One of the more disheartening aspects of cancel culture is it is my generation that is doing it. We, the vanguards of internet connections, the children of the 80s, who grew up with Commodores and Apple II’s, decided we should police speech. We agreed when twitter delisted. We shaked our fists to #metoo. We said black life’s matter, and they do. We said transrights are important, and they are. And then we made sure to block any opinion that didn’t match are own.
We stopped the conversation before it could happen. We spoke the words that were written for us.
Why is Don Cherry fired? Why is Woody Allen being forgotten? Why are we so sure what is right and therefore wrong. Why are we so sensitive?
We live. On this earth. This ball, this planetary spacecraft. Miraculously we have developed thought, a being, us, capable of extrapolating theories, beliefs, scientific knowledge, communication. We can and do connect across oceans and continents. We make this world smaller. And so we do, with our thinking.
It is not wrong to be right. It is not wrong to be wrong. It is ok to have a fight. Work it out. Figure what actually helps us. Move forward, find a path, get an opinion: it comes through contrast.
There is no easy path. We have to, we must, find an opposition, something to push against to make our beliefs stronger. When we silence the words we don’t agree with we silence our thoughts. We don’t strive to build the stronger bridge. We don’t lay a stronger foundation. We just whittle and consume what they say is right.
There are no easy answers. Not to life, not to reason, not to thought. It is an ugly mess. Words and reason rarely find themselves. And that’s ok. That’s how it’s supposed to be. If we can’t fight against something, what are we fighting for. If there is no conflict, what is the point of living.
We push. We push for a better status. A better being. The better house, the better garden, the greener grass. We want to succeed. But against what? When we cut away every thought that might be in contrast with ourselves we cut away our opportunity. What are we rallying against if everything is ok, and accepted. Why live if there is no struggle. What grass is greener if we can’t even see it.
We must be careful when we declare a thought wrong and unacceptable. Every time we do it we take something from ourselves. We deny our chance to form an opinion. We say it’s ok to not hear a word. From the outside, from the unexpected, from the actions we deem unacceptable, we silence every foe. Every chance to examine, to compare, to solidify a thought, we wipe away and prescribe the doctrine.
If we remove the unpleasant thoughts. If we remove the rapist, if we remove the racists, if we remove what we find objectionable, we remove the chance to solidify a reason. We deny ourselves the chance to think upon the contrast and form our own opinion. When we cut away the trash we can’t find what is worth keeping. We let the others decide for us.
I am empty. In my pure thoughts of rightful reasoning, enforced by the deciders of social media and political leanings, I am the puppet, ready to speak the words they gave me. I like. I decide through simple action, what is ok and not ok to consume. I, through my interactions, decide what will be seen and what will be forgotten. I click a button, a like, a heart, a choice to be removed from the discourse. I vote, quickly and without thinking, to never rock the boat.
They said it was wrong, therefore it is. Did I examine that point? No. I clicked a button and moved on.
We burn everything, and the fire grows larger. We focus on the finger, not where it is pointing. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s not ok to take away that option.
I think, therefore I am.