A Western Australian brewery is yet another innocent victim of cancel culture because of its name, ‘Colonial Brewing’. Add Coon Cheese to the list and Eskimo Pie and it’s obvious like Alice in Wonderland we have gone through the looking glass and cultural-left, politically correct madness rules.
Freelance journalist Shaad D’Souza argues Colonial Beer offends because “it glorifies and glamorises the colonial process that destroyed cultures and countries across the globe”.
Such has been the backlash the brewery’s owners have been forced to act and to rethink how their beer is branded and sold. The vindictive and senseless woke campaign against Colonial Brewery is not the only example of PC cancel culture.
Even though not remotely connected to issues of race Coon Cheese is now considered guilty of the heinous crimes of unconscious bias and cultural appropriation – the same with Eskimo Pie.
Such is the dominance of cancel culture people must wonder where will it end. Is Beef Wellington off the menu as the Duke of Wellington was a British imperialist and member of the aristocracy? What about the pudding Spotted Dick? It’s obviously phallocentric.
Ordering a short black coffee is guaranteed to offend both vertically challenged people and people of colour while Cherokee SUVs are yet another example of cultural appropriation by capitalist exploiters only interested in making a profit and complicit in destroying the environment.
Humpty Dumpty tells Alice “When I use a word… it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less”. After Alice disagrees arguing words have agreed meanings and it’s not a matter of personal choice Humpty Dumpty replies “The question is… which is to be master – that’s all”.
Welcome to the topsy turvy world of political correctness where words and phrases have been weaponised by the cultural-left to enforce mindless group think and to indoctrinate all with its neo-Marxist inspired ideology.
While many of the examples of enforcing politically correct language are senseless and laughable there is a dark side (if I can use that expression). As the author of 1984 George Orwell well understood, in addition to violence, the way totalitarian dictatorships dominate and control is by exploiting language.
Given his experience of the way communist and fascist regimes enforce language control, Orwell knew the ability to think independently and rationally depends on the ability to use language without interference. Once words are corrupted and used as vehicles to indoctrinate and coerce then the freedom and liberties we too easily take for granted are lost.
Orwell’s warning “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought” has never been more relevant. While there’s no doubt some words and expressions are unacceptable and offensive the reality is politically correct language represents an insidious and unacceptable form of thought control.
In 1984 Orwell gives the example of Big Brother’s slogan “war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength”. Instead of promoting rational and intelligent discussion and debate the cultural-left enforces mindless conformity and groupthink.
Criticise multiculturalism (now rebadged as diversity and difference) and you are labelled racist and xenophobic. Support same-sex marriage and you are condemned as homophobic and heteronormative. Argue that gender and sexuality are biologically determined and a man can never be a woman and you are transphobic.
Defend Western civilisation and the on-gong debt owed to Judeo-Christianity and you are mocked and vilified as a Eurocentric, white supremacist god-botherer.
Humour and satire are especially victims of politically correct thought control. As illustrated by Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’ concerning the best way to address the Irish famine and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, often the most effective way to undermine and defeat totalitarian thought control is irony and laughter.
And if you transgress the retribution is unforgiving and swift. Australia’s most famous comedian Barry Humphries had his name airbrushed from the Melbourne Comedy Festival for daring to question transgenderism.
The American comedian Jerry Seinfeld who has entertained generations for years is no longer kosher (whoops, I’ve yet to be re-educated) and refuses to visit college campuses because he knows it’s impossible to be funny given the current politically correct climate.
Such is the puritanical and oppressive nature of public and private discourse that the radical non-binary feminist Camille Paglia argues we now live in a time when “intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by group think”.
One of the cornerstones of an open and democratic society where liberty is safeguarded is freedom of speech and the ability to use language without unwarranted interference or discrimination. It’s clear that cancel culture and politically correct thought control represent an existential threat that must be opposed.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of ‘A Politically Correct Dictionary and Guide’ (available at kevindonnelly.com.au).
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