Derbtown

Hysteria, Bad Taste, and a Loss for Oklahoma

March 12, 2015

Multiple Pages
Hysteria, Bad Taste, and a Loss for Oklahoma

I’ve been observing the onward march of Cultural Marxism for a whole quarter-century now, and been writing about it for a dozen or so years. It seems to me the pace of hysteria has been picking up since the start of this decade. Outrageous violations of CultMarx norms that got all the Great and the Good screaming and sputtering used to occur once every two or three years. Possibly it’s just me, but it seems like the pace nowadays is something like monthly. Where do the screamers and sputterers find that much energy?

Here’s the latest one. The national college fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) has a chapter at OU, the University of Oklahoma, OK? Some members of this chapter were on a hired bus last Sunday, on their way to a formal function—they are in evening dress—at a local country club. To liven up the ride, they sang some songs, including one to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it” with the following lyrics substituted:

There will never be a nigger in SAE.
There will never be a nigger in SAE.
You can hang him from a tree,
But he can never sign with me
There will never be a nigger in SAE.

Someone filmed this, the film got out, and all hell broke loose. Guardians of the CultMarx flame were swift to observe that SAE was founded in, oh my God, Alabama before the Civil War, and restricted membership to whites as late as—gasp!—1903.

“All right, the song was kind of tasteless. As a friend remarked to me: Jared Taylor would never allow such a display at an American Renaissance conference.”

Two of the students involved have been expelled. The expulsion is probably illegal; but what does mere legality matter when there is bigotry to be suppressed? The fraternity house has been emptied and locked up. Soon no doubt it will be reduced to rubble, the rubble carted away and used to build a Diversity Chapel, the ground then sown with salt.

All right, the song was kind of tasteless. As a friend remarked to me: Jared Taylor would never allow such a display at an American Renaissance conference. But for goodness’ sake, these are college frat boys.
 
You want tasteless? I got tasteless. Eight years ago I wrote a piece for National Review Online regretting that we are no longer allowed to laugh at foreigners for their comical foreign-ness. The piece included a link to P.J. O’Rourke’s guide to “Foreigners Around the World” from the May 1976 issue of National Lampoon.

P.J. didn’t hold back.  Arabs? “They bugger little boys and practice some stupid religion that they’re trying to get all our Negroes to believe in.” Poles? “They didn’t know about sexual intercourse until the tenth century, having previously reproduced by raiding warthog litters.” Japanese? “Resembling the Chinese in many respects, but mercifully less numerous.” Etc., etc.

One of the NRO techies later told me that my column linking to that got an unusually large number of reader hits. I hope they all found P.J.’s stereotypes as funny as I did in 1976, and still do.

The dear old 1970s Lampoon was a treasure trove of bad-taste humor. Check out the May 1977 special issue on homosexuality, with its spoof on the then-recent white-guilt weepie, Roots. The spoof was titled—what else?—Froots … “In the oral tradition.” 

(Though I note with sad resignation that the 2004 Lampoon DVD compilation has a bowdlerized version of Gahan Wilson’s “Nuts” comic strip for that issue. I remember the original. The lead-in was something like:

Remember when the Lampoon people called and asked you to do a special ‘Nuts’ strip for the gay issue, and you said ‘I refuse to make fun of an inoffensive minority,’ and they said ‘We’ll pay extra,’ and you said ‘OK, but it’ll be in bad taste,’ and they said ‘It fucking well better be!’?

God, I miss the old Lampoon.)

As for group singing of tasteless songs on buses, where do I start?  Circa 1962, that’s where. At that point in the history of the English-speaking peoples, or at any rate of that subset of them who played rugby for their all-boys secondary schools, it was the usual thing when riding the hired bus to an away game for the team to sing its way through a repertoire of traditional songs to which the adjective “tasteless” really doesn’t do justice.

An actual singing rugby team named the Jock Strapp Ensemble put out a couple of LPs of their favorites, but I can find only unsatisfactory fragments on YouTube. The great Jim Croce caught some of the flavor with his solo version of “The Ball of Kerrymuir,” although Croce’s last verse is a cop-out. I remember it as:

The village conjurer, he was there,
Doing his usual trick:
He pulled his foreskin over his head
And whistled down his prick …

I don’t recall any songs with a racist content; but then, England in 1962 was essentially, and very happily, monoracial. The issue didn’t arise. 

So here we are, all the white liberal pussies in full self-righteous cant mode. “Chilling, disgusting and indefensible,” squeals this one, deploying three words that all have the same meaning.

I remember “indefensible” from my own run-in with the Thought Police. Being a rather literal-minded person, I got in touch with two of the people who’d called my “Talk” column “indefensible” and told them that, to the contrary, not only was it perfectly defensible, I was in fact willing to defend it in open debate. I didn’t hear back. In the Devil’s Dictionary of CultMarx Newspeak, “indefensible” does not mean “there is no possible way anyone could defend this.” It means “shut up!”  Likewise “chilling” and “disgusting.”

But here we are, and here is the President of OU, groveling and writhing. The worst consequence of the affair, from his point of view, is that high school football megastar Jean Delance has announced he won’t after all be attending OU next fall because he doesn’t want to sit in class with racists. There goes OU’s chance of cracking the Riemann Hypothesis.

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