Bits and Pieces

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Cosmetic Battles

I saw a little about the whole Prince Harry Swastika mess in the papers this past week, and I see that a lot of people have been getting a little worked up.

I always get a little annoyed when a non-story like this gets blown all out of proportion by the tabloids. They throw around terms such as 'outraged' and 'travesty', painting a picture of entire communities looting and rioting in the streets, burning effigies of Prince Harry. But who, exactly, is outraged? It always seems to be a spokesman for some special interest group. It's not the Jew on the street, if you will. It's not the grandson of someone who died at Aushwitz. It's not Joe Gandelman. It's a spokesman speaking from some pissant society claiming to be the voice of all Jews. Hell, it's his job to be outraged at every perceived slight against his group. It doesn't necessarily mean that the public are outraged.

Whenever a story about some PC crap like this hits the papers I'm reminded of a line from 'A Proportional Response', an episode of the West Wing. Josh Lyman speaks to Leo about hiring Charlie, a young black man, as the President's personal aide. He worries about the 'visual' created by a black man opening doors for the President. Leo puts it to Admiral Fitzwallace:-

LEO: The President's personal aide, they're looking at a kid. Do you have any problem with a young black man waiting on the President?

FITZWALLACE: I'm an old black man and I wait on the President.

LEO: The kid's gotta carry his bags...

FITZWALLACE: You gonna pay him a decent wage?

LEO: Yeah.

FITZWALLACE: You gonna treat him with respect in the workplace?

LEO: Yeah.

FITZWALLACE: Then why the hell should I care?

LEO: That's what I thought.

FITZWALLACE: I've got some real honest to God battles to fight, Leo. I don't have time for the cosmetic ones.

Does anyone claim that Harry is a nazi? Does anyone claim that he hates Jews? Probably not. This is a purely cosmetic battle, and there's no need to fight it.
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