When I first heard about the Cut story I thought it had to be satire. Sadly, it wasn’t. I’m fact you had to wade thousands of words without a single laugh. Worse you’re expected to take it seriously. And that it’s a egregious example of cancel culture.

I do hope someday New York Magazine or some other great news organization, will find an actual example of cancel culture. And give it the In-depth coverage given to “Diego.” I’m not holding my breath.

Expand full comment

Thank you! I appreciated the comparison with folks who speak up against their own oppression and are fired.

At the same time, I also wonder about the dimension of this culture that is infiltrating the left from within? Meaning not just woke Twitter mobs but also the culture of leftist purity, of movements being challenged from within because this or that person wasn’t socialist enough, or considerate enough to xyz minority. To me that seems different still from your examples here AND perhaps gives the word “culture” another meaning in the sense that it is a diffuse set of values and behaviours that can sometimes be contagious. I’m not sure it’s this... well, it seems in this piece you imply by proxy that because cancel culture is deeply uninteresting to you, it’s also maybe not even real in the sense that it may be historically precedented and also overblown by cultural writers. But cancel culture sure does feel real to me in the sense that I worry I don’t come off as leftist enough, despite my commitments, and I was once called by a stranger a closeted fascist (or somesuch) for having a day job. Now, people invalidating each other’s politics isn’t new, but the kind of paranoid mood brought about by what I’d call cancel culture DOES feel new — as, too, the kind of way this stranger had to examine my life when meeting me to produce this assessment within five minutes.

Curious your thoughts on that dimension, and whether you’ve experienced it at all! But, also, totally get it, maybe other things are more interesting for you to write about :)

Expand full comment