Greetings and Salutations!
As I was poking around on Facebook, one of the folks I follow posted this meme for consideration and discussion. I found it interesting enough to discuss here…at least a little bit.
This meme is, in my opinion, flawed. It is pushing the agenda that certain groups shun others for no reason other than that group’s words might make them uncomfortable. It is the writer’s opinion that, in some way, this damages Society.
The reality, though is very different. As this article shows, the people being shunned are having it happen for a very valid reason, as their words and actions are reprehensible at best. In spite of this s-called “shunning” though, few suffer economic damages from it. Now, as to the author’s claim that “cancel culture” affects art, and crushes creativity. I submit that this has no merit, as creativity will, in time, almost always succeed. For example, Stravinsky’s “The Rite Of Spring”, premiered in 1913 cause an uproar, and quite a bit of condemnation. However, now, 117 years later, it is looked upon as one of the great moments in Ballet! I am a painter, currently working mainly in watercolors. I do not create for others…I create because I have to…and if others find value in it, that is fine. (Here are some examples of my work…)There are artisans who do focus on what will be accepted by the public and will sell (Thomas Kinkade, I am looking at you), however is what they produce, most of the time, called “Creative?” I submit it is not. Bob Ross, whose shows I love watching, had a wonderful eye, and a great talent..but, he was a “one trick pony” when it came to painting. I do realize, in Bob’s case, that painting was the TOOL he used, not the goal he was reaching for…but that is a topic for a completely different essay!
It is true, alas, that in some cases, the actions have been uncalled for – I point to Al Franken as a perfect example of this. While the photograph that caused him to leave Congress was certainly unwise…his action was taken too quickly. Well after he left office, questions arose about the photograph, and the motives of the woman in it.
The idea that people are shunned for having valid, if uncomfortable ideas, though lacks merit. What does it say about us if we give homophobic/hate-filled/prejudiced speech equal value with that if civil discourse? I am reminded of the words of Edmund Burke – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It has been my observation that Liberals/Progressives/Democrats are far more likely to accept and consider alternative views than the Right-Wing conservatives. I have engaged in some very active debate on both sides of the spectrum. In the Right-Wing side, I am quickly shut down, with insults and ad hominem attacks being sprayed in my direction. On the Left-Wing side, I end up in a lengthy thread that includes opinions, and factual evidence. I have run into very few attempts in these arguments to insult me, and when I do, it is usually because it is the opinion of the writer that I am less than well educated about the subject.
So…is “cancel culture” a bad thing? I am not really that sure it is a real thing…other than being a cute label pumped out by the Right-Wing, for an action that has been a basic part of reality since Primordial times. However, allowing that it does exist, I argue it is not in general, a bad thing. Giving such twisted views as misogyny, white supremacy, prejudice and hate against particular social or ethnic groups, and the like validation by pretending they are no different than tolerance, empathy, ethics and the like, causes our society to become less open, and diminishes all of us.
God Help Us All – Stay safe, Wear your mask!
Bee Man Dave