CANNONFIRE





Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Intolerance

The fucking progs are expanding upon this "Karen" shit. This new term of opprobrium is now used to insult any white female who has ever annoyed anyone in any way. This, in a year when the Dems really need to recapture the votes of white women.

If I worked for the bad guys, I'd tell the Trumpists to launch an ad featuring an average-looking middle-class mom and this motto: "No Republican ever called me Karen." If the Lincoln Project were toiling for the GOP this year, that's the kind of commercial they'd run.

Don't liberals understand that the best way to lose an election is to insult large swaths of the electorate? The left has been so spectacularly self-destructive, I'm amazed that Donald Trump is still losing. Granted, he is the most emetic human being since Hitler. But if any other Republican were the 2020 GOP candidate, he or she would win in a 50-state blow-out. Hell, I might even cast a protest vote for such a candidate, and I've never voted Republican in my life.

On a related note, 153 artists and intellectuals have signed an open letter asking for an end to cancel culture. They've mounted an eloquent, nuanced plea for tolerance -- an imploration directed at all of the impenetrably arrogant and self-satisfied "progressives" who operate under the delusion that they run our civilization. The signatories include many people usually associated with the forces of decency: Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Wynton Marsalis, John McWhorter, J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie and many more.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter declared, citing “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”
From the letter:
"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes."
Naturally, members of the anti-Enlightenment Left -- smugly uncaring about the irony of their position -- are now calling for the cancellation of everyone who signed this letter. Off with their heads!

'Salman Rushdie? Don't know much about him, but I'm sure he has no idea what real oppression is like. And that Chomsky guy! Betcha he's got a Klan hood in his closet...'

The progressive movement -- a place I once called home -- has been overtaken by the same sort of fanaticism that led to the assaults on the monasteries under Henry VIII and the destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.

We need to cancel the leaders and enablers of cancel culture. May I suggest a pressure campaign on Slate to get rid of the odious Virginia Heffernan, who clearly aspires to the title of "Reichs-canceller"? Make it impossible for her to keep a job. See how she likes it.

I've not read The Handmaid's Tale, but I've seen the TV series. (In our household, we call it The Let's-Torture-June Show.) I beseech Atwood to write a companion piece -- a postmodern dystopia in which the Intersectionalists and the Identity obsessives end American democracy and "cancel" all opponents. The "Robespierre" running this new Terror could be named Virginia. Just a suggestion.
Comments:
Reconsider, Joseph. "The letter" (as it's now familiarly known) is not about what you call "cancellation." It's about both-sides-ism that we must accept there is an alternative view to everything. From the concluding point: "We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences." Should we engage in debate anti-vaxxers since they are believe they are acting in "good faith"? Do we need to really debate whether 5G antennas cause COVID-19 because ignorant people are sincere? Should we consider viewing peaceful protesters as terrorists because of Trump's claims? This must be called out as bullshit. Let me cite your previous post: "If you are emotionally wedded to the belief that the Earth is flat, no words of mine can change your mind." That will be heresy if you don't defend your position!
 
I agree with Joseph and the letter writers. The comment of anon at 2:11 AM, seems to miss the point entirely. No one is suggesting that all ideas are equal and all ideas should be debated equally. No one is saying you should be able to yell fire in a crowded theater. Or that you should be able to incite violence, or use speech to single out minorities or controversial groups for punishment (though anon seems to be). Vaccines should damn well be open to debate, as to efficacy and potentially devastating side effects (no matter how small a number of people may be affected by them). How many other medical procedures are required for a child to go to school, or for a person to have job? What about informed consent? The problem with terms like "anti-vaxxer" is that it's used to smear people who question the science of vaccines. Science should not be political. There are studies demonstrating that for some people (not just immune-compromised people) vaccines do cause provable harm. Now, having said that, I will surely be labeled an "anti-vaxxer" when that is not at all the case. My own son is fully vaccinated and I see much benefit to vaccines. I also see potential problems with them. Should I lose my job because of that? Should I be run out of town, so to speak? When cancel culture comes for you, maybe you will have a different view. I may have a broader view of free speech than most, but I would say that yes, terrible ideas should be countered with evidence and facts, not with getting someone fired or hounded by messages of hate and on line threats. But that's just me.
 
The flaw in your argument is the assumption that women are offended by "Karen". I'm not and I haven't seen much evidence that liberal women are.
 
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