met with sharp cries of pain from
    sensitive Muslims who protest the bitter injustice of seeing the Muslim
    community as the source of every act of Islamic terror in the world.
    Surely the Amish, Model Railroading, or Origami communities can share
    some of the blame for these monsters. Must the focus be entirely on the
    Muslim community, merely because 100 percent of all Muslim terrorists
    hail from it? If this is not a shattering tragedy of profiling, then
    what is?<br>
    Personally, I don’t know how the Feds are going to resolve the problems
    of searching high and low in order to avoid looking where the problem
    is. But in the interest of everybody being a lot less miserable, I
    think it would be good if we all studied a few tips on how to become
    more insensitive.<br>
    1. Ask yourself, “Am I an idiot?” There are three basic kinds of
    idiots: intellectual, emotional, and moral. An intellectual idiot is
    too stupid to know or find out what a word means. An emotional idiot is
    too stupid to care what a word means if it stands between him and a
    good temper tantrum. A moral idiot may be intellectually and
    emotionally sound, yet still be willing to sacrifice the happiness of
    others simply to file a lawsuit on behalf of intellectual or emotional
    idiots who don’t know what, say, “picnic” or “niggardly” mean. If you
    are any of these kinds of idiot, proceed immediately to step two.<br>
    2. Consider the possibility that you just need to get a life. Signs of
    this need include spending all day in a sweat of irritation because
    religious people exist, hallucinations that you are being raped by
    classical music, constant convulsive outrage over words like “history”
    and “master/slave” or “outing,” and a gasping sense of oppression at
    the thought of urinals. Wigging out over leprechauns and tomahawk chops
    is another “get a life” indicator. Still other signs include loss of
    sleep and anger-management issues over presidential greeting cards,
    cartoons, ice cream lids, and books with pigs in them. If these
    symptoms persist, proceed to step three.<br>
    3. Grow up. Failure to grow up could result in becoming a human
    toothache and constituting a transmission vector for ulcers,
    psychological and physiological ailments, and a whole host of complex
    societal disorders including an overburdened diaper-laundering
    4. Finally, find something useful to do with your time, such as
    learning to laugh, particularly at yourself. You’ll be happier. So will
    the rest of us.<br>
    Mark P. Shea is the senior editor for www.CatholicExchange.com.
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