Cancel culture

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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:25 am

Apropos of very little, this:
lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:09 pm
Bari Weiss, it's alright wrote:What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.
is what we were trying to avoid when everyone a lot of people wanted us to ban sheldrake. I mean, he f.cked off anyway, and I'm certainly not suggesting his style of engagement was great, but nonetheless.
Last edited by El Pollo Diablo on Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bewildered » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:50 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:25 am
Apropos of very little, this:
lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:09 pm
Bari Weiss, it's alright wrote:What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.
is what we were trying to avoid when everyone wanted us to ban sheldrake. I mean, he f.cked off anyway, and I'm certainly not suggesting his style of engagement was great, but nonetheless.
Yes I think you were right over that, thanks. my concern many times is that exactly this happens, though as much from the way people behave with social pressure, bullying, mobbing, etc, as explicit intervention.

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Tessa K
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Tessa K » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:48 am

lpm wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:32 am
Why do you think I want to convince you with examples? This is about ideas. Examples are just illustrations, little anecdotes to bring a bit of colour to the scene, not the scene itself. If you start arguing over the merits of the anecdote, like Secret Squirrel just did, you're doing it wrong. There's no way anyone can take a collection of these anecdotes and turn them into evidence on whether the problem is, say, increasing/decreasing.

Find your own context. Read your own books. Bring something new to the table. Don't demand links just so you can follow my journey through the labyrinth. I'm not claiming certainty or a consistent position or any extra insight to anyone else, and I'm in it to explore the topic rather than convince anyone about anything.
It's not about examples. If you're quoting something as fact then you need to back it up with evidence.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:20 pm

lpm wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:04 am
Why not just tell people there are loads of interesting things in the forest and we should all just wander off on separate paths?
I've written a few articles about "interesting things in the forest", and read a lot more of them. In general, if I were trying to discuss a problem in the forest with others, I'd start by specifying what it is, and provide evidence that it exists.

Otherwise you could be panicking about Yetis, and all the while a brown bear is stealing your picnic.
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Tessa K
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Tessa K » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:23 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:20 pm
lpm wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:04 am
Why not just tell people there are loads of interesting things in the forest and we should all just wander off on separate paths?
I've written a few articles about "interesting things in the forest", and read a lot more of them. In general, if I were trying to discuss a problem in the forest with others, I'd start by specifying what it is, and provide evidence that it exists.

Otherwise you could be panicking about Yetis, and all the while a brown bear is stealing your picnic.
Nice metaphor.

Now I have The Teddy Bear's Picnic in my head.

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lpm
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by lpm » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:55 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:20 pm
lpm wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:04 am
Why not just tell people there are loads of interesting things in the forest and we should all just wander off on separate paths?
I've written a few articles about "interesting things in the forest", and read a lot more of them. In general, if I were trying to discuss a problem in the forest with others, I'd start by specifying what it is, and provide evidence that it exists.

Otherwise you could be panicking about Yetis, and all the while a brown bear is stealing your picnic.
As far as I'm aware, there's no evidence on this problem. No facts to turn to. There's no list of people who've been twitter-fired that we could analyse to see if it's more lefties than righties, more women than men, more up-and-coming strugglers or more established names.

My default position - based on how the world works - is that the weak and powerless suffer more than the rich and established. Now, everybody, run off and disprove that with all your facts and evidence.
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Woodchopper
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:36 am

Back to the OP, this is an interesting article: https://unherd.com/2020/07/the-historic ... -warriors/

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discovolante
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by discovolante » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:56 am

I've got to be honest, I haven't read this thread closely but I listened to this episode of the Ezra Klein show about the Harpers letter and thought it was quite interesting. I mean it covers similar ground to what is discussed elsewhere but, ironically I suppose, it's a respectful discussion between two people who disagree on the issue and gives room for thought and further consideration of both sides: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/f ... 0484550615

IMO by the end I'm not really sure his guest made his case very well but I didn't get there straight away.

It also discusses the role of twitter, speculates on whether people are actually more at risk of getting fired for having an opinion these days, there is an interesting segment on the 'send in the troops' NYT op-ed and also a discussion on the White Fragility book, which (spoiler alert) they both agree is pretty off the mark in a lot of ways but don't oppose it being published.
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nekomatic
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by nekomatic » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:45 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:36 am
Back to the OP, this is an interesting article: https://unherd.com/2020/07/the-historic ... -warriors/
Ooh yes, that’s good thanks.

By which I mean it validates my chronocentric preconceptions, obvs.

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Re: Cancel culture

Post by plodder » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:51 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:25 am
Apropos of very little, this:
lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:09 pm
Bari Weiss, it's alright wrote:What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.
is what we were trying to avoid when everyone a lot of people wanted us to ban sheldrake. I mean, he f.cked off anyway, and I'm certainly not suggesting his style of engagement was great, but nonetheless.
Sheldrake was also deliberately and very skillfully trolling.

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lpm
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by lpm » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:43 pm

Sheldrake was also deliberately and very skillfully challenging.
I'll miss him after he's died in the pandemic

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Re: Cancel culture

Post by plodder » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:11 pm

People were also deliberately and very unskillfully getting very wound up by this unspoken and exhausting departure from the rules, ultimately tying themselves up in hypocritical knots.

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Re: Cancel culture

Post by plodder » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:13 pm

I do wonder if cancel culture (from both sides, including good old fashioned censorship) is basically thick people demanding that clever people slow down a bit, because they felt it was unfair they were being left out.

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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:47 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:13 pm
I do wonder if cancel culture (from both sides, including good old fashioned censorship) is basically thick people demanding that clever people slow down a bit, because they felt it was unfair they were being left out.
I don't think that's a sufficient explanation. For instance, when people say that Roman Polanski shouldn't still be winning awards, it's not because being a pedo is too clever for them.

[/takes bait]
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:47 pm

#cancelplodder
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plodder
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by plodder » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:53 pm

Yes but the ancient Greeks

#cancelplodder

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Re: Cancel culture

Post by jimbob » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:37 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:53 pm
Yes but the ancient Greeks

#cancelplodder
OK, I won't put the Spartans up for any awards then.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Gfamily » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:26 pm

jimbob wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:37 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:53 pm
Yes but the ancient Greeks

#cancelplodder
OK, I won't put the Spartans up for any awards then.
You wouldn't have known who to give it to anyway.
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:42 pm

jimbob wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:37 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:53 pm
Yes but the ancient Greeks

#cancelplodder
OK, I won't put the Spartans up for any awards then.
I don't think The 300 deserved many anyway.
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by plodder » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:47 am

a shadow cabinet person has been cancelled, apparently the right wing media are behind it all. (RAAI in the guardian)

<cough>hewashorribletojkrowlingandhadtoapologise<\cough>


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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:51 pm

Good piece, thanks.

I think this bit hits the nail on the head about trying to define the scope of the conversation:
Twitter is fond of a villain of the day, and is rarely short of one. Several of the notable writers who signed open letters or wrote on this subject made the argument that they were not doing so on their own behalf – the “poor me” of people who don’t need additional protections – but rather trying to flag the effects of this culture on people without their status and incomes.

If sincere, that seems a worthy cause, even if it ties in to people with otherwise controversial views (particularly on trans rights). It is one that can be used as a fig leaf for writers actually trying to avoid flak for their own opinions, but self-service in the media is hardly an original sin.

The result is that we’re having two completely disconnected online arguments about cancel culture with each side furiously pummelling a straw man with almost no connection to what the other is actually talking about.

We need more accountability for the powerful and the high-status, and frankly we need more cancellations of such people.

But we do also need a conversation about the habit for social media to encourage us to hunt in packs and bay for blood.

We need to stop pretending those are the same conversation.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Cancel culture

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:40 pm

Another interesting perspective, from US writer and activist Adrienne Maree Brown: unthinkable thoughts: call out culture in the age of covid-19.

She also speaks to the distinction between the method/tactics 'cancellation' and the culture they create, and what we might think about the nature of the majority of the targets.
we are afraid, and we think it will assuage our fears and make us safer if we can clarify an enemy, a someone outside of ourselves who is to blame, who is guilty, who is the origin of harm. we can get spun into such frenzy in our fear that we don’t even realize we are deploying the master’s tools.

ah, audre, come in.

we’ve always known lynch mobs are a master’s tool. meaning: moving as an angry mob, sparked by fear (often unfounded or misguided) with the power to issue instant judgment and instant punishment. these are master’s tools.

we in movements for justice didn’t create lynch mobs. we didn’t create witch trials. we didn’t create this punitive system of justice. we didn’t create the state, we didn’t choose to be socialized within it. we want to dismantle these systems of mass harm, and i know that most of us have no intention of ever mimicking state processes of navigating justice.

the master’s tools feel good to use, groove in the hand easily from repeated use and training. but they are often blunt and senseless.

unless we have a true analysis of abolition and dismantling systems of oppression, we will not realize what’s in our hands, we will never put the master’s tools down and figure out what our tools are and can be.


oh – but you can’t say it’s a salem witch trial if it’s all Black and Brown and queer and trans people doing it…

oh – you can’t call it a lynching, because of the power dynamics! it’s a move against someone with more power.

but then – my third unthinkable thought – why does it feel like that? why do our movements more and more often feel like angry mobs moving against ourselves? and what is at stake because of it? why does it feel like someone pointing at someone else and saying: that person is harmful! and with no questions or process or time or breath, we are collectively punishing them?

sometimes we even do it with the language of transformative justice: claiming that we are going to give them room to grow. they need to disappear completely to be accountable. we are publicly shaming them so that they will learn to be better.

underneath this logic i hear: we are dunking her in the water to see if she drowns, because if she drowns then we know she wasn’t a witch. we are hanging him from the tree because then we can pretend we have exorcised ‘bad’ from our town. we are lynching to affirm our rightness.

which isn’t to say that some of the accused aren’t raging white supremacists in movement clothing. or abusers who have slipped through the fingers of accountability. or shady in some other way.

which isn’t to say that a public accounting of harm, and consequences, aren’t necessarily the correct move.

which isn’t to say we don’t believe survivors. because we must.

but how do we believe survivors and still be abolitionist? and still practice transformative justice?

to start with, i have been trying to discern when a call out feels powerful, like the necessary move, versus when it feels like the witch trial/lynch mob energy is leading.
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