This piece was originally written and posted near the end of November, three years ago. I just thought that considering the progress we’ve made in that time, it would be delightfully ironic to look back at a period where we were so obsessed with trivial issues. How refreshing to know we’re beyond all that and have re-focused on things of greater substance. It would have been so easy to end up spiraling downward into a place where even the most innocuous moments in someone’s long forgotten past could lead to a life altering bloodlust from a faceless crowd of self important, angry sheep. Thank heavens we’ve recovered our ability to find the fun in things.
— Marty Goldberg 10/31/2020
The October 17th edition of the NY Post printed an article which will at some future point help us all to affix an exact date to the moment that civilization gave up on itself. Written by Jane Ridley and entitled ” H’WEEN IN A PC PANIC” said article detailed the self flagellation of Sachi Feris, a contemporary mom, who in an ecstasy of virtue signaling had just had a protracted conversation with her daughter about why dressing up as (Disney character) Moana was only marginally less appalling than joining the American Nazi Party. Or something like that. Ms. Feris had written up the event for a site called raceconcious.org. I’m guessing that if you’ve just swallowed something nasty and don’t have syrup of ipecac handy, reading Ms. Feris’ work may save you a call to the poison control hotline. At any rate the portion of her work re-printed in Ms. Ridley’s piece does more than enough to suggest that our days are numbered. It seems that the child had at first indicated a desire to trick or treat dressed as Elsa, another Disney princess. In a lather about “… Whiteness and standards of beauty” she was able to dissuade her daughter from her first selection only to have the future cross burner cast her eye on the above mentioned Moana, at which point the poor child was subjected to an equally tiresome lecture on the evils of cultural appropriation. Fortunately the third time was the charm. The kid opted for Mickey Mouse. Finally a decision mom Feris could live with …”And with Mickey Mouse, we don’t have to worry about making fun of anyone or dressing up as a culture different from our own.” While taking this in my immediate reaction was to wonder what was so wrong with a little white girl from America (probably Park Slope) thinking kids from somewhere in Scandinavia or Polynesia were so cool that she wanted to “be” them for Halloween. While searching the net I found a response from a third party that I thought really encapsulated my feelings on the subject ( At no time did I actually engage in any such search). I thought I’d pass this letter along to all of you.
” My dear Ms. Feris,
I’ve just finished reading your recounting of the difficult but necessary lesson you had to impart to your daughter regarding the upcoming Halloween festivities. Foremost let me take the moment to laud you on your courageous decision to raise your child to be a fully woke human being. It’s never the wrong time to let them know that even the most casual actions can have life altering impact on any number of people we don’t know, and probably never will. What starts with Elsa can easily end at a Klan meeting. Equally fearless was your choice to invalidate plan B. Admiring someone’s resourcefulness and bravery, as I’m sure your daughter did of Moana is still insufficient motivation to want so badly to be like them that you put on an outfit that lets everybody know who you’re trying to be without actually fooling anyone over the age of three. Next thing you know some grown man ends up wearing a Brooklyn Dodger baseball cap just because Jackie Robinson is his only remaining childhood hero. We can’t have that. You saw what needed to be done and did it without hesitation. So far so good.
Unfortunately it is at that point where things take an ugly turn. When your child settled on another Disney character you seemed quite happy to allow it, ignoring the potential damage to an entire class of beings, just because they’re animated. What kind of message are we sending here? The fact that somebody is a “pretend mouse”, whatever that means, doesn’t preclude them from having very real feelings. What’s more, not being alive makes me eternal in some ways and thusly means that I might have to live with the pain you’ve inflicted on me forever. Imagine the anguish. Well, I know you’re trying. It’s just that having always been alive and real you can’t possibly understand the plight of the fictional/cartoon community. The important thing is that you’re making a good faith effort. We’ve come so far but still have miles to go. I just wanted to let you know that being a non-entity until I was drawn by a controlling lunatic with a terrible porn star mustache isn’t a reason to be treated differently from anyone else. That’s all I have time for now. Minnie and I are meeting the Ducks for dinner and I don’t want to be late. We’ve all seen how cranky Donald can get.
The corporate icon formerly known as “Steamboat Willie”