By Doug Magill
The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought. Vaclav Havel
Newspapers hate to print corrections. Unfortunately, once something is printed and distributed, correction becomes the only recourse when the story is proved to be demonstrably wrong or false.
The digital world, however, creates opportunities to never be wrong. All one has to do is “update” a story, and previous errors disappear as if they never were. That makes editors smile, and ideologues feel omnipotent.
Consider the recent imbroglio concerning the visit to the White House of an uninvited guest – Omar Gonzalez. While the media did not go to the quantum ethnicity distortion effect as in the Trayvon Martin case and call him a “white Hispanic”, there seems to have been some changing the “side of history” revisionism in reporting on the matter.
Original reports showed our non-accidental tourist had not only entered the White House but overpowered a female Secret Service agent before being tackled by another, presumably male, off-duty agent. Within hours, both the Washington Post and The New York Times had changed their online stories to omit the word “female” when describing the agent that had been physically dismissed from the incident.
Curious. Yet important to the question of how best to protect the President.
Upon further investigation one finds that the Secret service has lowered its standards for female agents versus male agents. Ah, affirmative action. What’s a physical standard when concerns about providing opportunities for females are more important?
Except when the safety of the President and his family is at stake.
One begins to wonder if there is any limit to which political correctness will not stretch reality regardless of consequences. If the President or his family had been hurt by Mr. Gonzalez, would anyone in the media begin to shine a light on the deterioration of the security provided them by lowering standards for the Secret Service? And advocate for meaningful standards?
At some point the Expanding Absurdity Postulate begins to grow more important to the story. One would hope the original physical fitness standards for Secret Service Agents were sufficiently difficult to keep out dilettantes and those unable to render the best security possible for our leaders. One might surmise that such standards generally precluded females. Perhaps not all, but certainly the vast majority.
It is not known at this time whether the movement of the Secret Service from the Treasury Department to Homeland Security has anything to do with diminishing standards and the recent problems with the agency – but one has to wonder.
Someone in authority at some point decided that having female agents was more important than providing the best protection available in the world to the most important leader in the world. One might consider that absurd. But, confound that absurdity with another: Let’s not report on that because it conflicts with the politically correct theme of opportunities for women and the mythical supposition that there really aren’t any differences between men and women except those that we construct in society.
Mr. Gonzalez didn’t particularly care about political correctness and tossed our no-doubt sincere Secret Service agent aside like yesterday’s newspaper and wandered further into the White House. In this case there was a substantial difference between male and female agents, and the one that tackled him probably didn’t care: he just happened to be fit enough and determined enough to stop Gonzalez.
But this is where we have come to in regards to the silliness of affirmative action. It creates a situation that clearly shows that it was not the best solution to the real issue – security for the President – but let’s not talk about that. Let’s cover it up! And so on. Soon, there will be discussions of roadblocks further down Pennsylvania Avenue to prevent such things from happening and laser-loaded drones and heat-seeking darts and whatever else can be dreamt up concerning White House security, without ever asking about the real issue: the decline in standards and professionalism at the Secret Service.
At some point, the Expanding Absurdity Postulate leads us to the question: what are standards for anyway if they interfere with some larger politically correct goal? I mean, if they are different for men and women, why?
Recently our moonbeam-obsessed governor of California signed a law that allows one to change his/her/? birth certificate. So, if you decide you feel female you can change your birth certificate to reflect that. Or vice versa, or both, or soon to be whatever (I assume that all of the Vital Records departments throughout the tarnished Golden State are undergoing system changes to make gender a multiple choice with sub-categories entry). There is no objective reality (DNA notwithstanding).
So now we are entering the world of the Pandering Paradox. Once you begin pandering to a group (one of the officially recognized groups of moral sympathy as defined by liberal groupthink) you can never pander enough to the point that the Expanding Absurdity Postulate becomes unable to be computed as the pandering defies logic, understanding, practicality or usability. And ultimately loses meaning.
The problem is that most people know that this is absurd and that pandering ultimately leads to so much distortion in the social fabric that it degrades society as a whole. And hurts those who we genuinely need to protect. Such as children.
There is a middle school in Lincoln, Nebraska that is now advising teachers not to use the term “boy” or “girl” because that conflicts with the desire to promote gender “inclusiveness”. There are two massive problems with this: One, boys and girls know who they are and will undoubtedly be confused by the absurdity of the adults supposedly helping them learn, and two, for those few that are genuinely gender-confused we have now created enormous future psychological problems that puberty generally otherwise resolves.
The problem is, who speaks for society, and who speaks for the now-developing young boys and girls that need certainty and clarity in their lives to help them through those difficult times in middle school? This will all lead to an explosion in psychotherapists for the emotional and psychological damage being done to our young people.
And if you don’t think that this will hurt those tiny few who will supposedly be helped by this you don’t have a clue how things work in middle school or high school these days. Anyone who has children in high school can tell you that after years of unending propaganda about the “normalcy” of homosexuality will find that the word “gay” is not a compliment.
Modern liberalism at work. To hell with the majority, let’s find a miniscule minority whose interests we can champion to benefit our sense of moral entitlement to the detriment of everyone else.
And ultimately, the Pandering Paradox means that the idiocy of the attempt to help a few at the expense of everyone else means everyone gets hurt.
Okay, let’s take the Expanding Absurdity Postulate down another level. Suppose a healthy former high school football player that isn’t too keen on exercise decides he wants to be a Secret Service agent. Knowing that from an official recognition standpoint male and female are relatively elastic terms these days, he changes his birth certificate to say he’s female. Then he applies and takes the fitness test, failing the male standards but barely passing the female ones. Denied entry by an old-school examiner who thought he saw a male, our applicant sues the agency and under the Expanding Absurdity Postulate has to be considered female because what he feels he is is undeterminable objectively and so he says he is a she but doesn’t want to go through the hassle of gender reassignment so he should be accepted under the lower standards for females. And figures he should use the female bathrooms to prove his supposed sexual-identity transformation.
Somewhere in all of this we find that the original mission – security of our leaders – isn’t relevant any more. And rather that climbing up out of the abyss of absurdity, they’ll probably cancel all physical fitness standards to avoid the litigation, “labelling” and hectoring by liberal congresspeople.
Someday, as the American Experiment collapses into that abyss, history will render a verdict on affirmative action and political correctness by those who kept to their original mission.
Until then, it’s just absurd.
Doug Magill is a communications consultant, freelance writer and voice-over talent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org