Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ascendency Correctness

The Colonel, as the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda and anyone who has spent five less- than-quality minutes in my presence will readily attest, is not the least bit sympathetic, empathetic, or sensitive. If you look at the words insensitive and boor in your pictorial dictionary, you will see the Colonel's likeness in the margin. So, I am not at all qualified to opine on the subject of political correctness. But, I won't let that stop me.

For the first three decades of my adult life I had the great fortune to belong to an organization for which my talent for unfeeling actually kept me in good standing. I will not blame the Marine Corps for my character flaws--I had them when I joined. But, while the rest of the population of these re-United States plunged headlong into the idiotic deep-end of the political correctness pool, my comrades in arms and I splashed comfortably in the shallows. You are, in great measure, a product of your environment, and we Marines are a shallow bunch.

I did not fully understand nor appreciate my fortunate membership in the Corps until I spent three para-military years with the Air Force half-way through my military career. Marines approach interpersonal relationships the same way we take on enemies--direct, nose-to-nose, and with language whose color puts rainbows to shame. The first time I had a, what I considered mild, discussion with a fellow instructor at the Air Force's Command and Staff College, I was reported to our senior officer for, I kid thee not, "verbal abuse." The amazing thing was, I was being as conservative in my spoken judgement of my adversary's character as I could possibly be--there were none of the references to illegitimacy or unnatural acts that were mainstays of communication between Marines. Nevertheless, I learned quickly that I was living in a whole new world.

Since I hung up my spurs and took off my uniform (what the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda referred to as my "power suit") six years ago, I have been immersed in the social re-education effort of everyone and anyone who knows and/or loves me. I am reminded to "smile" even when I am having the best time of my life and think that I'm displaying way too much emotion as it is. I am admonished when the directness of my speech has been misinterpreted as "ordering" or "yelling" (I only wish that some of my family could have actually witnessed the Colonel in true form and full throat, so that they would have an accurate data point against which to accuse me of "yelling.")

All of the rant above is prelim to the Colonel's latest beef with the political correctness bent of my alma mater. Over the past couple of decades, the administration at the Harvard of the South (Harvard benefits from a reciprocal agreement which allows them to refer to themselves as the Ole Miss of the North), has systematically dismantled and banned nearly every tradition enjoyed by Rebel fans at ball games. Beauregard's battle flag flies no more, Colonel Reb strides no more, and "Dixie" has been polluted by the admixture of strains of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." All of this to avoid offense to the sensibilities and feelings of others. Okay, I get all of that. But the latest tradition to fall prey to the inescapable gravity of the black hole of political correctness foretells just how far all of this is heading.

At the end of one of the Ole Miss marching band's pre-game songs the music lends itself to the chant "the south shall rise again." And, can you believe it, there are some folks who take offense at that notion. These yankee-sympathizer pinheads cannot, for the life of them, dispel the thought that somehow, someway, the Confederacy, complete with brigades in butternut, will reform and reinstate the institutions for whose abolition the War Between the States was fought a century and a half ago. Never mind that today racial intolerance and enmity is far more pervasive and segregation far more prevalent in Chicago, Boston, and New York than in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Baton Rouge.

Frankly, one need only take a cursory look at the social and economic vibrancy of the New South to see that the South has already risen. What the wadded-panty political correctness crowd can't see or can't accept is that a claim regarding the South's ascendancy is not about return to a race-based society. When the student body chant's the "south will rise again!" it is about PRIDE in a region that has dumped its putrid past in the compost pile and sprouted new growth upon which the fruit of prosperity clings.

Get over it, people. Sheesh!
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