Holiday season is time to look past political correctness, get over sensitivity

I am going to hell.

This may not surprise most of you, given both my life decisions and several of the reoccurring themes of this column, but I can now prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that my soul is eternally damned.

My priest reads this column.

There is a list of people who should never read my allegedly funny musings every week: my parents, my girlfriend’s grandmother and, at the very top of that list, dear Father Linus. Lo and behold, it turns out that every single one of them is a loyal reader of the questionable content that I regularly produce.

Now every one of them knows about my infatuation with the lingerie football league, my alcoholic tendencies — it’s only alcoholism if you go to meetings, right? — and my propensity to talk about just how great boobs are (I mean, they are pretty awesome). I’m screwed.

I am fairly certain the next time I step into a church I am going to burst into flames. When I go home for Christmas, I’m sure my parents will tell me just how much my column has disgraced the family name.

Next time I run into grandma Gaffney, I will most certainly be slapped.

I’ve brought this all upon myself and deserve all of the punishment. For the past semester this column has been crass, rude and sometimes downright offensive, and I am proud of every damn word of it. The problem lies in my complete and utter lack of sensitivity. I am just not a very sensitive guy.

This is especially a problem around the holidays. People are way more sensitive in the month of December than in any other month. If I mistakenly wish a Happy Hanukkah to the wrong passer-by, I might get burned at the stake. I’m a bit of a Scrooge myself, but even I think that’s a bit severe.

Why can’t we all just sing “Dah who doraze” and buy exorbitant gifts for each other? Even that gets dangerous these days. Buy your significant other a wonderfully ugly Christmas (or Hanukkah) sweater that is one size too big, and all of a sudden you’re the biggest jerk in the entire world.

Instead of “It’s the thought that counts,” gift buying has become “Guess right or you’re in for a very Silent Night … on the couch.”

I don’t understand why people are so sensitive. Is society really in such a sorry state that even holiday greetings have to be nondenominational? If we insist on being so politically correct all the time, things will really start to suck.

Pretty soon, someone will accuse Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer of having racist connotations and Frosty the Snowman will be an alleged white supremacist. Santa Claus will be banned from stores because anybody who loves the color red that much is clearly a communist. Runaway gingerbread men will be construed as a symbol of anarchy and we’ll have to do away with their delicious goodness too. But being politically correct is really important. Right?

If there is any hope for living in an enjoyable society, we should be able to be politically incorrect and wish anybody a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or even a Glorious Festivus (for the rest of us). Laugh at a funny joke instead of go looking for a reason to be offended by it. And, most of all, don’t be afraid about who’s listening or reading.

Even if it’s your priest.

Brett Fortnam is a senior newspaper journalism and political philosophy major who will be unemployed in six months. His column appears every Thursday until there are enough complaints to make him stop. He can be reached at, but he will not respond.

  • Well I’m not your priest, but I am a priest, and I think, based on this column, that what you write might well be righteous, provided you do understand the cardinal virtues are the basis of both personal character and social stability.

    I got to this particular URL, and your domain name in general for the first time today, via an as-it-happens Google News Alert for the search string “political correctness”. You are therefore a Google indexed news source. Congratulations!

    I also consider the phenomenon named “political correctness” to be a social abnormality at best and a sign of impending social collapse at worst. It is therefore a phenomenon which I can only describe adequately with asterisks. If I may explain.

    The origins of political correctness as an self-reproducing entity have been conclusively located in the anal region of a herd of male B. primigenius. Although all the herd’s specimens are long dead given their life expectancy, they once freely roamed the paddocks of the University of Frankfurt under the watchful eye of its two chief herdsmen, Professors Adorno and Horkheimer. You’ll know their cultural ideas from your university studies.

    The metaphysical status of the phenomenon now known as “PC” is therefore best denoted by the identifier “bull****”.

  • I ought to have provided true alternative ideas to the false notions I’ve just critiqued (lambasted?) with such indelicacy.

    As a (presumed) Catholic who is also a student of political philosophy, you’ll be aware of the Church’s social teaching (Magisterium) pertaining to politics. For the sake of your readers, and perhaps for your own review, here is a representative URL:

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