THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Politically Correct or Perfectly Crazy

PC can sometimes stand for perfectly crazy. I'm just sayin' ... what seems to qualify as Politically Correct these days can leave you scratching your head or screaming like a lunatic.

Take for example the brouhaha about our basketball-crazy President who loves to gather his boys (don't even go there ... I didn't mean it that way) for a pick-up game every now and then, or apparently a more formal tournament from time to time that may include groups outside the usual insiders. If you are like me, you will find it impossible to believe that some have questioned why there are no women included. If I am a woman, and I am, and I am not offended, which I'm not, by being excluded from guys' pick-up basketball games, which have been going on ever since that fellow hung the peach basket and threw a round ball up and hoped it went in and then decided to award points when it did, then I think it's ok to point out that this is not where the women's rights movement needs to spend its time and energy. Surely no one is going to try to make a case for integration of the sexes in basketball. Let the boys have their games, for God's sake. (I was going to tell the women to "go shopping" while the boys are playing but thought better of it. Not nearly PC enough even for this piece.)

And then there was the story about how many rounds of golf our President has played while in office, not one of which included a woman in his foursome. Of course, shortly after, a woman from the administration (reportedly a good player) was seen in her golf clothes ready to join the President for a round. Whether that was actually a response to the media exposing the singular gender of all of the President's golf buddies or not, it sure looked like it. Do we actually need a token woman in this role? Shoot me if you must, but actually the golf experience does change when a woman joins an otherwise male outing. The guys just can't be the guys, you know, with the beer swigging and the betting and the cursing when the ball hooks out of bounds (surprisingly often, by the way, the pain of which seems to be remarkably lessened by words that begin with "f" or "s"). When a woman is along, the guys feel they have to behave themselves, which is no fun. So don't kid yourself. There's no equality involved.

Moving on to the theatre, it was announced last week that the revival of The Miracle Worker on Broadway would star Abigail Breslin, the young film star nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Little Miss Sunshine. Immediately the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, an advocacy group for blind and deaf actors, weighed in saying they strongly opposed the producers' decision not to audition actresses who had Ms. Keller's disabilities. The producer stated that the only way they could attract investors with the reasonable expectation of a financial return was to cast a star, a box office draw, and a disabled actress who met that requirement simply could not be found. The Executive Director of the advocacy group was quoted in the New York Times as saying "I understand how difficult it is to capitalize a new production on Broadway, but that to me is not the issue. There are other, larger human and artistic issues at stake here." That is all well and good, but if you cannot raise the money to mount the production, no actress will get the part but worse yet, no audience will be exposed to this remarkable play. And as for selecting a very young actress to carry the considerable weight of this show, the producers have a responsibility to their investors, the playwright, and the audience to make the best choice on all levels. That would include the experience and talent to take on one of the most challenging and celebrated roles of all time as well as the visibility to attract an audience to support the cost of the production. No actor is owed any role for any reason. (Julie Andrews learned that the hard way when, after her Broadway triumph in My Fair Lady, Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn was chosen to play the role in the movie even though she was not a singer.) It is hard to imagine that the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts is concentrating their efforts on trying to dictate casting for the show rather than finding every way possible to insure the success of this wonderful piece of American theatre featuring such an inspiring triumph over unthinkable disability starring one of the most gifted young actresses working today.

I was going to leave you with some cool examples of Politically Correct language but apparently it is politically incorrect to reprint such lists without permission so, for your own protection, be careful when you speak about manholes, gifted children, old people, white lies, flip charts, manning anything, founding fathers, and black sheep.

I recently gave a radio interview about my book, Silver Platter Girl, and the host encouraged his listeners to be sure to come back after each commercial break because I was so willing to tell it like it is, so transparent, not PC at all. That I dared to openly discuss sexual abuse on the radio apparently made me not Politically Correct. That's perfectly crazy, of course, but that's another blog.