It seems to me the older I get the more I marvel about the small things in life. Do you know that smell of the first cup of coffee in the morning? I know it is boring to say you look forward to that and to have a scheduled day where you know what you will be doing when. Shrug, my motto is "who wants a boring life?" These days that is me but it will probably never happen. I simply am not that normal (I have papers to say I am sane though, you only have legal presumption which may still be overturned.) :)
Yesterday, besides the cricket (not boring for once) I noticed a news report that Oxford University Press now says they don't want any author to mention bacon or pork because they fear that will offend Muslims and Jews. Both groups immediately said it is madness and political correctness gone too far. I actually checked to see if it is an April fool's joke but alas, it was not. They are serious, no more bacon or pork or we do not publish you. Oxford University Press was created in 1480 and publishes in 150 countries. They are serious players.
Or are they really? I have long said paper publishing is dead and this foolishness proves it beyond any doubt. The days when some sad retired teacher sat somewhere in a dark corner office and rejects manuscripts are long gone. I venture to predict that in a decade or three paper books will be gone and in a hundred years you will need to go to a museum (online artificial intelligence) to see and smell a book. Any reader will understand what I mean with "smell a book." There is magic in that which Kindle and IPad just don't have.
On the other hand, we have to accept, paper books are gone. It is sad but even sadder when you cannot write about a decent bacon and eggs meal in a book. What utter nonsense? Must I take offence when a Muslim or Jewish writer says that circumcised men are better in bed? Nope, I will laugh it off as they laughed the bacon & pork idiocy. We do talk about that, by the way, in our Hostage Survival briefing - the fact that you may be held by people who are less than understanding about your religious beliefs. And they will check to see what you are and they may be too backwards to know that most Yanks are also circumcised. Why I would not know, they ain't Jewish or Muslim.
Mind you, they are quite adamant about such things, the Jews and Muslims. I have friends in both groups and asked. It was one of those "now look here, Mate, this is what we do and basta." I agree. Why not, if that is your views then please carry on and be happy. Such things remind me on the power of indoctrination and that we don't always understand the other fellow or how serious he is about such things. When I wrote my book (ePublishing, otherwise it would have been rejected, no doubt) The Egg Breakers - Counter Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa I made a point to mention that most are happy the way they are. Not everyone wants to be like you or I and all want to be left in peace. We should stop pointing fingers which is exactly what political correctness is.
It is FEAR (fear is always from Satan) to offend and is needed at times but not to the ridiculousness of banning a decent breakfast. We have spoken about "hate speech" quite often in these blogs. There are very definite lines, not ones in the sand but real ones, when it comes to hate speech. You know that saying to a person he is a "kaff..." and he to you that you are a "boer" will bring the law on you and him. Stay away from such nonsense - we are passed that and make sure what you say on Facebook and other sites are not held against you later on. No matter how angry, let it go and follow the Bible, a soft word my friends as the Lord said.
Not all political correctness is wrong but when it becomes a tool to gatkruip (to suck up to someone, Afrikaans) as it is for most journalists, politicians, publishers and editors you have a problem. Then your hard won freedom of speech is undermined for mark my words, they have a very definite agenda to influence your thinking. You also see it being used as a weapon to get rid of all critics - eish you are racist for pointing out I am incompetent. It is laughable but happening everywhere. The other day a reader wrote to say the police in my late wife's tribal area (America for those who don't get my African lingo) are not allowed to ask a fellow on his citizenship status. Hence you find a guy, he cannot speak English or American and looks like an alien but that is fine, you cannot ask and do your job as a cop. How absolutely silly?
Then we have the Great Denial in South Africa. Eish, who committed the crime? Eish is it a man or woman? Eish it is of no color, we are the rainbow nation (with no color in it, lol). Hence the police don't know who they look for after a crime was committed. And the public who is asked to give information have no idea either for it was a "robber." And now, and this where it goes horribly wrong, the public now starts speculating that the robber looks different from them. Speculation is the mother of all... (Well you know what I mean). Can you see how political correctness is aiding assisting crime? Yes, of course you can but that is the difference here - you are not an idiot long haired liberal who cannot see this. Sigh and they will never read my books or blog which is a pity. Let me drink my coffee and get some work done.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a practicing commercial law attorney for eight years. He also wrote several books on business, law, counter terrorism and security issues. He is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.