Ethics Alarms covered the silly, hyper-political correctness attacks on ‘The Simpsons” character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon—Oh NO! They are making fun of Indian NAMES!—, the Indian immigrant owner of the local convenience store. Now “The Simpsons” itself addressed the issue:
Naturally, the progressive victim-mongers who cooked up this phony controversy are mad at Marge and Lisa. Here is a typical response from the Angry, Perpetually Offended Left, by former TV critic and lawyer-turned-blogger Linda Holmes, who I am now convinced turned away from the law because she couldn’t meet the tough reasoning requirements.
(And have a mentioned before that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for social justice warrior drivel like this? I’m sure I have…)
At the end of her screed, she writes,
“I know: It’s a cartoon. That is the easiest, silliest response to this debate. It’s just a cartoon. It’s just a comedy. Or, as the photo of Apu pointedly says, don’t have a cow. But the show doesn’t have this defense to call on, because it has accepted accolades for decades as a thoughtful, intelligent, satirical work that deserves to be taken seriously. It has accepted a Peabody Award, and a GLAAD Media Award. It has been praised and slobbered over and quoted and praised again, and to plead insignificance at this point is unavailing.”
I hate to be harsh, but this is idiotic beyond excusing. To say “It’s a cartoon” is not to say that it is insignificant, and to say “It’s just a comedy” is not to argue that its content doesn’t matter. It’s a cartoon means that cartoons as an art form, exaggerate, stereotype and mock individuals and groups using funny faces, voices, words and actions, and anyone who takes personal offense—or who works hard to find offense– at a cartoon that was not intended to offend is best dealt with by saying to him or her, “Avoid animated entertainment. You don’t understand it.” And maybe a pat on the head will help.
This is me, by the way:
(I’m not offended, though I am not yellow, have broader shoulders, my skull isn’t that big in proportion to by body and don’t have that big line in my forehead.)
“Azaria makes money to keep imitating Peter Sellers imitating an Indian man,” Holmes writes. Damn right: Peter Sellers did hilarious ethnic imitations, as did Sid Caesar, Danny Kaye , Bill Dana, John Bellushi, Arte Johnson, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Lewis, Hans Conreid, and many others. Azaria evokes Sellers because Sellers was funny. The effort by political correctness-obsessed, virtue-signaling addicted, grandstanding cultural locusts who want to create such hypersensitivity that humor is impossible needs to be resisted, and Apu is as good a place to start as any.
Holmes slams the Simpsons’ response because, she says, “The human beings at issue go largely ignored.” Oh, blechh. There are no human beings at issue. Nobody with a sense of proportion, reason or humor regards Apu as a statement about real Indians. She says some Indians claim to have been “bullied” by Apu impressions. In college, my Medford Mass. roommate with the classic Boston accent I managed to avoid was kidded by students doing their lame “Hahvahd Yahd” bit. There’s no difference. He laughed along with them. I suppose he should have formed a group to stop all of the Kennedy inpersonators (there’s still one on “The Simpsons”: Mayor Quimby.)
Holmes sums up the show’s rebuttal to the Anti-Apu protests as “We have heard how we have hurt people, and we honestly don’t care.” That’s about right. When humor is not allowed to “hurt” anyone, then humor is doomed. And when a society takes seriously someone who claims to be hurt by a character like Apu, that society is hostile to speech, humor and entertainment.