Tag: cancel culture

Cancel Culture Comes for Dad Rock

 

President Trump was mocked for suggesting that after tearing down Confederate statues, they would move on to statues of Washington and Jefferson. History has proven he wasn’t wrong, he merely underestimated how far the left is willing to take the Culture Wars. (The Culture Wars polite Republicans and “principled conservatives” think we should have no part of.) They came for Robert E. Lee, they came for Stonewall Jackson, and conservatives-with-dad-bods did nothing. Now, they’re coming for Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.

The past several years have seen a reassessment of our country’s many mythologies — from the legends of the generals of the Confederacy to the historical glossing over of slaveholding founding fathers. But as we take another look at the sins of our historical figures, we’ve also had to take a hard look at our more immediate past and present, including the behavior of the creators of pop culture. That reassessment extends now to the people who wrote some of our best-loved songs. But what to do with the art left behind? Can I still love their music if I’m appalled by various events in the lives of Johnny Cash or Elvis or Jerry Lee Lewis? Or by Eric Clapton’s racist rants and anti-vaccination activism?

A theater professor refused to express anger at something that wasn’t meant to cause anger. Coastal Carolina University wants to fire him for it.

 

If you haven’t heard of Coastal Carolina University’s absurd punishment of theater professor Steven Earnest (and you made it through that headline without frying too many brain cells), you might take a couple of more minutes to read through this week’s press release from FIRE:

On Sept. 16, a visiting artist was working with two students of color after class, and one student expressed that she felt isolated and would like to get to know other non-white students in the department. The visiting artist asked about whether it might be helpful for non-white students to connect as a group, and she and the students wrote out the names of other non-white students on the classroom whiteboard while brainstorming ideas. 

Ayaan speaks with Lawrence Krauss about the new religion of wokeism and how it spread throughout academia. They discuss the impacts that political correctness and cancel culture have on science, and what it means for the future.

Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist.

My Statements About Trans Fats Were Wrong And Hurtful

 

Recently I wrote a (since deleted) blog post about my experience on the “keto” diet. In it, I wrote that a diet rich in fats was both healthful and useful for weight loss. However, I also made a distinction between “healthy fats such as those found in nuts and fish” and so-called “trans fats, which raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.”

These words were not merely clinically inaccurate but hurtful acts of violence. It pains me terribly to think of the danger in which I put the readers of my reckless words. That I am an older man who grew up in a much fitter and more active era than today’s slackers and 24/7 social-media users is no excuse. I now know that my words constituted an act of violence against tater tots, nondairy creamer, women, pre-prepared cake frosting, microwave popcorn, people of color, vegetable shortening, fried fast food, the undocumented, frozen pizza, stick margarine, Muslims, pie crusts, fried chicken, the differently abled, cookie dough, onion rings, and the gays.

My thoughtless words were not only wrong from a scientific perspective but from a moral one. Oprah, Rosie O’Donnell, the director of the Food and Drug Administration, the leadership at the National Association To Advance Fat Acceptance, and more than 200,000 (and counting) Twitter users have helped me to understand what should have been obvious to me at the time: trans fats are fats, full-stop.

The Culture’s Guide to Cancelling Me

 

Once upon a time, political priors were no match for a great comedy – funny was funny. Today many great jokes elicit an anxious over-the-shoulder glance to ensure that the culture’s tastemakers – or your firm’s 22-year-old social media intern – don’t disapprove. Rolling with it is a thing of the past.

No longer is a comic’s greatest fear having his sitcom but his entire career – canceled.  With airlines, sports teams, and soft drink manufacturers climbing over one another to bow before the Woke Mob, what is a corporate event planner to do? She must now not only ensure the comedian she hires is funny (or even funny and clean) but also has the correct views.

This means scouring the internet for comedian’s social media posts, blogs, columns, affiliations, and more: all in search of something which might be disqualifying, like that hilarious five-minute bit of yours about how men can’t get pregnant.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Kristina Arriaga, president of Intrinsic, a strategic communications firm, and former vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Kristina shares her family’s experiences fleeing Castro’s communist regime in Cuba and other hardships, and how her background has shaped her commitment to religious liberty. They discuss the current political situation in Cuba, and the lessons American citizens, teachers, and students should learn about communism’s impact on human rights. She shares her work to advance religious freedom as former executive director of The Becket Fund, where she honored courageous Cuban political prisoner Armando Valladares and so many other human rights activists, and through her service on several noted international commissions. Finally, they discuss parallels Kristina highlighted in an October 2020 USA Today op-ed, between cancel culture in America and some of the features of communist Cuba, such as speech codes, political correctness, and social shaming. They delve into why cancel culture is so dangerous to the free exchange of ideas and a healthy civic life, and how parents, teachers, and professors can combat it.

Stories of the Week: The Biden administration is extending the moratorium on federal student loan payments and interest – originally scheduled to expire next month – through early 2022. But exactly who is eligible? The New York Times reports that 340,000 of the one million children who did not report for school during the pandemic were in kindergarten, with the sharpest declines in low-income neighborhoods.

The Mob and the Banjo Player

 

The banjo player is, of course, Winston Marshall, recently of the hit band Mumford & Sons. The mob is the usual band of angry twits, the censorious harpies of Twitter and Antifa who can’t stand the thought that someone, somewhere, isn’t prostrating himself before the pile of dung that is their hateful and dishonest political ideology.

I don’t care for banjo music, and I’m at best lukewarm about Mumford & Sons. They have a few songs I like, but they’re too folksy for my tastes and so rarely come up in my playlists. Since I’m not particularly interested in music I didn’t realize that the band had become big: I stumbled across them a decade ago, thought they were a little boutique group with a few hits, and never had reason to revise my view until friends, big fans of the group, assured me that they’d achieved mega-band status. Who knew?

Canceled for Opposing Arson

 

I ran across a couple of news articles about the composer Daniel Elder this week. Perhaps you’ve seen them. Elder is (or was) an up-and-coming choral composer living in Nashville.

Listening to Elder’s work, it’s clear that he is a fine composer with much to offer. I have not heard enough of his music to offer generalizations about his style, but I’m willing to bet you will find Ballade to the Moon worthy of repeated listenings.

Member Post

 

Good news. Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia – a town that is also home to the state-supported Virginia Military Institute and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and an ignominious restaurant called the “Red Hen” – will not be changing its name to remove Robert E. Lee. So say their Board of Trustees. And it wasn’t even close. If you’ve […]

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Member Post

 

Good news. Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia – a town that is also home to the state-supported Virginia Military Institute and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and an ignominious restaurant called the “Red Hen” – will not be changing its name. So says their Board of Trustees. And the vote wasn’t close. If you’ve […]

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Member Post

 

Lessons unlearned, opportunities missed by JAMA, ESPN, and Google It was quite a week for cancel culture, which claimed three trophies from three separate American institutions: Medicine, Sports Broadcasting (gambling, specifically), and Big Tech. The latest trophies on Cancel Culture’s expanding wall include Dr. Howard Bauchner, the 11-year editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American […]

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Too Little Too Late, or Turning Tide?

 

Peter Robinson called British actor Laurence Fox to our attention in a recent episode of “Uncommon Knowledge,” prompting a bit of research. I was encouraged to find a Telegraph interview from last fall that was quite fair, not a BBC/CNN-style harangue. This all started with Laurence Fox recording an original protest song “The Distance.” That got him an appearance on BBCs Question Time where he dared push back on a woman of color‘s smear of “racism.” Fox’s defiance unleashed the wokist mob and attempted cancellation of his career. The heart of the outrage was his daring to push back on an assertion that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, was the victim of racism. He dared insist “We are the most lovely, tolerant country in Europe.” Is Laurence Fox an outlier, destined for erasure, or is he a harbinger of change?

Poking a little further, the Telegraph now has a permanent cancel culture section on its website. The Reclaim Party has a functioning website, including the complete results of the freedom of expression poll of 2,119 UK adults aged 18+ online from 5-7 February 2021. Searching for that information unearthed results of two U.S. polls, a Harvard CAPS / Harris Poll of the general public, finding a majority of Americans say they believe cancel culture is a threat to their freedom, and a Zogby Poll of 500 business leaders that found “Most business leaders think certain progressive ideas about society and the ”cancel culture” are a threat to the country and are unnecessary.”

Member Post

 

A large part of the problem with cancel culture is when the cancelers are so adept at colonizing a person’s mind, that with very little effort, they can get someone to self-cancel. When the target doesn’t even attempt to fight back, that’s when the cancelers know they’re winning the culture. It appears one lone agitator […]

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A Letter to My Woke Friends

 

I don’t buy your narrative that America is a racist country. I think you are ignorant: you have a cramped and impoverished understanding of history, and no sense of proportion. I reject your “white privilege” palaver. I don’t slice and dice my fellow man into little groups based on superficial characteristics, and I won’t claim to know any more about a man based on his skin color than you know about me based on mine.

Diversity and inclusion? You can keep it. Diversity of views is lovely. Diversity of race, sexual orientation, color, and other trivial details of anatomy and preference is a crock. Every man is an identity group of one, so keep your woke bigotry. You obsess about it all you like, but I’m not interested.

Who Are the Canceled

 

The Cancel Culture is amusing in an ironic sense. The canceler knows not what he does. And here I am not addressing the troll who gets blocked for name calling or profanity or sexual content. No one has a right to afflict others in that way. I’m thinking of the one that collects triggers like trading cards. He mentioned the governor’s ignominious conduct in blackface, canceled. She defended the governor’s ban on church services and restaurants while the casinos are running wild, canceled. We find ourselves in a world where there are fewer and fewer who believe that reasonable men of good conscious can disagree. Our institutions, even our Constitution, are under assault. Refuse to sit and be viciously slandered by a venomous, racist “anti-racist” whose entire philosophy revolves around perpetuating racism in every facet of life and you can pack up your things and hit the bricks. And Washington is eager to make it worse.

So let’s look at what happens when someone is canceled, to the canceler as well as the canceled. Taking the simplest case first, social media person one rises up to denounce Christians as responsible for every bad thing that happened in the last 2000 years and social media person two crushes that block widget to consign one to non-existence (in a totally solipsistic, post-modern, subjective, by which we mean false, way. I get it, I really do. We are not always tanned, rested, and ready to engage the endless stream of haters. But the possibility of finding common ground is lost. For the one issue the canceler surrenders any possibility of discovering an ally on other issues. Or that rarest of treasure, a friend. Or even a savior.