Opinion: All aboard the politically correct bus…not

By Mike Williscraft


I don’t want to whine too closely to the Christmas season, so I better get this off my chest now.

Never in a million years did I think an ounce of ink would have to be exhausted in defence of Jay Leno, but here it is folks.

The long-time comedian and retired talk show host was getting barbecued last week for making a joke about Koreans eating dogs. Aside from the fact such jokes have been bandied about for generations – and the issue is a statement of fact on the face of it – the politically correct police came out in force to defend the dog eaters just on the off-chance they are big Leno fans and would have heard the crack and taken offence.

Offending people in one form or another is a huge part of comedy: always has been, always will be.

Leno is no Andrew Dice Clay, people (under 40? Google it).

There are so many instances where social commentary has gone so far off the rails as to be ridiculous, I thought about making a joke about communicating only in braille so as not to offend anyone by written word but I am concerned I may somehow inadvertently offend someone who communicates in braille, so better not.

Yes, it is part of this whole band-wagon-jumping social media express which starts with as a ripple. Then all the horrified people who have nothing better to do than live on facebook unite and – next thing we know – seeming public sentiment is outrage at something which was milquetoast at its origin.

North Americans are so insulated from the realities of the world and their false sense of entitlement to inflict their views on others is astounding.

To all the anti-Leno bandwagon, you realize having horse on restaurant menus is common in much of Europe, yes? There is a long history of signs depicting noble steeds hanging outside said establishments which serve such a delicacy.

The signs aren’t there because they love a good steeplechase.

Is any oddity – by North American standards – now out of bounds for comedy or even simply social commentary?

Does every single matter which arises mean the speaker in the sites of do-gooders is a racist?

I stopped taking that stuff seriously 10 years ago. It had already gotten silly then and today it is even better comedy than that offered by many of the people who are trying to make a living dishing up these nuggets of wisdom.

I love the one about governments considering not putting an M or F on birth certificates anymore because it is an assumption of gender identity.

It is this simple – If you don’t like what Leno said, don’t want this show, don’t go see him perform live, don’t listen to his podcast.

It is a free country, last time I checked.

Just as you are free to dislike what someone says, the instigator is free to say what they want, too.

I have always appreciated this space I get on a weekly basis to espouse my views.

Never once in 35 years of writing column – that is getting up around 2,000 total – have I ever told anyone what they should think, what they should say, or how to act.

I have definitely stated what my view is, but it’s ONLY my view. Everyone gets one life to live and they are entitled to make their mistakes along the way.

Just like my recent comments on MPAC’s pending assessment impact, I got comments from others who disagreed…somewhat. Key there was, I was not saying MPAC was at fault. It is not about fault. It is the system we have.

Rather, readers noted the other side of the formula is council get to set the mill rate, which is multiplied with the assessed value of properties to arrive at the tax to be paid.

Simply, municipalities can lower the impact by dropping the mill rate.

True, 100 per cent.

While it is an option, it is intensely risky. The whole point is, nobody controlled assessed values and if values drop next time around after a mill rate reduction was introduced, it could be catastrophic to a municipality.

My point there, one view is stated. Another was offered. Great. More information for readers to consider.

People just need to chill-ax. Go have a dog burger and Coke, if you like.

I am just not that adventurous, but many may be. Having worked with race horses for much of my life, I could never eat one, but there are millions who would. To each his own…or can I even say “his”?

I give up!

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