Political Correctness and the Wendigo
In a report from the Contemporary Folklore conference covered in issue 388 of FORTEAN TIMES, the go-to magazine for all things paranormal, weird, or unexplained, a complaint is voiced about the “cultural appropriation” of the Wendigo, likening it to the “sexualization” of the Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. (Anything that isn’t outright vandalism isn’t likely to harm the statue at all, but I wouldn’t dare do anything disrespectful around it. That’s just asking for trouble.) We should show proper respect to our Cryptids at all times, and I’m rightfully righteously indignant at the thought of anyone doing otherwise with Mothman. But as far as “cultural appropriation” and the Wendigo goes, don’t you dare—don’t you DARE—try to take our monsters away from us, PC wankers!
(A friend sent this screenshot to me, along with the info, because he knows how much PC-ism pisses me off. I don’t know who originally posted it, or where. So, thanks, Dave! And whoever!)
The Wendigo may be a figure from American Indian mythology, but it belongs to all of humankind. Just as the vampire and werewolf do not belong exclusively to people of European descent and the Mummy doesn’t belong to Egyptians. You don’t have to be French to love the Phantom of the Opera. You don’t have to be of Afro-Caribbean descent to talk about, write about, or make movies about zombies. How stupid to think otherwise.
Political correctness started out as one thing, a good thing. It has become something else altogether. It has no place in the world of Folklore and monsters. To Helheimr with it!
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!