Today, the so-called “Diversity Council Australia” launched a campaign to dictate to Australians a new set of words which are not permissible at work.
In one of the so-called “skits” one (token black) worker sneers at his mobile phone, and informs his co-workers, in a transparent plea for approval, that one of his “mates” (appropriation, anybody) is holding an 80’s theme party. Reflexively, one of his coworkers replies that this idea is “gay.” Sensing the opportunity to raise his own ego by shaming someone else instead, the first coworker points a furrows his brow toward the hapless coworker, who steps on another verbal landmine with the word “lame” followed by “stupid, and dumb.”
Although this scene makes it clear that the words “gay” and “lame” are not to be used in the context of the words “stupid” or “dumb” I argue that this advertisement does not go far enough. The initial premise of the scene, that an 80’s theme party, and by extension the 80’s era itself, is stupid or dumb, is never challenged. Thus, the entire campaign needlessly offends a large proportion of the population who know that the 80’s, whether in the field of music, cinema, sport, or politics, was the greatest era in the history of the human race. (An in depth article in the prestigious journal Science can be found here, which provides scientific proof as to why this is so.)
In response, I would like to present only one exhibit to demonstrate how and why the 80’s were objectively and undeniably awesome. XYZ Quote of the Day, Van Halen’s hit, Jump, from their album 1984 (see what I did there…) featured Eddie Van Halen’s genius on both the guitar and keyboard, in two scintillating solos. It also featured charismatic singer, David Lee Roth, preening around, performing the splits and mid-air scissor kicks, all in very tight, often leather, pants. He has also been known to wear what can only be described as pants missing their backside. As we all know, to associate a certain look with one of the 57,328 possible sexual preferences, or with one of the 365,000 possible gender identities, is bigoted, as it is imposing a normative view of human sexuality on a person, whose sexual preference and gender identity is entirely up to themselves.
So, if you think that David Lee Roth looks like a girl, or, perhaps, a bit of a poof, then you are a bigot. And if you think that Van Halen, and the era which they dominated, is lame, stupid, or dumb, you are most certainly a bigot.
Shame, David Morrison, shame.
It’s your XYZ.