The Omid Djalili Show - Series 1 Page 6

The Omid Djalili Show. Omid Djalili. Copyright: BBC.

The Omid Djalili Show

Omid Djalili unleashes his own brand of comedy, poking fun at modern life in Britain, the war on terror and his multi-cultural upbringing in Britain

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Frankie Mildly Perturbed

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 6:00am [Edited]
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 5,484 posts
Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 12:29 AM

That's such an ludicrous overstatement that it makes the most hyperventilating advocate of political correctness look positively apathetic. Political correctness was effectively instigated at a very important time in the 70s, where the NF was gaining widespread support and the television was full of such cheery chappies as Bernard Manning, Jim Davidson and The Black And White Minstrels. Immigration was a hotly debated topic and at the time such 'light entertainers' were only providing fuel for misinformed prejudice of the British public. Political correctness was resisted back then - in the words of Stewart Lee, 'God, wasn't it awful having to be fair to people' - but society's attitudes towards minorities notably shifted. Political correctness inestimably formed the multicultural society that we live in today.
The problem now is that people imagine that to be politically correct is to avoid offending anybody. This is not the case, and it's explicit definition is, 'the avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against'. That is why jokes about women were seen as antagonising in a discriminatory society, and that was why homophobic jokes were attacked in a discriminatory society. Noone - to my knowledge - has been arrested for making a 'non-pc' joke, but many have been disregarded by an evolving society. Besides which, has anybody noticed that the non-pc comedians are always moronic, witless, clunking and banal?

I think in the bit of my post you are highlighting I have used the term 'politically correct' when I should be saying 'too liberal'.

I was there in the 70's and to be honest I don't recall it the way you describe it. Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning and The Black & White Minstrels were just as you say 'light entertainment'. You say that television was 'full of' this type of entertainment. No, it wasn't! And to claim that the NF were gaining support because of what entertainers were doing on the telly sounds like reactionary nonsense! Your post reads just like the typical over-reaction of a member of the political correct brigade! 'Misinformed prejudice of the British Public' What supercilious codswallop! And as for your first and last sentences, again they seem to be quite exagerated and written mainly for effect.

Having just read through your post again (I couldn't believe it the first time I read it) I pick out this gem, "Political correctness inestimably formed the multicultural society that we live in today". Who taught you this rubbish? Just about everything you say in your post is just, well, wrong!

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Cinnamon

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 6:27am [Edited]
  • England
  • 816 posts

I'm not saying that Bernard Manning made a joke about 'Pakis' and the British public flocked like lambs to the voting posts, no. What I am saying is that the popularity of this comedy was representative of the the public feeling of the time. Noting 'misinformed prejudice' is not supercilious, it would be supercilious of me to say 'the British populace was uniformly stupid', and I'm not claiming a position of moral authority over them. At the time, however - this is from sociological study, I wasn't alive and I apologise for the exaggerated 'full of' - mass immigration was a new topic and Britain couldn't really comprehend the arrival of so many outsiders. Therefore their accents appeared funny, their poor grasp of the english tongue seemed amusing and the comedy of the time highlighted this. It needed to curbed both because it was moronic and banal (as I've 'written for effect' before) and because it in no way encouraged tolerance and understanding in society. It really wouldn't have helped immigrants to arrive and find themselves socially disadvantaged and then also treated as a comical figure. I'm not being disdainful, I'm saying that Britain's attitude needed to change and political correctness in comedy played a small part in making this effective.

Ah well, I'm off to join the mysterious 'politically-correct brigade'. I hear the brass band will be playing Ebony and Ivory today.

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 1:00 AM


Having just read through your post again (I couldn't believe it the first time I read it) I pick out this gem, "Political correctness inestimably formed the multicultural society that we live in today". Who taught you this rubbish? Just about everything you say in your post is just, well, wrong!

Right, thanks for that scathing critique. Could you point out why else Britain's attitudes shifted over the next decade? Did a few well meaning ethical jokes help to ease the tension? Political correctness - despite it's influence being inestimable as it is not quantative - was brought into place during the eighties and by the nineties British society was far more tolerant and far more multicultural. I don't think that that's 'rubbish'.

I apologise if my use of language is slipping and becoming a bit silly - I'll admit that the last quote does sound hideously self-satisfied, and curiously makes Britain sound idyllic now - but then again it's half one in the fookin morning.

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Badge

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 6:40am [Edited]
  • London, England
  • 9,490 posts

Now then. I've said something similar ages ago on another thread but I repeat this conjecture here: there is no such thing as political correctness. It is a made-up concept to excuse "us" (mainly male, white, middle class heterosexuals) having a go at "them" just like it was okay to back in the good old days. Of course, even if political correctness really did exist, that wouldn't be a bad thing - since when has there been anything wrong with doing something that's "correct"?

*turns on gas; lights fuse; slams door and runs like the clappers*

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Frankie Mildly Perturbed

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 7:03am [Edited]
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 5,484 posts
Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 1:23 AM

I'm not saying that Bernard Manning made a joke about 'Pakis' and the British public flocked like lambs to the voting posts, no. What I am saying is that the popularity of this comedy was representative of the the public feeling of the time. Noting 'misinformed prejudice' is not supercilious, it would be supercilious of me to say 'the British populace was uniformly stupid', and I'm not claiming a position of moral authority over them. At the time, however - this is from sociological study, I wasn't alive and I apologise for the exaggerated 'full of' - mass immigration was a new topic and Britain couldn't really comprehend the arrival of so many outsiders. Therefore their accents appeared funny, their poor grasp of the english tongue seemed amusing and the comedy of the time highlighted this. It needed to curbed both because it was moronic and banal (as I've 'written for effect' before) and because it in no way encouraged tolerance and understanding in society. It really wouldn't have helped immigrants to arrive and find themselves socially disadvantaged and then also treated as a comical figure. I'm not being disdainful, I'm saying that Britain's attitude needed to change and political correctness in comedy played a small part in making this effective.

Ah well, I'm off to join the mysterious 'politically-correct brigade'. I hear the brass band will be playing Ebony and Ivory today.

I think you may have been fed some over-simplistic generalisations at college. Don't worry, we all were in our own eras! I was alive and in my teens in the '70's and was watching loads of telly then. Obviously, I was only there in my little bit of it. There wasn't that much fear of immigration in the '70's where I lived (Sheffield) because there weren't that many immigrants about in my area then. There were some but I don't think they were feared like they are now. Everything was laughed at then, including ourselves. And immigrants were part of our lives and they were laughed at too. I don't recall comedians on telly generally dwelling on immigrants and making fun of them. Some may have done that off the telly in their own locales but it wasn't a major part of most comedians acts. It was certainly a part of their acts but there seemed to be more Irish jokes than jokes about any other race. I think 'political correctness' has been taken too far and that what it may or may not have given us that was beneficial to society, it's had it's detrimental effects too. There have been cases where the 'racism' card has been played successfully by immigrants who were acting unlawfully. And, of course, there have been cases of real racial predjudice too, which I totally abhor.

Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 1:27 AM

Right, thanks for that scathing critique. Could you point out why else Britain's attitudes shifted over the next decade? Did a few well meaning ethical jokes help to ease the tension? Political correctness - despite it's influence being inestimable as it is not quantative - was brought into place during the eighties and by the nineties British society was far more tolerant and far more multicultural. I don't think that that's 'rubbish'.

I apologise if my use of language is slipping and becoming a bit silly - I'll admit that the last quote does sound hideously self-satisfied, and curiously makes Britain sound idyllic now - but then again it's half one in the fookin morning.

I studied electonics at college not sociology, so I can only go on being there, not what they may be teaching on a sociology course. I don't think political correctness was 'brought in' like bringing in the elephant and sitting him in the corner. It just wasn't like that. We certainly did get used to immigrants gradually throughout the 80's that much is true. I arrived in London in 1980 and I recall the gradual increase in the number of immigrants in all the areas where I was living in. Harlesden, Willesden, Tottenham, etc. Political correctness may have appeared to shut up a few bigots, but not really. What happended was that we got used to the immigrants by association. How else could it possibly have happended? I don't think in the 70's and 80's we generally gave a toss about political correctness, and it's only become noticeable and a problem in the 90's and noughties in my view!

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Cinnamon

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 7:11am [Edited]
  • England
  • 816 posts

No, in fact school helps me to realise how careful people have to be with making art. In my 'simplistic college' the most derogatory insult is 'you Jew', several people watched This Is England, missed the point and drew swastikas all over the place and a guy was tribalistically bullied for being gay. I think that they all thought they were just being funny as well, but then it's easy when you're targeting a minority.

Sorry for being the forum misery but I'm getting all introspective. Don't worry, I'll read this over the weekend and eat my tongue over being so bleedin' self-righteous.

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 2:03 AM


I studied electonics at college not sociology, so I can only go on being there, not what they may be teaching on a sociology course. I don't think political correctness was 'brought in' like bringing in the elephant and sitting him in the corner. It just wasn't like that. We certainly did get used to immigrants gradually throughout the 80's that much is true. I arrived in London in 1980 and I recall the gradual increase in the number of immigrants in all the areas where I was living in. Harlesden, Willesden, Tottenham, etc. Political correctness may have appeared to shut up a few bigots, but not really. What happended was that we got used to the immigrants by association. How else could it possibly have happended? I don't think in the 70's and 80's we generally gave a toss about political correctness, and it's only become noticeable and a problem in the 90's and noughties in my view!

To be fair, you are right in that I'm sitting here with only half a brain awake and thinking "eighties to nineties, that's only a step up." I do genuinely believe in political correctness, however, not in enforced regulations but in trying to influence the way that different people interact. The problem is that one becomes all idealistic and begins to 'wax lyrical innit'.

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Frankie Mildly Perturbed

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 7:57am [Edited]
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 5,484 posts
Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 2:03 AM

No, in fact school helps me to realise how careful people have to be with making art. In my 'simplistic college' the most derogatory insult is 'you Jew', several people watched This Is England, missed the point and drew swastikas all over the place and a guy was tribalistically bullied for being gay. I think that they all thought they were just being funny as well, but then it's easy when you're targeting a minority.

Sorry for being the forum misery but I'm getting all introspective. Don't worry, I'll read this over the weekend and eat my tongue over being so bleedin' self-righteous.

I don't see you as a forum misery at all? I am debating with you because I am trying to learn something. Although I may seem provocative, I really appreciate the opportunity to have the dialogue. Hope I'm not pissing you off, it's not my intention.

THE LATE 1960'S & 1970'S as remembered by F Rage.

I am thinking back to my own seconday school and college days. This was the late 1960's and 1970's. In my school and college there was very little or no racism probably because almost everyone was white. It just wasn't an issue that I can recall. Nor were gays baited. People weren't openly gay then so probably they hadn't 'come out'. Well, not in my school and college anyway. People were called 'puffs' but they were the 'swots' who were dull and had no life except studying and collecting used bus tickets, or similar. I think we thought that homosexuals only inhabited park toilets and occasionally 'revealed' themselves to children. We thought that was funny, and couldn't understand why men 'fancied' each other anyway. We didn't think about homosexuality much and occurences of 'goings on' in the park toilets were very rare and not really in our sphere of knowledge. It was idle conjecture. The idea that 'lesbians' existed at all was in dispute amongst most of us.

There were non-white pupils/students as I say but not many. They were such a small minority they just didn't figure. Those perceived to be weak were baited and bullied relentlessly and I think that would have been irrespective of their skin colour. I don't actually remember any of the black guys getting picked on at all. They may have done of course when I was not around. They were usually good at sports, which helped you get through school in those days, black or white. I seem to recall that the few black guys that crossed my path went out of their way to be friendly.

I was heavily into music. We had a band at school. We auditioned drummers and a black guy called Charlie turned up and blew the rest away. He got the job. Nobody questioned his skin colour or his drumming. His sister was very tall and well endowed 'upstairs' but was very shy and didn't fancy any of us anyway. That's all I can remember. He was English, born in England and spoke like we did. He was black, it didn't seem to matter. It was a Grammar School and the teachers were allowed to be very strict so bullies got caned if they were caught. Is that good? We thought so.

Two boys were caught with drugs. They were immediately caned and expelled. Anybody painting swastikas would have been caned for sure. There was arbitrary 'slippering' by teachers and 'board rubbers' chucked at your head by teachers; we were given 'lines', sent to stand in the corner or corridor for whole lessons and were given detentions. But these were always dished out to those messing about, not doing homework or those pulling pranks, so were deserved and you took your punishment. Parents backed school punishments and nobody reported teachers to the police. If the school reported back to your parents that you'd had 'six of the best' the parents response was likely to be, 'good, we hope he learns his lesson' or 'give him six more'.

Did it harm us?

Yes, we are all axe murderers now! But lovin' it! :)

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Frankie Mildly Perturbed

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 8:38am [Edited]
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 5,484 posts
Quote: Badge @ December 1, 2007, 1:40 AM

Now then. I've said something similar ages ago on another thread but I repeat this conjecture here: there is no such thing as political correctness. It is a made-up concept to excuse "us" (mainly male, white, middle class heterosexuals) having a go at "them" just like it was okay to back in the good old days. Of course, even if political correctness really did exist, that wouldn't be a bad thing - since when has there been anything wrong with doing something that's "correct"?

*turns on gas; lights fuse; slams door and runs like the clappers*

KERPOW! Laughing out loud

I dunno mate. Political correctness. It should be about what is 'correct' but often it isn't. It becomes about not being able to call a black man 'stupid' because he's black and that would be racist. Even if he is stupid. Calling a white guy stupid is OK though, whether he is or isn't stupid. That in a nutshell is what is wrong with Political Correctness, i.e. it's become misplaced correctness.

The whole PC thing has become a nonsense! If we did need it in the 1980's and 1990's we sure don't need it anymore. It's turned into something that maybe causing racial tension, not preventing it!

Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 2:11 AM

I do genuinely believe in political correctness, however, not in enforced regulations but in trying to influence the way that different people interact. The problem is that one becomes all idealistic and begins to 'wax lyrical innit'.

If you mean by 'political correctness', 'common courtesy, decency and fairness to others', then I'm with you all the way.

I am an idealist too of course, aren't all artists in some way (I may be a crap artist, but I'm still an artist..)

What I don't believe in is what I perceive as PC, e.g. not being able to call a black man stupid because it might offend him (because he might think I'm being racist) but I can call a white man stupid even if it does offend him.

I don't see why I have to walk around minority groups like I'm treading on egg shells in case they are offended by something I say! It is sending out the wrong signal.

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bushbaby

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 1:11pm
  • England
  • 3,485 posts

I like him very much. He reminds me of Kenny Everett in that he's original and barking mad. He makes me laugh.

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Cinnamon

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 2:31pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 816 posts

Well, first of all I can't apologise enough for using the word 'inestimably' TWICE is civilized discourse. I've woken up to find embarrassing things before but this probably trumps the lot of them.

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 2:57 AM

I think we thought that homosexuals only inhabited park toilets and occasionally 'revealed' themselves to children.

Well, that was a famous and widely-held belief, yes, but if someone had been allowed to make jokes about it then that myth might have been harder to remove from society. I'm not saying, "GAH, sick and evil people," I just think that that was possibly a representation of society's attitude towards a minority and therefore there needed to be more positive influences on it.

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 3:38 AM


I dunno mate. Political correctness. It should be about what is 'correct' but often it isn't. It becomes about not being able to call a black man 'stupid' because he's black and that would be racist. Even if he is stupid. Calling a white guy stupid is OK though, whether he is or isn't stupid. That in a nutshell is what is wrong with Political Correctness, i.e. it's become misplaced correctness.

I'm not sure if that's true. I think that you could call anyone stupid or irritating, but what you couldn't say is, "You're stupid and irritating because you're one of those bleedin' INSERT MINORITY HEREs." Going back to comedy for a moment, you could make any character of any race, sexuality or gender a villain, but you couldn't allow it to represent the stereotyped characteristics of a minority.

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Frankie Mildly Perturbed

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 6:00pm [Edited]
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 5,484 posts
Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 9:31 AM

Well, that was a famous and widely-held belief, yes, but if someone had been allowed to make jokes about it then that myth might have been harder to remove from society. I'm not saying, "GAH, sick and evil people," I just think that that was possibly a representation of society's attitude towards a minority and therefore there needed to be more positive influences on it.

Unfortunately though I later found that some of that particular 'myth' was true and some homosexual men did and still do use public toilets for sexual liaisons. Positive influences can only come from the minorties themselves. It's quite clear to any reasonable thinking person that having sex in a PUBLIC toilet is wrong. If it was OK then they'd be called 'public places to have sex' and it would be legal to do it and children would be protected from it. There are a lot of laws I don't like or agree with, but if I want to be perceived as being a good citizen then I have to follow them. So do minority groups. If you are in a minority, you have to try harder to be accepted. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. It's down to the minorities to create positive perceptions.

Quote: Cinnamon @ December 1, 2007, 9:31 AM


I'm not sure if that's true. I think that you could call anyone stupid or irritating, but what you couldn't say is, "You're stupid and irritating because you're one of those bleedin' INSERT MINORITY HEREs." Going back to comedy for a moment, you could make any character of any race, sexuality or gender a villain, but you couldn't allow it to represent the stereotyped characteristics of a minority.

Well, fair enough but I'm talking about perceptions. Because of misplaced political correctness, if I call a black man stupid he could maliciously call me a racist and it could be taken seriouly. I may be in trouble and labelled a racist. Of course, "if the truth will out" as they say, I am possibly guilty of being abusive by calling him stupid, depending if he could have reasonably have been called stupid in the specific circumstances.

You may think this is a silly scenario but I am quoting it from personal experienece in the workplace and I can tell you, it is not funny to be called a 'racist' when you are not one and much worse than being called 'stupid' in terms of consequences. I didn't call the black man stupid btw. He was irritating someone and they called him stupid and he played the race card. It fizzled out in the end but it was blown up out of all proportion for quite a while directly due to the misplaced (but well-meaning) political correctness of individuals.

Unfortunately, common sense does not always prevail and I think you are overestimating the current value of political correctness in our society. The balance needs to swing back, it's swung too far in favour of protecting so-called minority groups IMHO. Let's leave the '70's '80's and '90's behind and come up to date.

Comedy-wise, whatever is legal to say is fine by me. Let the courts decide! Everything else is just personal and therefore subjective opinion! :)

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Cinnamon

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 9:56pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 816 posts
Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 1:00 PM

Unfortunately though I later found that some of that particular 'myth' was true and some homosexual men did and still do use public toilets for sexual liaisons. Positive influences can only come from the minorties themselves. It's quite clear to any reasonable thinking person that having sex in a PUBLIC toilet is wrong. If it was OK then they'd be called 'public places to have sex' and it would be legal to do it and children would be protected from it. There are a lot of laws I don't like or agree with, but if I want to be perceived as being a good citizen then I have to follow them. So do minority groups. If you are in a minority, you have to try harder to be accepted. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. It's down to the minorities to create positive perceptions.

I'm sorry, I should have made it clearer. What I mean is that it was a myth that gay men 'revealed thamselves to children'. Many did have sexual liasons in public toilets, that is indeed true, but it was due to a fear of intolerance - and initially prosecution - from family and society that led them to those rather murky liasons. I'd say that a minority of people still practice that today and personally I agree with you, I wouldn't encourage anybody to have sex in public.
I disagree that minorities have to work to dispel stereotypes, as stereotypes are often not based on reason. If people thought that gays were 'deviant' and foreigners were 'funny' then there is little that they can do to contradict this. An ingrained opinion is hard to change, and it's especially difficult if it's aided by public figures.

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 1:00 PM


Well, fair enough but I'm talking about perceptions. Because of misplaced political correctness, if I call a black man stupid he could maliciously call me a racist and it could be taken seriouly. I may be in trouble and labelled a racist. Of course, "if the truth will out" as they say, I am possibly guilty of being abusive by calling him stupid, depending if he could have reasonably have been called stupid in the specific circumstances.

Everything has it's negatives and extremities, just as the witch-hunt against paedophiles led to paediatricians being publicly abused.

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 1:00 PM


You may think this is a silly scenario but I am quoting it from personal experienece in the workplace and I can tell you, it is not funny to be called a 'racist' when you are not one and much worse than being called 'stupid' in terms of consequences. I didn't call the black man stupid btw. He was irritating someone and they called him stupid and he played the race card. It fizzled out in the end but it was blown up out of all proportion for quite a while directly due to the misplaced (but well-meaning) political correctness of individuals.

I don't think that that scenario is silly at all, but I don't think that it's representative of a current public problem. I hear very few examples of political correctness invading anybody's right to free speech but hear a lot more examples of people worrying about it. If I'm overestimating its relevance in society then you're certainly overestimating its harmful effects.

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Aaron

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 10:38pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,309 posts
Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 12:22 AM

And if the law doesn't deal with it, then it's not hatred.


Unfortunately, the law is almost certainly going to be used against something which to every right-thinking person, is NOT incitement. But let's not go back to the Sudan again. :)

Quote: Frankie Rage @ December 1, 2007, 12:32 AM

In those days fear of 'strangers' was quite wise - they had often come to f**k you!


Those days?!

Quote: Badge @ December 1, 2007, 1:40 AM

since when has there been anything wrong with doing something that's "correct"?


You're forgetting the word "political". :) ;)

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Aaron

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 10:59pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,309 posts

Oh, and re: political correctness, race cards, blah blah blah all of that line of the argument, I'm with Frankie, and have to say to Cinnamon that that may very well not be representative of a current problem. Mainly because it IS a current problem. It's happened to me, it's happened to friends of mine, and I read about such and similar instances constantly.

As a semi-related aside, the first time I ever heard the word "Paki" was when I was accused of calling someone it. In fact, I'd just told this boy (in my class at school) that he was an idiot, basically. Up until that point (I would have been about 10 I guess), I didn't really have any concept of "them" and "us" at all.

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Cinnamon

  • Saturday 1st December 2007, 11:54pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 816 posts

Judging by similarly scientific methods it's never happened to anybody I know but several of my friends have been abused for their race and sexuality. I've read about instances of it but then i've heard read far more instances of prejudice in practice. I'm not saying that being wrongly accused isn't incredibly hurtful, I'm saying that I think that that twisting of political correctness is only representative of a small minority in society.

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Aaron

  • Sunday 2nd December 2007, 12:04am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,309 posts

Hmm, ok, maybe so. I'm not personally certain about hurtful or not though. I couldn't give a flying f**k if someone calls me racist, sexist, heightest, etc, or not. I know what I am, what I believe, what I mean (and so on), so what other people wish to label me as is up to them. And I've found that the kinds of people who go around getting insulted in that manner and dishing out such labels are the exact types who won't listen to reason, so it's fairly pointless to be upset by it anyway.