John Cleese, the English actor and comedian of Monty Python fame, has a theory on why political correctness is getting out of hand. This theory was originally published by Jon Miltimore on Intellectual Takeout.
He’s hardly the first comedian to say so, of course. Funny men such as Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks, and others have complained that political correctness is killing comedy. Cleese, like Seinfeld, says he no longer performs on America’s college campuses, where political correctness enforcement is particularly strident.
In a recent monologue with Big Think, Cleese said the effort to protect people from negative feelings is not just impractical, but suffocating to a free society.
“The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is one I absolutely do not subscribe to,” Cleese says.
Cleese, who spoke to psychiatrist Robin Skynner about the phenomenon, posited an interesting theory on why many people feel compelled to control the language and behaviors of others.
“If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior,” Cleese says.
You can watch the entire monologue below. What do you make of Cleese’s theory? Is he right?
I agree, political correctness is getting way out of hand in our culture, and not just comedians are noticing.
For example, it is ridiculous that in our children’s sporting events everyone gets the same award, just for participating. No winners and no losers, everyone must be treated the same. Competition can be healthy and should not be discouraged, especially if a child shows interest in an activity. Kids should be taught that some people will be better than others in all of their endeavours. This includes sports, scholastic abilities, job skills and any other activity. You excel at some, others not so much. You learn to win graciously and accept defeat just as graciously. That is a healthy skill that all kids need to learn.
My three sons were (are) very athletic and good at any sport they chose to play. Were/are they the best? No, but they learned to recognize and respect those that were/are better, more successful than they were/are. This is an important life lesson and important for developing self esteem. Sadly, it appears that this valuable lesson is low on the priority list these days.
It is no small wonder that more teens today suffer from anxiety and depression than ever before. Teen suicide too is rampant, doesn’t it make you wonder if there is a connection to our current excessive demand for political correctness and the rise of anxiety and depression?