So lately I’ve had people passing around this article by Caitlin Flanagan about the p.c. police ruining campus comedy, which appears to be stage one of a one-two punch from the Atlantic about how p.c.-ness is ruining college in general, with the haymaker being Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s magnum opus about how p.c. culture is somehow not only killing academic discourse but also infecting us all with mental illness.
Well. That’s a lot to take in.
Let me start with the comedy bit. Flanagan is not talking about all comedy performances on college campuses. She’s specifically talking about gigs paid for by student-activities committees out of common funds that students have no choice but to pay into along with their tuition. (In my long-ago college days I remember that drunkenly bitching “My student-activities fee paid for this?!” was a common refrain at campus events, sometimes before the event even started.) She’s talking about gigs that pay $1,000 a pop, which, as she acknowledges, is a big deal in the world of stand-up comedy in any venue.