Why “Cancel Culture” Isn’t Such A Bad Thing
Depending on who you ask…
Cancel culture was a beast before the world turned upside down, but as Covid-19 ravages an destabilized nation, with casualties of a war, that’s raging with physical and mental ailments to the point of death, the stakes have gotten higher, and intolerability for bullshit is the solid word on the street.
As someone who experienced the harrowing episode of regretfully tweeting out a link to my personal essay that received the wrong attention for good reason, I have a firsthand account of how scary it is to feel the wrath of mob mentality.
Thankfully the brief encounter in 2012, with livid strangers on a platform that I was still learning to navigate, spared me the weeks-long agony that has become the typical sentence of banishment for those who loudly hit the wrong notes.
Social engagement in 2020 has evolved into the competitive sport that requires an uncanny level of alertness, to keep up with the ever-changing list of worthy contenders for the crown of perfection, that’s constantly undergoing revisions to scrub away the damning evidence of infallibility.
There are times when least faves are thrown under the bus with viral venom, and the instinct to rejoice gives way to stunned fascination at the shredding that callously leaves unrecognizable carcasses, and the reminder of why the prized blue check can evoke extra potency.
The art of cancellations was conceived as the instant gratification that supposedly threatens the once untouchable statuses of the very rich and famous, who never professed perfection, but the mere fact that they’ve scored the lottery of effortlessly inhabiting their #bestlives, automatically qualifies them for extinction when the need arises.
Having the tools of engagement that empowers the best and worst of humanity has inevitably leveled a fundamentally chaotic playing field, to the relentless discontent of notable targets who absolutely signed up for this shit.
It’s a disconcerting realization for pampered A-listers and worshipped influencers to fully embrace the high-cost of privileges, that can run out in an instant when a blast from the past rears its ugly head, or thoughtless tweets that were deleted seconds after, resurface with the betrayal of screengrabs.
Technology is a mutha!
Be careful what you ask for because when it arrives, the shiny package will seduce away our best attributes and replace them with the behavioral patterns that we swore wouldn’t see the light of day if we can help it.
Imagine the accessibility to time machines that were built to equip stalking detractors with the ability to magically retrieve disabled blogs, that contain the decade-old proof of why a certain media personality deserves to be dethroned — effective immediately.
Some miraculously survive, due to short attentive spans and how quickly new shit becomes old shit when threads run dry. Others never quite recover from the arduous task of emerging victorious from the wreckage of hate and then some.
But let’s not downplay the relevance of being armed and dangerous when taking down problematic establishments and devious individuals, who stupidly set themselves up for the thunderous downfall that was a long time coming.
And for some of us, it’s the annoying celeb with the witty comebacks and close proximity to unattainable excellence, who rarely skips a beat, except for those moments when she’s called out for the shit that doesn’t make it under the radar.
When it gets messy with prayers answered, days after yet another post about boob surgeries, and clips of fresh tittles hanging over a mixing bowl, you can’t help but examine the adaptability to normalized friction.
It often crosses the line, but when it’s the insufferable candidate in the gauntlet, you manage to indulge in the guilty pleasure that won’t last long enough for rehabbing.
Haters will hate, and the older you get, the more it’s clear that you can’t control what direction the wave will hit. Dependable allies can strike where it hurts, without warning or reason, and invalidate accumulated years of friendship that swiftly evaporate.
So, what makes us believe that strangers with silent agendas, that awaken when hidden treasures are found and prepared for the dreaded viral treatment, won’t jump into action for their trolling pleasure, at the expense of designated fuck ups?
That being said, we can’t be dismissive of the instituted cancel culture, and the condemnation by judge and jury, comprising of clever engagers, who’ve mastered the tricks of the trade, and gained an impressive following due to the performative gestures that reduce A-listers to dust.
Maybe it’s not such a bad thing for regular folks who would be ordinarily powerless when it comes to effectively holding influential citizens and institutions, wholly accountable for crimes against humanity — to take centerstage with megaphones that are included with login credentials.
Unfortunately, it’s been working wonders for the most dangerous man on planet earth, who is allowed the freedom to praise worship murderous dictators while threatening the status of a Black Congresswoman without issue, based on his residency in The White House.
And yes, according to the rule of law, the rich and famous get no chill from the sudden chilliness of relations that don’t necessarily halt production, but the ramifications can be earth-shattering enough to warrant damage control, and receptiveness to how armor of reverence is no match for the maddened crowd.
I mean, who would’ve ever thought that Oprah of all people would succumb to blasphemous memes and celebrated rebuke?
From Lea Michele, who just months ago was ordained as the indicted “mean girl” of Glee, based on verified bad behavior towards former cast mates, to embattled Daytime TV royalty, Ellen DeGeneres, who is currently pondering the next steps amidst blinding controversy — this unprecedented season of heightened hysteria is sparing no one.
Cancel culture doesn’t discriminate, which means nobody is too big or too small to face the firing squad of inquiries as it pertains to behind-the-scenes mayhem that demolishes the “too good to be true” image that never holds up in the court of harsh reality.
Seasoned celebs, who are more than familiar with the habitual roasting that temporarily knocks off that sturdy pedestal, are rather aggressive with the support for their fallen comrades, with heartfelt testimonies that are cluelessly meant to reverse bad fortune.
And incidentally, those well-intentioned compliments only exacerbate tensions between the haves and have nots, by demonstrating the legendary pompousness that dictates how the wealthy defending wealthy friends is ironically amusing.
In real life, nothing of value is ever cancelled until death do you part because of the inconsistencies of relations that can’t be controlled, based on how there’s always a shittier option that overrides the fate of the newly cancelled.
It’s honestly not as complicated as it sounds, but all this to say that despite no condition being permanent, assigned cancellations won’t ever go out of style, and that’s really not such a bad thing, depending on you ask.