Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Culture of Outburst

[posted by Callimachus]

Here, I'm going to do an Instapundit at you and link to something interesting that I'm not entirely sure is right, or more right than wrong, without telling you what to think about it:

Of course, we should not simply legitimize offensive speech; surely by putting some comments beyond the pale of civility, we do make our society safer and more inclusive. But code-based legalism is diametrically opposed to evaluation of inner character — and combined, they lead to disaster. Our culture is so filled with dissemblance that when a public figure blurts a single epithet, we instantly see evidence of a corrupt and bigoted heart: “Aha! This is what he really thinks! This is who he really is!” We can’t help but look, because we ourselves are under the same yoke of repression as our celebrity heroes. Thus the repression of speech that led to the outburst in the first place is strengthened, and the deep causes of prejudice left unchecked.