In America today we are engaged in extreme opinions and perspectives from the right and the left. As we sit on our perch at the extremes, thinking we are right and the other side is wrong, we get crazy. We develop nutty opinions that lose our sense of logic and rationality. Sometimes, though we don't always realize it, our extremes come face to face with one another. Coming from different sides, we nevertheless face each other in a similar position. Often we are so committed to our nutty extreme that we don't realize how goofy we have become.
A case in point is the Mark Twain classic novel, Huckleberry Finn. Coming from the left we have the politically correct people who see in the use of words such as "nigger" to be so offensive that the book should be altered or words changed. Coming from the right are the people who think it is like a swear word or certainly not an appropriate word to be used in public, even in a book that might, for heaven's sake, be read by children!
Both sides miss the point. Both sides fail to comprehend the arts. Neither side has any idea of the importance of the context of history. Huck grew up in a society that Mark Twain was trying to accurately characterize and depict as racist and bigoted. The point of this novel is that though Huck is faced with this bigoted society, he learns and sees the inhumanity of it all and changes his own mind-set.
Our craziness today has become so twisted that some educators and social commentators are making changes in the book's words. In one popular version, the word "nigger" has been changed to "slave," and other words are also changed. Changing those words totally changes the book. No longer are we, or our children, given clear and accurate information about the horrible, bigoted society of that period. We are cheating our kids from learning what is important to learn and be enlightened. And our kids are being taught that changing works of art should be done for them, and make it easy to do so.
The left-wing in the U.S. promotes and pushes for "political correctness" in speech. The right-wing wants to allow for changing art, even if it means altering one of the greatest books ever written in the United States. Stilting speech, changing art, "protecting" our kids, putting covering on naked statues, altering words in literature, etc. are all evidence of a society uneasy and uncomfortable with itself
Though our kids are interacting with sex, violence, drugs, profanity, ad infinitum, we think that we are protecting them by limiting sex education, or covering statues, or changing words, or trying to manipulate the art that they are exposed to. We are proving over and over that we are a juvenile society, a people who have not really matured ourselves, no matter our age. Our marriages are ending, our kids are addicted or going on binges, youngsters are experimenting with sex, our two-faced puritanism has our kids acting out behind our backs instead of feeling freedom to talk with us, adults choose who we will lambast among the celebrities, and we use our medicine chest to alleviate our unknown pain.