Thursday, September 10, 2015

Political Correctness - Why It Would be a Good Beat

No political correctness
No political correctness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We talked in class about how a concept might make a good beat, something a bit more radical than The Dean's Office or Religion or Environment.

Political Correctness is a good example of the opportunities that can arise from the creative choice of a beat. PC is much talked about in contemporary U.S. culture but none-too-clearly defined, which means that - like feminism - discussions of the term are actually discussions of something else, from racism to sexism to moral cowardice to censorship to simple good manners.

Donald Trump is branding his campaign by saying he's not PC.  Bill Maher and aging fading one-time comedy superstar Jerry Seinfeld say comedy - and perhaps college education - are being ruined by PC zealots. The whole idea of trigger warnings - which can be portrayed as educational fascism or as just good common sense - is something that I think about every time I create a class plan. Is that my loss or my gain - though as a tenured faculty member I can probably be pretty darn stupid or pretty damn vulgar without getting into too much trouble.

Bottom line: Don't be afraid to propose a beat that transcends the usual categories. Think about what you and your generation are concerned about. You are the audience news media are salivating to hook up with - perhaps not understanding that "hook up" is perhaps not the best choice of words because they are old and out of touch.

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