Mock Indignation or Fake Tolerance: Which is the Greater Evil?

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Consider what follows to be … a rant.

It is immensely difficult living in a politically correct-era where expressing a contrary opinion can cause your world to crash. So what then?

Many of us are, of late, needlessly careful about … everything.

Without freedom to express true opinions for fear of backlash, one must ask, “Who am I as an individual?” If the concept of individuality is dictated by a cultural mood or climate, can the question be honestly answered?

Sure. Two ways. First, “As an individual I am part of the crowd, a human automaton. Individuality no longer exists. It is extinct.” Or, two: “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks.”

For an artist, especially, such loss of expression is a crime. How are your works going to impact a patron? That self-expression that you so strive to release in your product, what of it now? It’s homogenized, that’s what.

Why even bother?

Those who are capable of making a difference, especially in this current climate, absolutely must rise to the occasion. New and challenging opinions must be brought to the fore, and yes, that means some must fall upon their sword.

Martyrdom, so to speak.

To be clear, I’m referring to remaining artistically incorruptible. But is there even such an animal as integrity anymore?

Let us say you have an honest prejudice. For the moment, it does not matter as to what. You just have a bias of some sort that may be controversial if honestly expressed. I’m not talking about racism or misogyny, but if they were the case and I was you, I’d best back up those words and actions.

Express them, but you damn well best be prepared to accept the consequences. You have freedom of speech as do I.

Everyone has their opinions. Take a cursory view online and you will see lists as innocuous as The Greatest Comic Books ever, or The Finest TV Shows ever. Hell, I’ve written and posted some of them myself. And I’ve been excoriated for some of my choices.

Big deal.

In my novels, I take on everything from religion to death. Someone has to.

So let me ask this: “How will you make a difference?” Or this: “What is your desired legacy?” There is no right or wrong answer for either. And that makes the conundrum under discussion that much more difficult.

But say something. Express how you really feel, and how you really think. And if your words or actions are those of hate, be prepared to face those consequences.

Your bullshit I will never bother with.

For those of you, however, who are good people afraid to express yourselves openly, understand only those who do not compromise their integrity make the real differences in this world. You will never be at the level of one who hates if a degree of needing to understand another person or situation is what your view is really all about.

Being either PC-fake and expressing outrage, or, conversely, being disingenuously tolerant because you believe you have to are equal crimes.

Unless you are real about it.

Thanks for reading.

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.

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