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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Satire? Should Chess be banned because of political correctness?

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joliboy11
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Joined: 2011/9/16
Posts: 207
Philippines

 Satire? Should Chess be banned because of political correctness?

Bro. Greg could I post something like this?
just delete it if not ;)

Should Chess be banned because of Political Correctness?
by Sydney Ross Singer

taken from:http://www.hawaiireporter.com/should-chess-be-banned/123

In today’s politically correct (PC) world, everything is under review for potential offensiveness. While I find such witch hunts of offensiveness offensive, I would like to offer a brief argument of why the game of chess may come under the scrutiny of the “PC police” and be banned.

First, let me give the disclaimer that I am myself an avid chess player, and have been for 50 years. It certainly helps develop strategy and mental skill. But upon reflection, and with tongue slightly in cheek, I must admit that the game entails some troubling subliminal messages, which the PC police need to carefully consider.

chess-2
The most obvious problem is that chess is inherently racist. Black versus white is not something we should be encouraging in a racially tense culture. And, of course, white goes first, which is something I would think is disturbing to people of color. It’s like sitting on the back of the bus. It’s another form of white supremacy.

On the other hand, white going first suggests that whites are more aggressive than blacks. The board is set up with everyone’s pieces in line, with total peace on the playing field. And then the whites attack. Every time. The message is that being white makes you the aggressor.

chess-3And aggression is an important part of chess. I once tried playing chess with a computer and tried not being aggressive. It was impossible. Aggression is built into the game. It’s a game of war and conflict. It trains the player to look for ways of defeating the opponent, not ways of making peace.

As with all wars, there will be casualties, usually to pawns. Pawns are also the weakest pieces. You would think that a kingdom should protect its most vulnerable and weakest citizens, not send them to war to be sacrificed like, well, like pawns.

And it’s all to protect the king. You can have all your pieces, but if the king is taken all is lost. Everyone, including the queen, is sacrificed if needed to save the king. Of course, this unquestioning subservience to a monarch is very undemocratic, and even fascistic.

It’s also misogynistic to assume that the queen must die for the king. Shouldn’t the king protect his queen? What happened to chivalry?

chess-5Of course, the queen is more powerful than the king, since she can move in any direction any number of spaces. The king is only limited to one space at a time. He clearly has no superiority of form or function. There is no good reason why the queen should be sacrificed for the lesser king. This is pure paternalistic clap-trap, and perpetuates gender discrimination. I suppose the queen must also wear a bra and high-heels as she goes around the board saving her good-for-nothing husband.

And speaking of gender, what sex are the pawns? When they reach the other side of the board they can be exchanged for any piece, including a rook, bishop, knight or a queen. But usually they become a queen. Does this mean they are female pawns? Do they undergo gender reassignment when they reach the other end of the board? It seems pawns are gender neutral, or at least gender confused, until they decide what they want to become. Do we want children playing chess to wonder about their gender as they move down their board of life? Should we be telling boys that queens are better than kings? This kind of gender-confused message could cause pubescent children to get into a lather.

As for male role models, kings are really pathetic. All they know how to do is fight. They are unable to stop the war in which they are perpetually engaged. Two kings can’t even approach one another. No negotiated settlements are allowed. Each king is solely focused on himself, a royal narcissist who runs to his castle to hide behind some pawns at the first sight of a threat. He is ruthless, willing to send everyone to their deaths if need be. He is a selfish brute. Is this really the kind of leader we want boys to emulate when they grow up?

Chess also promotes Christianity over other religions. Notice that there are only bishops on a chess board. What’s up with that? What about using ayatollahs or rabbis instead ? Maybe one side should have rabbis and the other ayatollahs. Or how about protestant ministers versus Catholic bishops? Of course, all this is objectionable to agnostics and atheists, who may prefer counselors instead of bishops. Maybe it should be astrologers versus scientists?

Clearly, more diversity is needed here, and the Christian monopoly on the bishop piece is offensive and hateful to non-Christians. It probably promotes Islamophobia, as well.

chess-6And how about the impact of chess on stupid people? Winning at chess is considered by many as a sign of intelligence, and losing at chess suggests that your opponent is smarter than you are. This win-lose game reinforces insecurities in stupid kids, who get turned-off to chess because they lose all the time and instead decide to play video games. Many of these video games are violent, and teach these dumb kids how to be violent.

Chess is therefore a “gateway game” to violence. This means that stupid kids playing chess may someday be profiled as potential criminals. Stupid chess players are thus a threat to national security, while profiling them as potential criminals is a threat to our freedom. It’s sort of a stalemate.

Today’s world is different from the past world that spawned this game of chess. We now respect all religions as equal. We don’t think the world should be run by bloodthirsty, selfish kings, and think queens should be able to rule without a king. We insist on pawns having more say in what happens, since Pawn Lives Matter. We don’t want to refer to losers as losers, since that can hurt their feelings and reinforce their sense of being losers. And if a king decides to become a queen, that’s okay, too.

Clearly, chess just doesn’t cut it anymore in our new, PC world.

- Sydney Ross Singer
Sydney Ross Singer is a medical and environmental anthropologist, author, and director of the Good Shepherd Foundation, located on the Big Island. Sydney is a pioneer of applied medical anthropology, and he is also the director of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease.

 2016/12/19 23:39Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re: Satire? Should Chess be banned because of political correctness?

The humor of the piece is tarnished by its likelihood of being picked up and run with by PC police.


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Todd

 2016/12/20 7:40Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Very interesting article. I am an avid chess player too. I've often ruminated on these very same things mentioned in the article. It's worthwhile to consider that the original game of chess (some say it had its origins in India, others say in Arabia) didn't have bishops. In the original version of the game, bishops were known as "elephants". In Russian, they are still called such (i.e. slon). It's curious to wonder where the "bishop" term came from in English. Also interesting to note is that in France, the same "bishop" piece was once known as the "fool".

Apart from the obvious notion of "white versus black" being made a racial point, it can also be seen in the eastern oriental philosophy of "yin versus yang" or light versus darkness, good versus evil, God versus Satan. But, of course, that doesn't give the PC police much to bite on. Everybody (including most atheists) with even a smidge of moral compass can relate to this concept unoffendedly.

I've played on chess sets in Russia where the pieces are red and white. The Communists versus the Czarists. I've also played on sets where the figurines are painted one side Soviet-red and the other Red, white and blue. That was neat!

I seriously wish the PC police would try to appropriate the ancient Royal Game to fit their agenda. Any exposure would be good as I see it. I believe chess fundamentals should be taught in schools at an early age. I taught my son the game when he was four. By five he was solving 2-ply checkmates not involving any sacrifices. Now he's excelling in math and science and loves to read and do crossword puzzles at seven.

Good post.


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Paul Frederick West

 2016/12/20 12:52Profile
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 Re:

Funny thought came to mind reading this-

I personally believe that if Jesus had played chess he may have lost now and again, if his opponent was as good or better chess player.

Some folks would consider that statement blasphemous.


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Todd

 2016/12/20 14:47Profile
PaulWest
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 Re:

We know that Jesus didn't formally compete in athletic or intellectual feats whereby the sons and daughters of Adam boast in their champions. The Greeks had the Olympics back then; the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians had popular strategic mind-games similar to chess and backgammon that predated His birth by thousands of years. This isn't to say Jesus never played them, mind you. He was a regular man who loved to have sinless fun and spend time with his friends, and if that included playing whatever game or sport was popular at the time in Israel, I'm sure he did it. He was certainly not a religionist, a legalist, a Pharisee who condemned anything and everything apart from strict diet regimens, monkish silence, rigorous Pentateuch study and enlarging his phylacteries. He was like us; he came eating and drinking, laughing and living a normal life. And I'm glad he was like that!

That said, he did not COMPETE in these things, as an obsession. He did not play the equivalent of competitive chess in Israel, to become champion. If he did, a historian would have written of Jesus of Nazareth, the national "fill in the blank" champion of Israel. Certainly, being God, he could do anything he put his mind to -- and in a most superior, all-surpassing way.

Instead, his all-encompassing hegemony was in spiritual matters! And, again, I'm glad he did it there instead of on a 64-square chessboard. Could he have lost a game? Sure! Were there any athletes who could run faster than him? I'll bet there were many. Peter was probably more fit than him, he was probably faster and stronger and could beat him in a wrestling match, being a strapping net-hauler and burlesque dock worker all those years on the shores of Galilee. Just because all things came through Christ, for him, and beneath him, he did not Lord it over others in his supremacy. He willfully subjected himself to lesser men. Praise the Lord for his wisdom!


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Paul Frederick West

 2016/12/20 15:12Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
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 Re:

Hey brother Paul!
Nice to see your comments:)

This OP made me smile and I couldn't help but think of a PC version of backgammon;)
It's possible that game was prevalent as well-


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Fletcher

 2016/12/20 16:16Profile
PaulWest
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 Re:

Hey! Good to see you too! It's very possible backgammon was around back then too. Wikipedia says it's been around for 5,000 years, so why not? :)


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Paul Frederick West

 2016/12/20 16:34Profile
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 Re:

I just wanted to clarify a quick point-

I did not mean to suggest that certain persons would find it blasphemous to suggest that Jesus played games, but rather that he might actually LOSE a game.

I have heard persons argue that if he had schoolwork, he would have had perfect scores on every thing he turned in.

Of course this is speculation and more of a thought exercise. In my view, his sinlessness does not equate to perfection in every area of human endeavor. For example, he likely struck his finger with a hammer in the carpentry shop, and he likely took the adage "Measure twice, cut once" to heart.


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Todd

 2016/12/20 17:26Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1230
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 Re:

Yeah brother Todd, I can relate to that...
The humanity and the deity of Jesus can be confusing at times. The absence of the records of His early life seem to contribute to this.


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Fletcher

 2016/12/20 17:54Profile





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