A couple writers over at The Post Millennial chimed in over the recent JK Rowling kerfuffle (for those unaware, JK caught the wild eye of the woke horde by tweeting support for a (female) researcher who got fired for stating that biological sex is real. Comparing the backlash Rowling was enduring to Ricky Gervais’s similar enduring of slings and arrows over a tweet, they offered the title of this essay “Too Big To Be Cancelled.”

“Cancelling” is the shorthand term for the woke-gressive Left’s tactic of seeking to destroy the careers and reputations of famous (or not-so-famous) people who say the wrong things. It’s not enough for them, apparently, to voice disagreement with someone’s statement, assertion, or quip. Financial and personal punishment must be inflicted, because different opinions must not be abided. Nor must they be permitted to exist in the public sphere.

Rowling, to her credit, hasn’t engaged in the standard grovel-apologia that so many who’ve incurred such wrath feel they need to offer. That Rowling’s net worth is estimated at a billion dollars is certainly at the core of this resistance. In times past, this would be expressed as having “fuck-you” money, but today’s phrase is less crass and more targeted.

That you need to have a bulletproof life if you’re a public figure that wishes to speak a nonconforming opinion is a sad indictment of the state of free expression in today’s supposedly enlightened Western society.

On the other hand, perhaps this is how the cancel-mob’s collective rage gets broken, or at least challenged. Consider that it took a band like Metallica, with very deep pockets and a bulletproof fan base, to challenge the intellectual property violations of Napster and other file sharing services. I don’t know that I’d quite call Metallica’s efforts “successful,” because the music industry has gone through a paradigm shift as a result of technological advancements, but countless smaller musicians and bands benefited from Metallica’s unpopular challenge to music sharing, and the challenge to the collective movement toward music piracy may have influenced the evolution of the medium.

Maybe a few JK Rowlings telling the cancel mob to bugger off might provide fortitude to others who would dare speak thoughts that don’t fit the woke-narrative. Maybe it’ll change the now-standard response of apology, faux-humility, and pretend-penance that we witness every time some public figure runs afoul of the social justice hall monitors.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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