Author Topic: Cancel Culture  (Read 19319 times)

Faust

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #120 on: July 09, 2020, 03:51:56 pm »
For me, what proves "cancel culture" isn't a thing is the fact that so many progressives still count Harry Potter and Father Ted among their favourite things (rightly or wrongly).

Cancel culture implies de-platforming someone based on unverifiable claims. In both those examples those people are out and out unabashed Transphobes, they both own and accept their views, they were given the opportunity to clarify if there was a miscommunication and they did so, the verified they are garbage people. It's not cancel culture to ignore or deride someone with irrefutable shitty opinions. There's nothing unverifiable, its right there. I bet if I go onto either of their twitter accounts for the last couple of days they are still going with that shit.

Deplatforming those examples are not cancel culture, they are just the squeaky wheel getting the grease.
 
To me cancel culture is more Like contrapoints being called a truescum or for using a controversial transgender person in her video for a soundbyte. Or Pewdiepie being deplatformed for "Being a Nazi", instead of what he should be deplatformed for "Being a moron" or  "living up to the worst stereotypes of being an edgy game gamer"

I have discussed Father Ted with two groups of people, those who said I shouldn't watch it because it is financially supporting Graham Linehan (Cancel culture? I don't think so) and those that dont but still recognise he is a dirt bag.

This is an unfair argument for the people who morally believe it is wrong for me to continue to watch father ted. Regardless of the points they make, no matter how justifiable morally they will not beat:
I like thing, I am going to continue watching thing. Besides a TV show takes a village, not a person, it would be disrespectful to the memory of Dermot Morgans finest accomplishment.

The new and even more infantalised and feeble reaction I am seeing is the current removal of TV show episodes regardless of their context and purpose:

The blackface lethal weapon episode - Its always sunny in Philadelphia - A show in which a group of awful people do awful things for 12 seasons, but we cant show the blackface episode any more because that might be obscene

The Germans - Faulty Towers - The Major's racist tirade, which was supposed to be uncomfortable and terrible, the joke was the racist old fart that everyone is embarrassed over, not what he was saying.

Are You Right There Father? (The Chinese people move to craggy Island) - Father Ted - Ted Makes a genuinely racist Chinese caricature, and gets caught over it and spends the rest of the episode trying to undo it, the episode is genius and results in ted being latched onto by actual Nazi's

In each case the removal is lazy corporate "Passive Progressive" behavior where companies want to appear in tune, but instead take an action that is devoid of merit for face value. We will remove something that makes us uncomfortable, despite the fact that the purpose behind that art was to make you uncomfortable
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 03:54:02 pm by Faust »
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Cramulus

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #121 on: July 09, 2020, 03:58:02 pm »
my feelings are complicated, I think this is one of those essays that makes points and also makes bad points.

The fack that JK Fucking Rowling signed it sets off a lot of alarm bells, like, ohhhhh she's sick of being called a TERF and now she's calling for "civility" or some shit

but I also don't want to kneejerk at that -- the essay can live or die on its own merits


I understand the objections and think they have merit too - the signers of the Open Letter are basically all liberal writers, or people with some kind of platform. They're not "silenced". Often, the criticism these people receive is well-earned. And glancing at those two essays Cain just posted I am basically in agreement, with some caveats.

I don't think this is really a "free speech" issue (as the Guardian article frames it), because what we're talking about isn't government censorship, and it's not JUST about the long-tail consequences of deplatforming the alt-right.. and the Open Letter isn't claiming that people should just get to say stupid shit and not face backlash.

The guts is - to what degree do we tolerate differences of opinion in this charged and polarized political world?

the signers are saying "maybe we should be a bit more tolerant"

cause part of why we have an alt-right right now, IMHO, is because many left wing social circles have a "You're either 100% with us or 100% against us" mentality. So you fall out of step in one place, suddenly you're cancelled, you might as well go hang out with the other cancelled people.

A liberal writer friend of mine (who bemoans Rowling's participation in this, says it makes it really hard to discuss his opinion without being called a TERF apologist) shared some thoughts about the history of censorship in the arts. He urges us to think of cancel culture in the broader context of industry-mandated-self-censorship in media, which is, historically, a blunt weapon that is used to defend norms and the status quo. I won't copy and paste his big essay, but he lists a few places where media industries have formalized a moral code for the arts, and how that's gone wrong:

Quote
The Hays Code of 1934 to 1968 prohibited a vast number of things from being shown in Hollywood film: among it’s chief rules were that the bad guys always lost, drugs would not be trafficked, no profanity, … look, it was bad. I’m going to let NPR do the heavy lifting for me on this one: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93301189 ((Note: The Nature of the Hays Code also made it so that LGBTQ+ characters were usually portrayed as villains or deeply questionable people who were to die, or coded very secretly.))

How about the Comics Code Authority? https://www.cbr.com/comics-code-authority-crazy-rules-comic-book-superheroes/

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was actually the Video Game Industry trying to get ahead of the game, and they did a pretty good job of creating permissive rules for themselves, but stores will still never stock an Adults Only game. It and the Motion Picture Association of America both exist with rating systems designed to allow them to operate in a world with powerful Moral Guardians™. https://www.polygon.com/2018/3/3/17068788/esrb-ratings-changes-history-loot-boxes

Now, the one thing that each of these things has in common, is that they all began after each of these mediums became popular, and someone considered a Moral Guardian declared “this popular thing is dangerous to children!” What followed were entire art forms being stifled or locked down for years at a time by strange, restrictive, or just plain badly thought out codes. Always their industries self-regulating. And always incredibly arbitrary in nature....

Regardless of J. K. Rowling’s inclusion on the open letter, the writers, authors, agents, and producers writing to Harper’s have a point: there is a history of dangerous self-censorship that we’re in for another round of. In the effort to remove some utter bastards from society’s upper crust of entertainment, art, and academia, we can’t forget: there’s a real danger when you employ censorship to art. Take out the bastards, yes, but be mindful of the dangers to your art. The artists here are concerned about being silenced or otherwise being removed from society for making art and asking questions. And if there’s one thing I can say for certain it’s this: an artist that cannot push the boundaries of their art and ask hard questions, is an artist that is not being allowed to exist.

So, they used the internet, wrote the Harper’s Letter, and gave the world a warning. Usually we don’t GET a warning. Usually we just get a Hays code. That’s something to keep in mind. The Moral Guardians™ are always watching. They are ALWAYS afraid for the Children. They will find the gap in this crisis, and they will jam their fingers in it wherever they can. Because the key thing you need to remember: the Moral Guardians™ sometimes exist to keep people safe, and have occasionally done this. But mostly, they exist to protect the world from any idea they deem dangerous.

Always, always, always view a Moral Guardian™ in the art world with suspicion. Because usually, they want to tell you what to think, not how to protect anyone at all.

now -- is cancel culture the same thing as censorship? does us cancelling JK rowling mean that we are building the new Hays code? ehhh probably not, but

that last line is not a myth

I think we all know a few people who get off on the act of cancellation. They use the rhetoric of tolerance and inclusion to fight their personal battles.


 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 04:13:57 pm by Cramulus »

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #122 on: July 09, 2020, 04:00:31 pm »
On a personal note - as someone who plans larp events - sometimes navigating these complex social issues is a minefield. For example, I'm running these 1-shot larp events, and it's SUPER EASY to cancel me. With 1-shots, you don't build up an audience over time; most of my ticket sales come from word of mouth, my games live or die by reputation. And objections against me don't necessarily have to be valid, and I might not get any opportunity to respond.

Last fall, two groups of people had a little territorial battle over which one of them gets to play my game. One group put up a bunch of posts trash talking my game and calling me out because I had not posted a notice that a certain player was banned. (note that I hadn't even started selling tickets yet and the game was still 14 months away, so deciding on a ban list, much less publishing one, was pretty low on my list...) (also, ban lists aren't generally public, so insisting that I publish one is weird)

They demanded that this player be banned because they had conflicts with them at previous larps and decided this person was 'toxic'. (and that may have merit, but I was basically coerced into agreeing by making shitposts about my game)

Years have passed since the conflict, and that player (who is, incidentally, PoC) had made a serious personal effort to learn from her past behavior and grow. But if she registers for a larp event where these other people play, they will use every weapon available to either get her banned or tank the game. She has no theater to demonstrate her growth. She can't get herself uncancelled.

They're not saying "if she comes, we're not coming". They're saying "if you let her attend, we will tell EVERYBODY that your game is a missing-stair hideout and that you take no action to remove abusers and bullies from your game". Meanwhile, if I DO ban her, then my entire ban list consists of one PoC, during a time when we larp runners are doing our damndest to make larps more friendly for PoC. Scylla and Charibdys.

These arguments, which are sometimes little more than petty territorial clique-battles, always use the language of sensitivity and inclusion, protecting the marginalized. Cause not everybody who gets "cancelled" is a TERF. Sometimes they're just artists who asked a tough question. Or didn't allow themselves to be pressured by social norms.


Doktor Howl

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #123 on: July 09, 2020, 04:26:18 pm »
I am in agreement with everything posted above, except for the PewDePie thing.  When you publicly Nazi, that in fact makes you a Nazi.

The most fucked up part about this whole subject is that yeah, it not only can become a witch hunt, but the entire thing took about 10 minutes for the alt-right to weaponize.  I think most people even know this has happened, but they can't DO anything about it, because to NOT react to a cancellation order is to yourself be cancelled.

It's fucking idiocy of the first order, and people should be ashamed of themselves.
Molon Lube

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #124 on: July 09, 2020, 04:29:17 pm »

I think we all know a few people who get off on the act of cancellation. They use the rhetoric of tolerance and inclusion to fight their personal battles.

Oh, my, yes.   :lulz:

Molon Lube

Faust

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #125 on: July 09, 2020, 04:46:36 pm »
I am in agreement with everything posted above, except for the PewDePie thing.  When you publicly Nazi, that in fact makes you a Nazi.

Without going down that rabbit hole again, for me that keeps coming back to the context: having a pair of Indian people holding up a sign saying "Death to Jews" for five dollars, isn't very different than the guy who uses screen cast in time square to put up scat porn on the big screens.
He was using something horribly offensive to demonstrate the exploitation or loophole of a system.
Its exploitative. It's gross, its something a 12 year old would think to themselves they are being very clever and funny with, not something a twenty year old with 50 million + followers at the time should think is funny.
I think calling him a Nazi is the leaner punishment on him as it allows him to abdicate the responsibility he has to his audience who are mainly children. This person is literally a moron and not good for your children's consumption
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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #126 on: July 09, 2020, 04:47:01 pm »
That being said, when I personally cancel people, it is typically after a great deal of thought.

But I don't expect anyone ELSE to cancel someone simply because I have.  I'm not sure if this qualifies as "canceling", though.
Molon Lube

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #127 on: July 09, 2020, 04:47:58 pm »
I am in agreement with everything posted above, except for the PewDePie thing.  When you publicly Nazi, that in fact makes you a Nazi.

Without going down that rabbit hole again, for me that keeps coming back to the context: having a pair of Indian people holding up a sign saying "Death to Jews" for five dollars, isn't very different than the guy who uses screen cast in time square to put up scat porn on the big screens.
He was using something horribly offensive to demonstrate the exploitation or loophole of a system.
Its exploitative. It's gross, its something a 12 year old would think to themselves they are being very clever and funny with, not something a twenty year old with 50 million + followers at the time should think is funny.
I think calling him a Nazi is the leaner punishment on him as it allows him to abdicate the responsibility he has to his audience who are mainly children. This person is literally a moron and not good for your children's consumption

Depends.  Didn't he later circle right back around to that shit?
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Cramulus

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #128 on: July 09, 2020, 04:57:29 pm »
That being said, when I personally cancel people, it is typically after a great deal of thought.

But I don't expect anyone ELSE to cancel someone simply because I have.  I'm not sure if this qualifies as "canceling", though.

nah, I think that's just personal preference


canceling is a public behavior - it involves one group saying "don't support this <thing / person> in any way" and everyone else going "yes, okay"


Doktor Howl

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #129 on: July 09, 2020, 05:00:09 pm »
That being said, when I personally cancel people, it is typically after a great deal of thought.

But I don't expect anyone ELSE to cancel someone simply because I have.  I'm not sure if this qualifies as "canceling", though.

nah, I think that's just personal preference


canceling is a public behavior - it involves one group saying "don't support this <thing / person> in any way" and everyone else going "yes, okay"

I'm comfortable with that definition.

Not quite so comfortable about the results, of course.  It's basically just the appropriation of Amish shunning.  Which in itself is self-referential as hell and just as funny.
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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #130 on: July 09, 2020, 06:10:19 pm »
I think the only problem I have with it is the lack of a "redemption" feature.

I mean, there used to be a "if they apologize sincerely and show and prove they are doing the work to be better" clause.

Recently, that doesn't seem to be the case.

However, when looking back, there are very few people willing or able to do this, so I guess that's been scrapped. 

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #131 on: July 09, 2020, 07:47:18 pm »
I think the only problem I have with it is the lack of a "redemption" feature.

I mean, there used to be a "if they apologize sincerely and show and prove they are doing the work to be better" clause.

Recently, that doesn't seem to be the case.

However, when looking back, there are very few people willing or able to do this, so I guess that's been scrapped.

Well, yeah.  If you forgive that OTHER bastard, then I have to question your suitability.

And there were never people willing to to that.  Because this isn't about actual moral standing.  I mean, I am sure some people have honest to god qualms about really questionable people, but in a large portion of the instances I've seen, it's the same old bullshit as 2013.  If I am the loudest inquisitor and those around me fear me turning on them, then I am the chief swinging dick of this here counterculture bubble.

That's all there is to it, and all there really ever was to it.  Just plain old monkey games.
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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #132 on: July 09, 2020, 07:56:34 pm »
Dan Harmon is the only one that immediately springs to mind, and I think he was able to overcome the stigma.  There was another director who beat the alt-right weaponization of it, when they tried to "get" him by digging up decades-old edgelord troll posts.

But that's about it, I think.

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #133 on: July 09, 2020, 07:58:22 pm »
So, it's just like any other portion of the counterculture:  By the time you've heard of it, it's been shrink-wrapped and bar-coded by somebody.  Maybe for cash, maybe for power, maybe just for validation.  And, LMNO, while I have known you for the better part of 2 decades and believe that you are legitimately concerned, most people I have seen are cynical as all hell about this sort of thing, and use it to prop up their own MysticWicks™ micro-community, complete with insanely hilarious fetishization of PoC, which is probably insulting as hell to anyone not setting themselves up an an internet monarch.

My favorite one is "I know you don't owe me an answer and probably don't have emotional time for this, but <insert question>", right alongside "Don't presume to friend request PoC, just follow them" which just SPANKS of "I want to hear them speak, but I for god's sake don't want to be seen friended to them.

It's cringetastic.  It's embarrassing to look at.  It's also now court ritual, and so every time I look at Facebook, I cringe so hard my colon bruises my sinuses.
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Cramulus

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Re: Cancel Culture
« Reply #134 on: July 09, 2020, 08:09:05 pm »
Dan Harmon is the only one that immediately springs to mind, and I think he was able to overcome the stigma.  There was another director who beat the alt-right weaponization of it, when they tried to "get" him by digging up decades-old edgelord troll posts.

But that's about it, I think.

yeah he really got in front of it voluntarily, owned it

Nobody dragged him to it

I heard about Harmon's misogynistic fuckup from Harmon himself - and you could tell how genuine it was