Frivolous issues consume us. From time to time we confront otherwise trivial issues that some group embraces as symbolic and forces upon the rest of us — to dominate the agenda, to claim the voice of moral authority. When we yield, as often we do, the people claiming grievance move on to a next issue, edging ever further to demonize convention and the status quo. The targets of the social aggression sometimes resist, often after ignoring the nutballs becomes untenable, and thus we get the vehemence and strife. College campus speech codes and claims of “micro-aggression” are current examples. Stripping pronouns in standard English of gender is a case in which little resistance has occurred, but compliance is standard. Gay marriage was a big one. The public embrace of all manner of deviances is a pattern. Unless the deviant advertises his perversity, nobody knows, and the demand for tolerance is really a demand for approval by an unwilling society. Oddly, the Democratic Party has made the grievance agenda part of its platform.
I am looking for a copy of the Stan Dryer short story “Muskrat Fun For Everyone,” which “Playboy” magazine published in October 1970. The story is a brilliant depiction of the phenomenon of two-sided faux outrage.
Mr. Norman Conquest provides thought provoking political insight with a seriously sarcastic twist.
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