Let’s put out to pasture the term ‘political correctness’!
Not only has this expression increasingly fallen out of favour based on its accumulated baggage, built on decades of use, but the word political doesn’t stand up anymore as encompassing enough to cover the inexorable intrusion of social media and expression.
Therefore, let’s henceforth categorize any relevant references under the theoretically broader, more modern term of ‘social correctness’.
That said, ‘social correctness’ to some extent itself is an oxymoron. To be truly social implies a certain amount of undefined freedom; but then, correctness implies some adherence to rules or conventions. Therefore, while s.c. is equipped to be more current than p.c., the correctness badge is sometimes ambiguous.
Now that we are into December, celebration of the Christmas season and the New Year is gearing up in both symbol and psyche.
Yet, controversy continues to hold its own. This week in parts of North America, the 1940s song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, a popular, albeit borderline, seasonal standard mainly for the older crowd, has been banned from airplay due to some of its suggestive lyrics. Those who feel the issue is covered in social correctness are applauding, others with a more historical perspective are shaking their heads. After all, we have urban tangents of music with lyrics which are, at best, provocative, but which seem acceptable to some to be played anytime of the year.
This, of course, does not even delve into the wider debate of using the word and image of ‘Christmas’ itself. While a wide swath of the population continues to see no basis for concern, except for its historical legitimacy being threatened, segments of the s.c. crowd continue to tread otherwise.
So, where do we stand, now and looking forward? Perhaps it’s wise to have some adaptive expressions at the ready – for instance…
- ‘Tis the season to be prepared to laugh at any tastefully designed, non-discriminatory anecdotes
- Peace on earth, to the extent it is permissible under the applicable, jurisdictional regime in power
- Warmest wishes for the holidays, although with the impact of global warming, aka climate change, this should be increasingly unavoidable
- Sleigh bells ring, so it’s safe to assume holiday season no-gooders won’t be depending on them
- Wishing you a warm and cozy Christmas, as long as you restrict your burning of fossil or flora fuels
- Let music fill the air, to the extent the lyrics and melody are distinguishable, or at least don’t drown out our senses
- From our home to yours, since we borrowed all that stuff from you, which we hadn’t returned yet
- Greetings of the season, allowing that this overwhelming era of communications and marketing have blurred the lines inexorably
- Let us celebrate with ‘wonder’ and ‘joy’, in the knowledge that their meaning may be under siege somewhere by children growing up with these names
- Wishing you the best for the New Year to make up for the roller-coaster twists and turns of this one
Of course, the list is as ever-expanding as our collective categorizing will take us.