A Narrative’s Progress

Feminism’s already quickening pace, the reaction to Donald Trump and now the Harvey Weinstein scandal has tipped us, as if overnight, into a new regime of expanded prohibition and harsher sanctions for politically incorrect speech.

Mainstream entertainers are wed to the Narrative. But those entertainers weren’t always mainstream and the Narrative appropriates more and more authority. So half these mainstream guys were doing material just a few years ago that wouldn’t fly today. Nobody seems to notice, until something like Jimmy Kimmel’s recent foray into the political conversation. Having drawn attention from the right over–I think–some Obamacare tweets, his tormentors then seized on his silence regarding Harvey Weinstein to invoke some particularly sexist routines from his occasionally brilliant, often obscene, The Man Show.

Note how much of that show couldn’t be done now. The show itself would be hard-pressed to find a home. This is almost entirely due to political correctness. So there’s a good question there, for the performer who’s arrived at the pinnacle by a route now closed to others–does he approve? Is this progress, and where does it lead?

Because when looking back at film, television and the like I’m struck by just how much of it wouldn’t make it past the unofficial censors of the day.

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