Chameleon

Chekhov has a short story called “A Chameleon“, which revolves around an incident where a dog indisputably nipped a man’s finger. The actual investigation hinges not so much on what happened, though — but rather on who the dog belongs to. When the policeman at first thinks
it’s just some mutt, either stray or owned by one of the little people, he threatens to have the owner fined and the dog put down. When, however, it’s suggested that the dog belongs to the General, the policeman takes a sudden interest in how exactly the hapless bitten fellow managed to provoke the nice dog. They go through several cycles of this, with the policeman’s tone towards the dog/victim changing from menace to endearment, depending on who-whom.

Steve Sailer’s recent post makes me wonder what a modern version of that Chekhov story might look like. Say you’re a public intellectual and you hear there’s been a mass shooting. Clearly it’s some white supremacist massacring innocent PoC‘s, you assume. Then you’re told that the shooter was black, and you immediately begin ruminating about root causes, and the vicious institutionalized racism that must have driven her to do it. Then you’re told the shooter was a man. Aha! Heteronormative patriarchy! But he was gay, you’re told. Isn’t it time we banned guns, which in any case is what’s responsible for this tragedy?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Chameleon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s