Dave Chapelle has been “cancelled.” I know this because it’s all over the news.
I guess “cancelled” is kind of a misnomer. Even with only a passing interest in pop culture, I can name several people who have been “cancelled.” I know what they were cancelled for, and what their reaction to it is. Ironically, being “cancelled” seems like a wonderful thing for a cheap publicity boost.
We went through the same thing in the 80s with “political correctness.” Comedians and right-wing pundits would say purposely offensive things, then punctuate it with “I guess I’m not politically correct.” This never failed to elicit cheers and applause from their audience, who were eager to see their baser values validated.
They desperately wanted to believe that expressing homophobic, racist, or misogynistic thoughts made them Fearless Defenders of Free Speech, when all it really did was expose them as bullies and jerks.
Then, like now, they tried to hide the truth under a layer of righteous indignation.
Now, like then, it doesn’t work.
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