Published November 14, 2005
U.S. thriller writer Dean Koontz has been labeled a racist for referring to a Japanese executive as "Mr. Teriyaki" and referring to Japan's surrender during World War II at a California conference of mystery writers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Koontz was retelling a story about his efforts to have his name removed from a film version of one of his books, and the letters he wrote to the Japanese head of the studio making the movie, whom he referred to as "Mr. Teriyaki."
"My letter of 10 November has not been answered," one of the letters read. "As I am certain you are an honorable and courteous man, I would assume your silence results from the mistaken belief that World War II is still in progress and that the citizens of your country and mine are forbidden to communicate. Enclosed is a copy of the front page of the New York Times from 1945, with the headline, 'Japan Surrenders.' "
Another of Koontz's letters suggested to the Japanese executive, "We could have a few sake and reminisce about the Bataan Death March."
Wherefore Art Thou
The Liverpool Echo reports that paintings of wedding scenes have been removed from a civil registrar's office there so as to avoid offending gay couples who have registered to wed there when a new civil partnership law goes into effect next month.
The pictures — one of Romeo and Juliet and another showcasing a heterosexual couple — are being replaced with landscapes that are "less likely to offend," says Register officer Janet Taubman.
Civil partnership ceremonies will be allowed in municipal offices throughout the UK beginning December 21.
A college in Illinois pulled a photo exhibit featuring Muslim women after some on campus complained that it unfairly portrayed Islam and hurt the feeling of Muslims on campus, according to NBC5.
The display of photos at Harper College in Palatine by Amir Normandi, himself a Muslim, featured images of women in traditional clothing, but with a twist — prison bars instead of a hijab, for example. Normandi said he wanted to make a statement about the conditions under which Muslim women live.
Muslim students on campus complained, however, and school officials removed the exhibit.
"I felt awkward when people were asking me, 'Oh, is this how you treat your wife? Is this how you treat your sisters and mother?'" said Asad Kahn, the president of Muslim Student Association.
Police officials in the UK are in a heap of trouble for publishing what's being described as an offensive and sacrilegious illustration in an article about overly sensitive law enforcement, acccording to the BBC.
The illustration in the Police Federation magazine shows officers taking their shoes off outside a mosque, as a bearded man escapes clutching bags of explosives.
The cartoon was described by the editor of the magazine as an effort to mock the force's advice that officers remove their shoes before entering Muslim properties, but some officers called it an insensitive stereotypical portrayal of Muslims.
The editor apologized.
Can't Go There
An opinion piece in the student newspaper at Winthrop University in South Carolina has prompted what's being described as deep consternation on campus and prompting debates about the nature of the free press, according to the Rock Hill Herald.
The writer apparently had the nerve to question the preferential treatment afforded African-Americans on campus and compare today's racial climate for whites to the oppression blacks faced before the Civil Rights movement.
"We no longer hose people in the streets," the column said. "I'd say if you have the freedom to sit in a classroom and state those opinions, you've got it pretty well."
Students on campus were so infuriated that they immediately called for a rally and the administration convened a forum to discuss the column.
New York Times columnist William Safire this week helpfully explains the ever-changing 'homolexicology' that editors of the Gray Lady must adhere to in their use of the language.
"Apparently," Safire writes. "in writing about people who are homosexual, the word gay no longer covers both men and women. It seems to me that the usage is now the specifically inclusive gay men and lesbians whether the distinction is useful or not."
Diane Anderson-Minshall, executive editor of Curve, a lesbian magazine in San Francisco, helpfully explains: "Interjecting the word lesbian into the mix is a necessary reminder that we — gay women — are not simply a subset of that larger male world but rather our own distinct community of individuals."
Safire also says that use of the term 'homosexual' as a noun is no longer acceptable. That's partly because of the prefix 'homo's' Greek origin (in Greek it means "the same;" in Latin, it means "man"), but also because the term has in the past been associated with deviance and mental illness and therefore has a negative stereotype.
The word also has an undue emphasis on sexuality, he writes, when everyone knows that being gay is not about sex. It's about attitudes and culture, Safire says, but most certainly not about "lifestyle."
For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.
Joann P. writes:
After reading Jodi S.'s mailbag comments on the topic of sex designation, I can assure you that most people who identify as transgender do not want to have a "third option" to the M or the F on documentation — they want ID papers that match their true gender which is opposite that which was erroneously assigned to them at birth.
Those who do want a third option, while few, are mostly androgynes who have little use or desire for gender labels. I think the "third option" would be a mistake — a third label would actually make it easier for others to be intolerant, much like making Jewish people wear a yellow Star of David. While well over 90 percent of the population is cisgendered (where brains and body match), there are others who are transgendered or gender variant in one way or another, and they should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else.
Jodi seems to think that being trans is a choice. It isn't.
Ron D. writes:
It's no surprise to me that celebrating Halloween in California schools is effectively banned. The Child Care Center at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas has had a similar ban on Halloween costumes for quite a while now. In fact, on base they have a "Neewollah" Ball as opposed to a Halloween Party. Apparently people who are easily offended are also so dim that they don't recognize the word "Halloween" spelled backwards.
There is a terrible double standard when it comes to being PC. When I was deployed in the Middle East recently, the significance of Ramadan in the Islamic faith was well publicized in the base newspaper AND basewide e-mail distribution. I can only imagine the outrage if the same was done explaining the significance of Christmas to the Christian faith. I can't even remember the last "Christmas" party I attended on base. I've been to plenty of "Holiday" parties though in mid-December.
Unfortunately, the military still seems to be stuck in the cultural experiment that was started during the reign of Clinton and his lackeys.
Pete C. writes:
Isn't it interesting that Fox News spends a vast amount of time and energy unveiling these attacks on Christians? Where was Fox when Christians were attacking gays and looking to adopt a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage? Would such a ban cause gays to stop "playing" together? No. It would simply make them unhappy. It would rob them of their unalienable rights as granted, "by the creator."
Notice that the Declaration of Independence does not mention Christ or Christianity. Oh yeah now I remember, Fox was leading the charge!
I had to laugh at O'Reilly's nonsense today as he claimed that France is getting what they deserve for not supporting Bush in his bullying of a country that posed no threat and then used Fox as a mouthpiece to claim they were. Maybe he could use the "Fair and Balanced" farce to suggest that Christians are getting what they deserve for attacking those less fortunate than themselves!
Do I think that gays are less fortunate or inferior? Not really. I am just suggesting they are less fortunate because they have to live in a world filled with mean spirited bigots like you good folks at Fox.
Mike M. writes:
I can understand why trade union activists would have trouble being seen as promoting activities that could bring them into "disrepute by association." You've really got to watch out for those evil folks that want to send toys to under-privileged kids. That sinister philosophy of helping the less fortunate is always getting in the way of the important topics like higher wages, more time off and longer coffee breaks.
Kevin W. writes:
The Black Coaches Association recently released their annual report card on the recruiting processes for head football coaches at Division I universities. Their stated objective is for the racial make-up of head coaches to reflect the racial make-up of players they coach. Taking this same logic a step further, shouldn’t someone be issuing a report card on the recruiting practices of the football teams with the objective that the racial make-up of the football players reflect the racial make-up of the students at the universities they represent?
These schools just are not doing a good enough job of recruiting and providing more opportunities for disadvantaged white players.