Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
CBC logo
Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 05.08.03
Quebec City


Enough PC is enough

Political correctness has now infiltrated every aspect of life, including children's literature.

A recent study in the United States -- where PC is king -- shows that benign censorship has turned the world on its head.

Certain jurisdictions have banned the story The little engine that could because the train is depicted as male.

In the same frame of mind, The friendly dolphin has been turfed from school curricula because it discriminates -- wait for it - against people not living near the sea.

References to fat food are out because it promotes an unhealthy life style. And birthday parties -- since kids who don't have one might suffer childhood angst - are also taboo.

Where does it end?

Well, logically speaking, in complete lunacy.

Take, for example, the children's classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

'Snow' would have to be deleted lest it offend those in sunnier climes.

'White' would likely not pass muster as blatantly racist.

And I won't even get into the use of the term 'Dwarves.'

In today's terminologically correct times we'd have to call it Precipitation beige and the seven people of indeterminate height.

The evil witch who asks, "mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" would likely be reduced to a 'terminally disgruntled person of undefined sex seeking a positive self-image.'

And then there's the prince who comes to save 'Precipitation Beige.'

Obviously 'Prince Charming' is an outdated class distinction which would have to be replaced.

Maybe a 'young gainfully employed worker' but then we'd offend the jobless.

What about a 'young man who just happens to be passing by.'

No. That's ageism. And same-sex couples are sure to point out that Prince Charming shouldn't have to be a man.

What we end up with is an un-named person who runs away from someone for an undefined reason to live with seven vaguely defined people, who is put to sleep somehow -- God forbid we mention a poison apple -- by another vague personality who has a love affair with a mirror;

And we expect children to develop a love of reading.

What's next?

The tale of No particular sized, color neutral Riding Hood?

Or maybe The person with or without hair and the three bears?

I don't know. Somehow life used to be a lot simpler.