Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Me and My Father on the Irish Times Letters Page

Today myself and my father both had letters on the Irish Times correspondence page. My father's was heavily edited, probably because there were many letters on the same subject:

Sir, – Is there any reason why Government cannot make an immediate hardship grant of some modest sum to the parents of those children who must suffer the sad plight of spending the Christmas celebrations in hotel bedrooms and B&Bs? – Is mise, 


My own letter was a response to an article by a young woman who complained about the term 'generation snowflake'. I don't like the term 'generation snowflake', either, since it's rather missing the point in concentrating on a particular demographic. Snowflakes come in all ages.
Sir, – I have a certain amount of sympathy for Niamh Towey’s view, and I certainly don’t dismiss all young adults as unthinking slaves of political correctness. 

Up until very recently, I disliked terms such as “social justice warrior”, and indeed, “snowflake”. However, I have changed my view of them, for a simple and perhaps regrettable reason – they work. Sad to say, political and social discourse does not follow Queensberrry rules. Having lived in a suffocating climate of political correctness all my life, in the last year or so I have seen it (at last) pushed back – not by scholarly tracts (such as The Closing of the American Mind by the American humanities professor Allan Bloom), but by gleeful satire and lampoon, much of it internet-based.

For decades now, the progressive left has wantonly thrown around epithets such as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, “extremist” and “fundamentalist”. Suddenly they are on the receiving end and have become converts to the idea of civilised discourse. Too late, poor snowflakes! – Yours, etc,


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