We all recognize John Cleese as the dude who co-founded the legendary sketch troupe Monty Python, leading to the creation of four iconic Monty Python films, none more timeless than Holy Grail.
But Cleese’s reputation of being hilarious overshadows his brilliance, evident in him being visiting professor at Cornell University and contributing to various books about psychology and the human condition.
Cleese sat down with the Big Think to discuss his views on the issue of political correctness and the dangers of shielding ourselves from uncomfortable emotion. Instead of taking the tired route of antagonizing millennials by calling us coddled pussies, Cleese gives a comprehensive explanation as to why criticism and alternate opinions aren’t as toxic as we often convince ourselves they are. He finishes by likening a world ruled by political correctness to George Orwell’s 1984, which profiles a totalitarian state wherein the ruling Party wields total power “for its own sake” over the inhabitants.
“If people can’t control their emotions, then they have to try to control other people’s behavior.” Yep.
Moral of the story: Let’s find the happy medium between protecting the sensitivity of people who are not able to look after themselves very well and a Kenny Powers lecture.