No one has ever been able to accuse internet pundits of being self-aware, but these celebrated tweets everyone’s talking about win some sort of prize for epic lack of self-awareness.
Obviously there are plenty of problems at work here (in the tweets), but let’s hit the big one first. Julius starts out miffed that people don’t like political correctness; specifically that they claim there are things they “cannot” say. Upon hearing this, Julius immediately decides that the only conceivable things someone is not permitted to say must be “n*****” and “f**” (his formulations). It takes like five tweets for Julius to go from “why would anyone be worried?” to “anyone who disagrees with me is a racist homophobe.”
It should be obvious to everyone that this is precisely what the NPR survey respondents are talking about. What they mean is “I’m afraid if I say one wrong thing by accident I will be called a racist and a homophobe and there will be serious repercussions over a simple mistake.” Julius replies that having such a fear is ipso facto a sign of being evil, and insists on “personal accountability.” He doesn’t come right out and say, “You had better watch your step and not disagree with me ever,” but the subtext is plain.
Now I don’t know this Julius Goat fellow. He likes Groucho Marx, that’s cool. He might be a decent guy. He probably is not actually rubbing his hands in delight in the trap he has constructed, whereby any contradiction is automatically a sign that you are a garbage human whose opinion does’t matter. He’s not a supervillain. But he also is not self-aware enough to see that the trap really is there. People tell him they fear the trap, and all he can say is “sproing.” (That’s the trap sound.)
Thee are other problems with Julius’s tweets. I mean, if someone’s saying “I’m afraid of uttering certain things,” demanding that they utter them is just missing the point. Julius is like a character in a horror movie; when the old professor says, “I have found an ancient name which, if spoken, will summon abominations,” Julius demands the name be spoken. It turns out that only terrible people don’t invoke Hastur.
Also, anyone who has been paying attention to the storied annals of political correctness so-called can, in fact, name the things they cannot say. Dongle. Hold the fort. The desire to enter a given field may have a biological origin.
The goal, of course, is to regulate discourse. The goal is to regulate discourse to such an extent that the very act of noting that the goal is to regulate discourse is sanctionable.
Julius is just a pawn in the game. But Hastur controls the board.