October 19, 2009

Help Me Jedediah, You're My Only Hope

I’ve now read three different letters to the editor in various publications decrying the show Glee for being anti-gay, racist, sexist, and everything else that you could care to attach the suffix –ist to. Most of the outrage is directed at dialogue by one character in particular, Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester.

Sylvester is supposed to be over-the-top, and it is painfully clear that her views are not supposed to be taken as an endorsement by the show of her prejudices. She is comic relief, plain and simple, and yet her over-the-top 100 percent “un-PC-ness” continues to rub some people the wrong way

Here’s how she recently divided the members of the show’s Glee Club into two groups by selecting only the minorities to be in her half: “Santana! Wheels! Gay kid! Asian! Other Asian! Aretha! Shaft!”

Oh, the horror! Quick, FOX, get this show off the air! A hateful character said some nasty things.

Let’s face it. We’ve reached the point where a television station can’t air a commercial for cleaning product Spic and Span – a phrase that’s been around since the 1500’s - without receiving hate mail from Hispanic organizations.

You can’t make a movie with a minority as the bad guy without protest groups taking to the streets, so we’re left with a spate of films about demons, space aliens and Nazi war criminals – seemingly the only groups without an active P.R. department.

However, I’ve figured it out. We can still make fun of one group of people with impunity. Not because they deserve ridicule mind you, but simply because they won’t ever find out. Let’s make fun of the Amish! Seriously, how will they know without access to electricity?

I can see the entertainment landscape now! Drug dealer? Amish. Terrorist plot? A group of Amish. Serial killer? Amish. A girl brings home her new boyfriend to visit her parents, and she’s disowned because he’s –GASP— Amish!

It’s perfect! Nobody gets offended, and we still get to allow a little concept called “humor” on our airwaves. It’s win-win.

Heck, even the Amish often reject the ways of the Amish. Check out this band which is made up of a bunch of guys who never went back to the fold after Rumspringa… The Amish Outlaws.

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