Oceania, of course, was Winston Smith’s home country in George Orwell’s 1984. Problems in Oceania aren’t expressible in Newspeak.
Newspeak isn’t just a set of buzzwords, but the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language with another. Or their removal entirely. The transition is still in progress in Orwell’s novel, but is expected to be completed “by about the year 2050.”
The Canadian Broadcarping Castration is advancing the schedule. Think NPR/PBS, but more to the left. CBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada’s far left government. They are proposing a new political philosophy. It’s early days in the development of this theory, and it is as yet unnamed. I have a suggestion later.
So far, we have only this to go on:
Eighteen ‘Offensive’ Words You Can’t Say in Canada This is the list:
“Ghetto; sell someone down the river; blackmail; brainstorm; savage; gypped; pow wow; tribe; spooky; black sheep; blind spot; blindsided; first world problem; spirit animal; tone deaf; lame; grandfathered in; crippled.”
You might wonder why they would bother with such a feeble effort. There are surely many more worthy words which the crippled minds of the lame SJW tribes might brainstorm, in their virtual pow pows, to create offenses with which to blackmail the rest of us: Black sheep (our spirit animal) all.
You can see where some of their angst comes from, but “first world problem?”
The term ‘first world problem’ began as meaning a trivial problem experienced by people in affluent societies. CBC’s list is an example of a first world problem. Progressives have come not to like ‘first world problem’ because it mocks stupid ideas like subjecting a list of 18 words to Newspeak.
A first world problem is running out of characters on Twitter. Or somebody else using all the hot water. But, these get uncomfortably close to having your pussy hat laughed at. Then, who knows? You go bonkers over a sign supporting the police on somebody’s lawn. From there, we might have people who hear the wrong pronoun, or get punished for committing a hate crime hoax. Jussie Smollett would not have been lionized by Vladimir Putin, but he was by Joe Biden.
Just around the first-world-problem corner from that, is some ‘Nazi’ claiming you shouldn’t live your life as if speech is violence.
Of course, CBC’s innuendo is that speech is violence. Or ought to be if you say the wrong word.
In the interests of fairly presenting the case for removing the phrase from our language, here’s an unintentionally hilarious article at Medium:
Seriously, Stop Saying “First World Problems”
[B]eing poor doesn’t mean you don’t experience similar inconveniences…
Right. Someone has ALWAYS used all the hot water. Because there never is any. Then it isn’t an inconvenience. It’s just life.
The term first world problem entered public consciousness back around 2005 as a way to shame trivial complaints. Shortly after catching on as a meme, it morphed into a way to justify those grievances by at least acknowledging some people, somewhere might see it as silly. I acknowledged it, now please sympathize with me with a like or a retweet…
We are so clueless to the real world that we imagine one where there [sic] only troubles in another country must be exhaustive in scale. Beyond the reach of our imagination to picture a day in the life…
It is past time to retire first world problems. Now is an age when we need to be highlighting our connections, our humanity. Let’s leave behind our instinct to create fake divisions.
Not getting likes and retweets, of course, is a first world problem. It doesn’t mean nobody in non-first world countries ever has that problem. When you say it without irony, as demonstrated by the last two paragraphs in that quote, it means you’re a narcissistic, virtue beaconing idiot. Or a TV network full of them.
It means you have no perspective about the problems you DO NOT have. That you are a fatuous ingrate. That what is beyond your imagination is the idea that saying ‘first world problem,’ for most if us, is simple embarrassment that we have adults who need coloring books in their safe spaces.
The idea that ‘first world problems’ is yet another example of colonialist racism is merely another way to condemn your own nation and culture. The author can’t see that running out of characters on Twitter for someone without access to clean water is STILL a first world problem. His plea to stop using the term is just a way of one-upmanship in the piety sweepstakes. Which is a first world problem.
On the more serious side, we are overflowing with hate crime hoaxes. That is also a first world problem. Doesn’t happen in Iran or China. Oh, there are hate crimes – committed by the governments – but they aren’t hoaxes.
We argue about whether 7 year old children should be encouraged, by our educators, without parental consultation, to be treated with potent hormones and undergo sterilizing surgery in order to advance the cause of a handful of anti-science activists. That’s a first world problem which would appall the Taliban.
We agonize about psychological damage to young girls from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. In North Korea watching K-Pop on TikTok gets you a public execution.
Given that CBC’s control over the population is not what we could call absolute, erasing each of these words would end up requiring some word or phrase to take their place. Some euphemism will be cycled in. Then, the screams from those acting as though they’ve been flayed and then forced to wear hair shirts will repeat. Because someone says whatever has come to mean ‘tone deaf.’
How long will it be before ‘inspiration’ is verboten because it’s a synonym for brainstorm? Is ‘problem solving’ long for this world after that? It might be fun to go through CBC’s list and see what the replacements could be, but it probably wouldn’t turn out to be humorous enough to justify the time, though Middle School Trauma Syndrome occurred to me as a first world problems replacement.
Since CBC’s political theorizing appears to be a fusion of kakistocrism and authoritarianism, we should name it malapropism.
A state practicing kakistocrism is a kakistocracy. A state practicing authoritarianism is an autocracy. A state practicing malapropism is a malarky.
THE PRINCIPLES OF NEWSPEAK
-George Orwell, Appendix to 1984