Social justice warrior 'fixes' Shakespeare for maximum wokeness

Pace Macduff, we apparently ought to be niggardly with our speech.  Am I still allowed to say that?  A firm and sententious "NO!" is the answer our woke literati thunders from on high.  "No, you may not say that.  Someone could get hurt!"

Hurt in this sense means a bruised feeling, a pinched esteem.  Not a traditional sprain, cosh, or socking, concrete and measurable.  No, what's meant is a subjective hurt, exclusive to the victim.

Chicagoan director Lavina Jadhwani has performed the thankless chore of sanitizing the Bard's oeuvre, dousing, not sprinkling, P.C. disinfectant on the Elizabethan prosody.  The task is thankless, because nobody remotely interested in Shakespeare requested an aggiornamento to ensure that the jocular quibbles of characters like Caliban and Malvolio meet the sensitive needs of easily offended audiences.

Jadhwani assembled a Google document that identifies "problematic" passages in the famed works of Avon's own.  The undertaking in expurgation was spurred on by the above example: a near homonym for the n-word. "I don't use that word, and I don't see a reason for it," she explains.  "As a non-[b]lack artist, I only know the harm that word does, and 'miserly' is just as good."  Jadhwani can't keep her identity-obsessed ideology straight.  She's not black, yet she professes to understand how a black person may feel about a word that has no negative racial connotations other than having a similar ring to the infamous expletive. 

Whatever public service Jadhwani thinks she's performing by bastardizing the Bard, hacking and stuffing the verse and prose into the tiny box of inoffensive liberal sensibility, is betrayed by the soft bigotry of assuming that black people are too dull-witted to distinguish definition from aural resemblance. 

She's not alone in the faux righteousness.  University of Southern California professor Greg Patton was forced to genuflect and grovel for forgiveness after pronouncing a common Mandarin word during a virtual class.  The cause of the quarrel?  The term nei ge also sounds a lot like the dreaded n-word.  Patton stands accused of causing offense to "all of the [b]lack members of our class," according to a letter authored by an anonymous cohort called "[b]lack MBA candidates c/o 2022." 

Patton was duly relieved — or "canceled," as the left likes to put it — from teaching the course in which he had pronounced the benign term.  Accepting his punishment like a tortured prisoner, he apologized for inflicting "discomfort and pain."  Again, pain is used to refer not to physical harm, but incommensurable emotive displeasure.

What's really behind this absurd policing of hurtful word usage?  The goal isn't nudging society to be more tolerant and just. Draconian speech codes don't engender harmony and understanding; inflexibly prescriptive language norms only create hostility by stopping up mouths.  So why palter with the collective parley, inserting phrasal taboos where none need be before?

To borrow a page from our post-modernist friends, the motivation comes back to power.  Under the paradigm of anti-racism, the standards of polite discourse are flimsy, never concrete, always evolving.  There is no solid ground to rest on.  One must jump through increasingly narrow hoops to speak correctly — then you must keep a-leaping not to trip on a live wire of wokeness.

To borrow another favorite apothegm of the left, the cruel capriciousness is the point.  Neither niggard nor nei ge has anything to do with skin pigmentation.  Neither carries any inimical denotation.  They are innocuous terms turned sinister by the loud vociferating of a few sensitive Sallys.

Demanding the curtailment of words bearing phonetic likeness to racial epithets isn't just about cutting their usage.  It's a power grab in the guise of punishing thoughtcrime.  But it goes even farther.  In suppressing potential offense, everyone is put on guard, forcing considered judgment before speaking your mind.  This nip-it-in-the-bud psychological tactic is not unlike squelching precrime.

The hoary common-law concept of mens rea is disregarded.  Intention is secondary.  Perceived offense is the charge and verdict.  There is no jury or deliberation.  There are no accidents, no misunderstandings, no leniency, and, most importantly, no forgiveness.  A slip of the tongue, and your livelihood is tossed head-first into the tumbril, with the slicing thwack as the rendered sentence.  Those of us lucky enough not to violate the unwritten law of hurt feelings remained jugged up in a mental prison, forever second-guessing our word choice.

Agnes Callard says we live in a "messaging culture" where we are missing the "freedom to speak literally."  Our public thoughts aren't taken for face value.  Every belief we share, every opinion we pontificate, is parsed with ideological Bulverism.  Typing the innocent phrase "all lives matter" on Facebook summons an acidulous inquisition over the motives behind attesting that every individual has intrinsic dignity.

Democratic republics don't fare long without reasoned and informed debate.  Then again, fortifying the norms of self-government was never the intention of liberal language-scrutinizers.  Their intention is to, as Hamlet said, make mad the guilty and appall the free.  In the woke formulation, we're all guilty, and nobody is free, especially in the civic art of speaking his mind.

Pace Macduff, we apparently ought to be niggardly with our speech.  Am I still allowed to say that?  A firm and sententious "NO!" is the answer our woke literati thunders from on high.  "No, you may not say that.  Someone could get hurt!"

Hurt in this sense means a bruised feeling, a pinched esteem.  Not a traditional sprain, cosh, or socking, concrete and measurable.  No, what's meant is a subjective hurt, exclusive to the victim.

Chicagoan director Lavina Jadhwani has performed the thankless chore of sanitizing the Bard's oeuvre, dousing, not sprinkling, P.C. disinfectant on the Elizabethan prosody.  The task is thankless, because nobody remotely interested in Shakespeare requested an aggiornamento to ensure that the jocular quibbles of characters like Caliban and Malvolio meet the sensitive needs of easily offended audiences.

Jadhwani assembled a Google document that identifies "problematic" passages in the famed works of Avon's own.  The undertaking in expurgation was spurred on by the above example: a near homonym for the n-word. "I don't use that word, and I don't see a reason for it," she explains.  "As a non-[b]lack artist, I only know the harm that word does, and 'miserly' is just as good."  Jadhwani can't keep her identity-obsessed ideology straight.  She's not black, yet she professes to understand how a black person may feel about a word that has no negative racial connotations other than having a similar ring to the infamous expletive. 

Whatever public service Jadhwani thinks she's performing by bastardizing the Bard, hacking and stuffing the verse and prose into the tiny box of inoffensive liberal sensibility, is betrayed by the soft bigotry of assuming that black people are too dull-witted to distinguish definition from aural resemblance. 

She's not alone in the faux righteousness.  University of Southern California professor Greg Patton was forced to genuflect and grovel for forgiveness after pronouncing a common Mandarin word during a virtual class.  The cause of the quarrel?  The term nei ge also sounds a lot like the dreaded n-word.  Patton stands accused of causing offense to "all of the [b]lack members of our class," according to a letter authored by an anonymous cohort called "[b]lack MBA candidates c/o 2022." 

Patton was duly relieved — or "canceled," as the left likes to put it — from teaching the course in which he had pronounced the benign term.  Accepting his punishment like a tortured prisoner, he apologized for inflicting "discomfort and pain."  Again, pain is used to refer not to physical harm, but incommensurable emotive displeasure.

What's really behind this absurd policing of hurtful word usage?  The goal isn't nudging society to be more tolerant and just. Draconian speech codes don't engender harmony and understanding; inflexibly prescriptive language norms only create hostility by stopping up mouths.  So why palter with the collective parley, inserting phrasal taboos where none need be before?

To borrow a page from our post-modernist friends, the motivation comes back to power.  Under the paradigm of anti-racism, the standards of polite discourse are flimsy, never concrete, always evolving.  There is no solid ground to rest on.  One must jump through increasingly narrow hoops to speak correctly — then you must keep a-leaping not to trip on a live wire of wokeness.

To borrow another favorite apothegm of the left, the cruel capriciousness is the point.  Neither niggard nor nei ge has anything to do with skin pigmentation.  Neither carries any inimical denotation.  They are innocuous terms turned sinister by the loud vociferating of a few sensitive Sallys.

Demanding the curtailment of words bearing phonetic likeness to racial epithets isn't just about cutting their usage.  It's a power grab in the guise of punishing thoughtcrime.  But it goes even farther.  In suppressing potential offense, everyone is put on guard, forcing considered judgment before speaking your mind.  This nip-it-in-the-bud psychological tactic is not unlike squelching precrime.

The hoary common-law concept of mens rea is disregarded.  Intention is secondary.  Perceived offense is the charge and verdict.  There is no jury or deliberation.  There are no accidents, no misunderstandings, no leniency, and, most importantly, no forgiveness.  A slip of the tongue, and your livelihood is tossed head-first into the tumbril, with the slicing thwack as the rendered sentence.  Those of us lucky enough not to violate the unwritten law of hurt feelings remained jugged up in a mental prison, forever second-guessing our word choice.

Agnes Callard says we live in a "messaging culture" where we are missing the "freedom to speak literally."  Our public thoughts aren't taken for face value.  Every belief we share, every opinion we pontificate, is parsed with ideological Bulverism.  Typing the innocent phrase "all lives matter" on Facebook summons an acidulous inquisition over the motives behind attesting that every individual has intrinsic dignity.

Democratic republics don't fare long without reasoned and informed debate.  Then again, fortifying the norms of self-government was never the intention of liberal language-scrutinizers.  Their intention is to, as Hamlet said, make mad the guilty and appall the free.  In the woke formulation, we're all guilty, and nobody is free, especially in the civic art of speaking his mind.