Let me kick things off here by reminding you that I'm not an expert on nearly everything – notice I said nearly!!
But there are some things happening which are out of proportion and I wanted to comment.
One of the things which dismayed me recently was when someone who was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of protein molecules that control the division of cells, gets fired from a University for saying – in a matter of words – that working with women is different from working with men.
I'm glad he was fired after he did his important work and that in the days of Alexander Fleming nobody fired him before he found Penicillin growing in a little pot.
I have been an actor for 45 years and in all those years I can't remember a male actor crying at work in a rehearsal – I remember actresses crying on a few occasions, one because she couldn't get the steps right in a dance routine so of course it is different when you work with women.
There he is up there – Tim Hunt.
Maybe he should have trimmed his nose hairs before that photo was taken but he's a professor – an absented minded professor who said a bad joke about women – he said It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists. Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry. . And then he went on to say, 'but seriously though'; I think you'll agree that it was a bad joke.
When the Rosetta Spacecraft landed on a comet – I'll say that again 'landed' on a comet, something going through space at such a speed that's unimaginable and this team land a spacecraft on to it.
What a fantastic piece of engineering – when it was shown on TV the team responsible were going ballistic with delight but instead of getting praise from some quarters one of the guys was criticised – this guy:
Yes Doctor Matt Taylor wore a shirt with scantily clad women on it.
These days it's either sexism, racism, size ism, ageism and loads of other isms that cause people to hesitate, stutter and stammer in the fear that they might offend some politically correct pedant.
Let's take racism: if you don't like the Germans or East Europeans does that make you a racist?
You can dislike who you like – strange turn of words, there – it is up to you who you dislike, hate or whatever.
It's when you let your prejudices affect your judgment when employing or dealing people that it becomes just that – prejudicial; if they are the same 'race' as you it cannot be termed racist.
Here, in England, people use the word Chav to stereotype people they feel are inferior to them – that's not racism it's prejudicial which is just as bad.
BTW Chav here is like 'trailer trash' in the USA but with shell suits and trainers; not all trainers (sneakers) just certain brands.
Racism and any kind of prejudice is usually used by the lowest of the low who look for a group of people who they think are lower than they are, so they can blame the problems of the world on them, make fun of them and in essence bully them and use them as a target for all the ills and political problems such as 'they've taken all our jobs.'
I can easily understand why people would hate the Germans or Japanese because of the way those two countries treated their prisoners of war during World War II – it doesn't mean that all Germans or Japanese are like that but close relations of those prisoners are sometimes loath to say kind words about their former captors.
Japan recently – yes the whole country – said they were sorry to the USA for treating the American prisoners of war in the 2nd world war as slave labour – what about that then?
But what about the British, Chinese, Koreans and other nationalities who suffered?
I have never been to Japan but I know people who have been there and I've read a few bits about the place and it seems the Japanese people – their psyche, their philosophy if you like – is that they are a superior nation of people. I can't say race as the Japanese would be the same as others from the Orient.
Wow!!! There I go again – Orient: bad word, not used any more considered racist.
Truly – the politically correct do not like Oriental but would prefer 'south east Asian' in Britain and 'Asian' in America.
Isn't it enough to drive you up the wall?
In yesterday's Guardian there is an article about what words you cannot use in crossword clues or answers' here are some examples: cripple, loony, maniac, nutter, psycho and schizo.
Also never use the word schizophrenic to mean 'in two minds.'
Is it any wonder people get confused and falter when speaking?
It was enlightening when a character in the American TV Series, NYPD Blue, said 'Sit down Fatso!'
Whilst the politically correct and pedants create and complain, the real danger lurks.
Real racists and right wing demagogues really do exist under our noses when misinformed people spread words like fascist and racist around like confetti.
Right wing groups and small political parties like UKIP can only grow into powerful movements and the next thing you know there will be no BBC, no NHS and no foreign aid programme.
I heard something today – there is enough food on earth to feed everybody on it so please, UKIP, stop moaning about foreign aid.
The generation before mine are the only generation who stood up and fought fascism and died for it; now the survivors are in their nineties, or thereabouts, and they get confused. They might use words that people don't use any more, they probably still use Mongol when they mean Downs Syndrome, they're old, they're nervous and scared, they haven't read The Guardian or watched Panorama or News Night so maybe they should be appreciated and left alone – 75 years ago they were huddled in air raid shelters when bombs fell out of the sky. Heard the bombers flying over and the bombs screeching toward the earth – so forgive them if they refer to the Germans as Gerrys.
Don't forget the final words in Bertolt Brecht's powerful, wonderful play The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, which is a parable about the rise of Nazism in Germany -
'Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.'
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