A microcosm of what political correctness breeds can be found in the Kal Penn vs. Joel Stein “My Own Private India” spat. There’s nothing more entertaining than watching moral pedestal clowns cannibalize each other. When talking heads who think they’re cool because everything they say is drenched in VH1 Best Week Ever sarcasm start going at it, just sit back and enjoy.
What was it, exactly, that irked Kumar (and one-time Obama staffer)? Behold:
My town is totally unfamiliar to me. The Pizza Hut where my busboy friends stole pies for our drunken parties is now an Indian sweets shop with a completely inappropriate roof. The A&P I shoplifted from is now an Indian grocery…
Eventually, there were enough Indians in Edison to change the culture. At which point my townsfolk started calling the new Edisonians “dot heads.” One kid I knew in high school drove down an Indian-dense street yelling for its residents to “go home to India.” In retrospect, I question just how good our schools were if “dot heads” was the best racist insult we could come up with for a group of people whose gods have multiple arms and an elephant nose.
The reason why this article is so great is because it completely demolishes Kal Penn’s creative template that the “Middle America” racist, homophobic, Bible thumping “freak shows” portrayed in his Harold and Kumar flicks are all conservatives. (Kevin Smith apparently hasn’t caught on yet).
It also shows what a hypocritical whiner Penn is:
Gags about impossibly spicy food? I’d never heard those before! Multiple Gods with multiple arms? Multiple laughs! Recounting racial slurs like “dot-head”? Oh, Mr. Stein, is too good! I don’t know how he comes up with such unique bits.
I get it, Kal Penn: It’s okay for you to roll out every tired Christian, redneck, conservative joke that self-righteous Hollywood actors have been using as a crutch for decades, but someone makes the same stale jokes about your culture and Hinduism and suddenly you’re up in arms. How many millions did the “Freakshow” scene (i.e., the character you used as a vehicle to mock Christians) in Harold and Kumar net you? When you break it down, dumb joke by dumb joke at the expense of Middle America, how much did your own myopic writing fatten your wallet?
Immigration is a complex issue, and moral relativists and multi-culturalists who demonize anyone who disagrees with them only set the stage for these sorts of scenarios to happen. Joel Stein wrote a pretty sad article for Time magazine, but it’s understandable for someone to have mixed feelings about his hometown getting a cultural makeover over such a relatively short period of time.
Multi-culturalism can very well lead to large swathes of the United States being Balkanized. It means nothing if immigrants dress like Americans and listen to American music if they don’t believe in the founding principles enshrined in the Constitution. Joel Stein might think the Statue of Liberty would shed a tear “because of the amount of cologne [Indian immigrants] wear,” but I think a better litmus test would be their knowledge and appreciation of our nation’s founding.
Regardless, back to the point: Kal Penn can dish it out, but he can’t take it. Apparently, the Political Correctness Police are only allowed to act when it offends Kumar. And that makes Neil Patrick Harris cry.