On Trashing Political Correctness

On Trashing Political Correctness

Heterodoxy is a newish (since 1992) tabloid-sized monthly with an announced narrowness of focus: PC on campus. Its pages, festooned with exploding firecrackers and other crude line drawings, are full of virulent attacks on what it alternately sees as a concerted movement toward and as a realized regime of PC, particularly in humanities divisions of universities, but extending to American culture generally. It can be a useful source of news; the press has covered PC, but seldom in such uninhibited detail, with all the cant and pieties attributed and all the perpetrators named.

Heterodoxy is aimed at the young and, to a lesser extent, their professors, who, at least in the minds of its ex-radical editors, Peter Collier and David Horowitz (formerly the editors of Ramparts), might be counted on to overlook the occasional irruption of Reaganite sloganeering or mockery of homosexuals mixed in with the PC bashing. The sloganeering and mockery seem to be for the undergraduate crowd, who on some campuses need little encouragement to snigger at gays and their claims. But for all its undoubted vulgarity and excesses—indeed in part because of its (deliberate) vulgarity, Heterodoxy has a certain appeal. It packs a wallop. It’s funny (sometimes). Richard Grenier’s sardonic piece on some fanciful attributions of postseventies environmentalist scientific wisdom to Native American populations (“The Greening of the Merciless Red Man,” October 1992) has merit as intelligent debunking

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima