Few things make me want to vomit like political correctness does. Institutional racism, sometimes. Multiculturalism, other times. Globalisation and the delusion that we are all alike, with the same needs, same desires, is a very close second.
We are not all alike and you can’t prove that we are. We naturally find affinity with those who feel like we do, who look like we do, and who behave like we do. That rules out everyone else who doesn’t feel, look, or behave like we do. You follow me?
This ruling doesn’t mean we have to mistreat people who are nothing like us. That role has been assumed for millenia by those who seek to administer common welfare “for all man” or by those who seek simply and irrevocably to destroy the other. Either make them like us, or get rid of them. “Us” is a moving target, and so is “them”. Depends at any time in history on who’s in power, who has the most money, the biggest stick, or the biggest, most persuasive mouth.
The arguments for sameness are legion. Well, we’re all born, we all love and have families, we all grow old, and then we die. That makes us all just alike, right? Think about that one.
One thing’s for sure. We’re not all white. But because the entertainment industry, fraught with white people in power (and the non-white people who embrace their prevailing brand of alikeness theory), you would think we are. Or that if we’re not, we should be.
Take a look at the poster below for the BBC’s new spin-off series of Doctor Who, a generation spanning TV show that – in it’s imaginative journey from pre-civil-rights 1963 to the 21st C – never had a woman, a black, an Asian Doctor. We’ve seen paintings of Phillipino Jesuses and Black Jesuses, even chick Jesuses. But never a Doctor Who who wasn’t some white dude.
Isn’t it politically correct of me to take notice? Not if you consider that the good Doctor is an alien who regularly transforms into a new incarnation, inviting – by his very conceit – reconstitution of the sexual or racial sort. You can’t even argue that he’s definitively British, because that most certainly doesn’t mean white anymore, not since British Indian Restaurants (BIR) became recognised as a defining national cuisine. Screw the blacks, shouldn’t the Doctor be an English-born Indian by now?
The poster shows 5 characters from the new show. If you are white and think that this poster is representative of the “we’re all the same” society, you are part of the problem. It’s perfectly normal for you to look at this poster and say, “Look at that attractive group of youngsters.” Inoffensive, seemingly balanced, representative of something, maybe an ideal world where slender white people are the centerpiece of all drama and conflict, even though they aren’t. Oh, I hear you. A Doctor Who spinoff isn’t really the place I’d expect to see a realistic reflection of the world, even if you discount time travel and belligerent extraterrestrials.
But the sentiment is there, isn’t it? The pervasive demographic marketing savvy, so ingrained in entertainment normal that we don’t even notice it anymore. The blonde boy and the bad boy on the right, promising a tension that all of us boys will surely understand. That might involve being spurned, being misunderstood, or being something else that all boys everywhere since the beginning of time have experienced. I wonder if either of those boys has ever had his home bombed by a religious group he would cruelly kill if you gave him the right weapons.
The running girl in the front right, whom we must root for in her flight from peril, because white girls in peril is always troubling. Never mind white boys in peril. Don’t even think there’s such a thing, unless they’re gay. There’s the older, mysterious woman in the background. You know she’s bad news because if she were stumbling drunk down the corridor, you might mistake her for Patsy Stone.
Nothing else really to say about that poster. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but I’m not entirely sure. Something nagging, something I should be paying attention to, but don’t really have time for or care about. Like the old photo of that one cousin who died before you were born. Someone told you her name once, but you don’t remember it. Doesn’t really matter.
She wasn’t anything like you, but in that photo, there’s a bit of a resemblance.