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May 10, 2001

The Neurotic Society

Is There Any End In Sight?

Such is the obsession of the politically correct, who would dictate the thinking of all of us, that it appears even the very mention of nationality -- and presumably other kinds of group as well -- is now unacceptable.

Rob Rackansky referred me to an item from the WALL STREET JOURNAL Online, "Best of the Web Today" for Thursday, April 26, 2000. The story tells of a Vermont woman who wanted a vanity license plate saying IRISH. A judge ruled that she couldn't have it because it might be construed as a slur. So is it only a matter of time before things like "American Pie," "French Toast," and "German Sausage" get the same treatment, leading to an Orwellian program of language control where disapproved-of thoughts become literally inconceivable? I don't think it's likely to offend or affect the Irish much, whose ability to laugh at themselves will never diminish. Some of the best Irish jokes I know are to be heard in that very place.

A (WSJ) reader by the name of Jennifer Black drew attention to the funniest part of the whole story. The hypersensitive judge, Matthew I. Katz, has a vanity plate bearing his initials, MIK. Mick, of course, is a derogatory term for Irishmen.

 
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