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What Cancel Culture is NOT


Maybe we should talk about what cancel culture isn't.
It's not a boycott. 
It's not deciding to no longer go to a business. It's not giving a bad review for bad service.
It generally involves two things. First, the offense is a matter of opinion. Second, secondary or even tertiary targets are threatened.
Cancellation does not need to be successful, and often with very famous and wealthy people it is not successful. But it serves as a warning to vulnerable people who are not in a position to weather that kind of attack. The goal is terroristic in that it's about forcing social behavior in people who are not currently the subject of the attack. The message is always, this could happen to you.
And the tactic invariably includes seeking out vulnerable people to threaten in order to put pressure on businesses or on the target of the attack.
So it works like this: JK Rowling is invulnerable. But they can try, right? So what they do is they find out who works for the publisher who publishes JK Rowling and they take the lowest level employee, intern, the copy editor, the office help, and they say, "Do you realize that your publisher is evil. You have to make sure that your publisher fires JK Rowling otherwise you have to explain to us why you won't do it and we'll tell people and you might never be able to get a different job."
It would be like threatening the record label if they don't fire the Dixie Chicks. Or threatening the employees of the record label. Or threatening the brand new musician with their very first contract and telling them that they don't want to be associated with the Dixie Chicks and having a record with the same Label is Association and their career will be over before it starts.

A fellow quit his band just yesterday, it's been in the news, because he knew that if he stayed his bandmates would be the target of attacks, that their careers would be at risk for what HE said.

  • It used to be considered professional to be impartial when it came to your profession. It was considered professional to publish books of people you liked and people you didn't like, to do art work because it's a job even if the person who contracts your artwork isn't your favorite person. But that's no longer true. You can't say, I'm an artist I do art. They pay me so I do art that doesn't necessarily represent my opinions.  It's a job.

  • You can't have professional relationships. You have to have personal relationships instead. And if you refuse to make everything a personal relationship and endorsement, if you let just anybody license your music for their campaign rally, people will attack you. 

  • We used to understand that lawyers didn't need to agree with their clients but that everybody deserves to have good legal representation no matter who they were or what they did. That's also no longer true because lawyers will be attacked if they represent the wrong people.

  • People say "consequences", but what they mean is that if you don't actively fight for their cause in your workplace they will attack you in order to force you to enforce their opinions in your spaces. There is no neutrality. There is no professional or impersonal relationship. Every area of life is part of the battlefield.

  • Cancel culture is not a boycott. Cancel culture is not a bad review. Cancel culture not deciding to go to a different store. Cancel culture is not deciding to not listen to music, or a band, or an artist. It is not refusing to see a movie starring someone you don't like.   

  • That's not what cancel culture is.

    It is a CULTURE of using bullying tactics on secondary and tertiary targets, to create an atmosphere of threat to force social change.


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