What Magnum P.I. Can Teach All of Us

One day, the Angry Czeck was describing to a friend an encounter he had with a black man selling merchandise on a sidewalk on Beale Street. Suddenly, my friend put up her hand and abruptly interrupted my fascinating story.

“Why does it matter that it was a black man?” she asked, her posture poised for confrontation and her lips screwed into the same smirk one reserves for after triple-jumping your opponent’s checkers.

“In the scheme of things,” I admitted, “it doesn’t matter at all.”

“Well then,” she trumpeted. “Why even mention it?”

An indescribable potpourri of carbon-based entities

Yeah. Why mention it. Except, you know, divulging the color of the man’s skin helped to better paint the picture. Furthermore, why even mention that I was speaking to a man? We’re all people, and a woman is just as capable as a man of selling merchandise on Beale Street. To be safe, I should not have brought genetics up at all, considering how sensitive animal rights issues are today. Really, the correct way to begin my story was, “I – as a secular entity occupying a point in time – came across a similar entity who invited me to purchase that said entity’s wares.” Then maybe my story would not have been interrupted.

Except nobody would want to listen to such a dull narrative. I use the word “narrative” because my story is no longer an anecdote, because an anecdote is interesting. How did we get this way? When did we exchange vibrant conversation for dull attempts at political correctness? Why are we so hesitant to relate the facts of an event for fear of offending others?

I’ve applied my powerful brain to this issue for years, but I had yet to achieve clarity until recently, when I happened to catch a re-run of Magnum P.I. In an episode entitled “Jororo’s Farewell,” I discovered a microcosm of politically correct infractions that had me savoring the days of too-short shorts and robust moustaches.

More than a television super-sleuth: A Life Teacher

I’ll list the offenses so that you might catalogue them for future contemplation, plus I’ll grade the offense to enhance further study:

Use of an Antiquated Ethnic Categorization: One of the characters (whom can be safely described as “Asian American”) described another character as “Oriental.” As we have all since learned, the Orient is a specific location in all of Asia. To call an Asian an “Oriental” is like calling an American a Kentuckian. Only the elderly are permitted to describe people of Asian descent as “Orientals.” PC INFRACTION LEVEL: -40

Reckless Abandonment of a Seatbelt: During the first half hour of the episode, a minor is seen leaping into Magnum’s Ferrari and zipping away without ever buckling his seatbelt. Never mind even that the child in question weighed less than 100 lbs and should have been wedged into a booster seat (preferably in the center of the back seat, which Ferrari’s sorely lack). Magnum himself earns a demerit for not being a proper role model, as he too is never seen buckling a seatbelt. Shame! PC INFRACTION LEVEL: -109

Improper Reprimand of a Minor: At the episode’s dramatic conclusion, a frustrated Magnum manhandles a youth, bends him over his knee, and administers a savage beating (commonly referred to as “a spanking” by our barbarous ancestors). The horror of such a ruthless act is better left unsaid, though it is noteworthy to mention that the said minor had, within the space of a single episode of Magnum P.I., been subjected to a seatbelt-less ride in a Ferrari, referred to as an Oriental, and beaten on the buttocks with a bare palm of a mustachioed male stranger. No record of Child Services being notified of this endangerment and exploitation has to date been discovered. PC INFRACTION LEVEL: -280

Unnecessary Stereotypicalization of an African American: Nothing stains our nation’s diverse social fabric more than ugly stereotypes. In the above-mentioned episode of Magnum P.I., a popular African American character, TJ, is shown reflecting upon his “tough and penniless childhood.” How typical! Not all African American’s have lived a life of hardship and poverty. Furthermore, many African American’s are fully capable of managing full names rather than being represented by initials! What a gross injustice! PC INFRACTION LEVEL: – 74

A Crass Omission of Females and Physically Challenged Participants Represented in Athletic Endeavors: A key plot device featured in “Jororo’s Farwell” is a Little League baseball game. We’ll overlook the egregious absence of chest-protectors, face protectors, shin guards, sponge baseballs, and portable defribilators by chalking it up to simple ignorance and lack of access to proper safety statistics. What cannot be overlooked is that while several baseball teams were showcased in the episode, none included females or participants with physical challenges. A child in a wheelchair can make a base hit, provided that the player who fields the ball counts to ten before throwing to first base. Remember the Political Correct Golden Rule, It’s Better to be Fair than Fun! PC INFRACTION LEVEL: -25

Unapologetic Besting by an Unapologetic Anglo-Saxon: As usual, Magnum P.I. saves the day. But this time, it was at the exclusive expense of Asians (who are all, by the way, portrayed as significantly shorter than Magnum). Routinely, Magnum is seen exchanging gunfire with several Asian protagonists (the ratio is an unforgivable 3:1). Children exposed to “Jororo’s Farewell” received the destructive message that any three Asians armed with machine guns are little-to-no-match against one Anglo-American with a non-diverse Protestant upbringing. Airing “Jororo’s Farewell” as a rerun has set this country back by 20 years. PC INFRACTION LEVEL: -88

TOTAL POLITICAL CORRECTNESS SCORE: Negative 616 (CODE HORRENDOUS!)

As you can see, once you frame society in its proper context, you begin to realize the terrible errors of your ways. To be completely sure that my future conversations are up to code, I’ll limit my comments to one-sentence bursts, with subject matter chiefly concentrated on plants and rocks.

And by “chiefly,” of course, I meant “primarily” as I don’t want to offend any Native Americans who read The Angry Czeck.

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4 responses to “What Magnum P.I. Can Teach All of Us

  1. Who do you think is sexier ANGRY MAN: Panch or Magnum PI? It’s a little unfair for Magnum, because we’ve never seen him wearing a skin tight patrol outfit. Goddamn! Why couldn’t I have been born a motorcycle seat?

  2. Oh, don’t worry about that white woman. That was just her Midol talkin’.

  3. Is it just me, or does Tom Selick look a lot like Stinson Liles?

  4. I saw all of Tom Selleck’s Magnum PI shows. There is nothing controversial about any of them. There was no seat belt law back then. In all his shows, there are good plots to all. The episode Jororo Farewell, I guess you can’t really compare now to what things were like then. So what if the obnoxious kid gets spanked over Tom’s knee, we’ve all been punished before.

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