The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Politically Incorrect

Once upon a time, it seemed that the Constitutional right of “freedom of speech” was exactly that: an ability to openly speak one’s mind. However, as of late, it has become extremely and overtly obvious that Americans are becoming far too concerned with the idea of so-called “political correctness.”

Nowadays, we are always afraid of saying or doing something that may offend our peers. Certain words and actions are not considered to be “PC,” and because of this new cultural phenomenon, society has basically censored itself.

In an attempt to constantly adhere to the insane pressures of what is viewed as politically correct, we live in constant fear of stepping on one another’s proverbial toes. Perhaps, taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance is necessary as to not offend the atheists, or putting Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster on a diet is important because his cookie-eating habits are obviously promoting childhood obesity.

As ridiculous as it may sound, America’s favorite cookie-gobbling blue creature has become just another tool in politically correcting society as he now advocates moderation, learning that certain foods should only be eaten occasionally, his beloved chocolate chip cookies being one of them. His anthem “C is for Cookie (That’s Good Enough for Me)” has been traded in for the likes of “A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food.”

Additionally, thanks to a new partnership between Sunkist and the Sesame Street Workshop, Cookie Monster will be trading his cookies for oranges, which is simply an absurd betrayal of his character. Somewhere, Jim Henson is rolling over in his grave. At the very least, trade the chocolate chip cookie for a package of Snackwells, but don’t make him sing about oranges!

The PC affect only worsens as we enter the Christmas season. With the lighting of the first purple candle upon Advent wreaths in churches across the world, the Christmas season officially began.

However, to many, that type of terminology is politically incorrect, as this time of the year can only be called the “Holiday Season.” Some retail store chains are asking their employees to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas,” and in Boston, quite a hubbub was caused when the city’s official Web site attempted to be PC, making reference to its “Holiday Tree.”

On top of all this, for a society so obsessed with becoming politically correct, we have certainly mixed up our beliefs regarding what is acceptable and appropriate. For example, according to a study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of sexual scenes on television have nearly doubled since 1998, and 70 percent of all shows include some sort of sexual content. Additionally, cursing is becoming more and more commonplace, both on television and on elementary school playgrounds, but no one is fighting the political correctness of those types of things.

Quite frankly, people are more likely to be offended by cursing on cable or sex in primetime than they are by Cookie Monster’s snacking or a cashier wishing them a “Merry Christmas.”

As a society, we have become so obsessed with petty political correctness that we have lost all grips on common sense. This unnecessary need to be PC has already gotten out of control, and we can only hope that it does not take Santa handing out Menorahs or Cookie Monster becoming anorexic for society as a whole to get their priorities straight.

That being said: this year, forget about being insanely politically correct and leave Santa Clause a huge plate of Cookie Monster’s favorite chocolate chip cookies with a sign that reads, “Merry Christmas.”

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