is cancel culture just good old-fashioned mob mentality?

I found “cancel culture” defined as follows:

Cancel culture or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. … The expression “cancel culture” has mostly negative connotations and is used in debates on free speech and censorship.

~definition of cancel culture

As a blogger, I suppose you can say cancel culture is nothing new. After all isn’t cancel culture good old-fashioned mob mentality? Sheesh, I have been experiencing that for daring to have an opinion since early 2000s when blogging was in it’s infancy. I was originally part of something called PhillyFuture.org which no longer exists. It was this amazing group blog/blogging community that gave people a voice from neighborhoods all over Philadelphia and elsewhere. Some of us joined it to fight eminent domain…in Ardmore, parts of Philadelphia, Camden, NJ.

Blogging = bad mostly because people didn’t understand it. And it was giving issues local governments and others wanted to sweep under the carpet air-time. It was like what broadsides were to the American Revolution.

“Well-behaved women seldom make history” ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

For my opinions on Lower Merion Township and eminent domain for private gain especially, people were constantly on the attack. Especially because I thought eminent domain sucked as a concept. You don’t know from ad hominem attacks until you disagree with cheerleaders for Lower Merion Township. One of the early attempts on cancelling me came from two then Ardmore business owners who thought they would benefit from eminent domain. They actually wrote a nasty editorial about me that Main Line Times published. Sometimes it was attempted at public meetings during public privilege to the floor (public comment out here.) That was always amusing, because I wasn’t an elected or appointed official. They just didn’t like my opinion.

It didn’t cancel me.

Obviously I still blog, and this blog is now 10 years old. Periodically someone wants to cancel me. Sometimes several times a week. If I was a mommy blogger talking about Disney trips, diapers scented like Febreeze, which mani-pedi was the best, or various pyramid schemes it would be o.k. But if they can’t put you in a convenient box from Crate & Barrell, they short circuit.

The past few days it has been insane, and it is everything swirling around the Benjamin Pennypacker House in Exton, West Whiteland. (see THIS post and this OTHER post.) I have decided that a bunch of rabid realtors sent by the realtor I criticized are even more ridiculous that the anti-maskers/anti vaxxers or the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism who periodically put out a jihad on me. (You know they do and there was the one who posted photos of me in a hospital gown from some where in between surgery and treatment during Breast Cancer Awareness month and wondered why people found them tone deaf?)

Pro Tip: Don’t say the word HOOEY. It really unhinges them.

The past few days have even surpassed the hubub when I made fun of Ladies Hat Day at Nouveau Devon quite a few years back and commented on the coup at Devon also a few years back which speaking of is it just me or are those people just driving Devon straight into the ground? Who will be making book on when someone down the road will say Devon is archaic let’s build apartments or something?

The Nouveau at Devon didn’t cancel me either….

Now today and yesterday some have given it their best shot. One girl (says she is a college student) was so gleeful that I had forgotten the hyphen in low-class attack rat. She needs to get out more. And there have been two today people calling my writing drivel!! Usually it’s just this one woman who needs to lay off the teeth whitening or whatever because after a while it gives that Mr. Ed appearance, but she was joined by a self-described “Renaissance Man.” Also funny because true renaissance men don’t have to self-describe as such because everyone knows they are.

These people love to leave comments. Then they get outraged if I delete their comments but preserve screen shots. They don’t get that everywhere they post on social media they are guests until they wear out their welcome. They get all up in arms about people removing their comments. And blocking them. What is it they don’t get? No one is holding a gun to their heads they can choose not to read what I right? But hey don’t forget those “ladies” who talk about “packing heat” and then me. So are we supposed to conclude they are threatening to shoot me? Then they call me “ugly”, a “progressive liberal” or a “communist” or “vile” and then they want to pray for those THEY deem to be lacking in judgement and character.

Bless their hearts . They fear for my immortal soul too because of my writing. Then of course there is the back and forth from people who speak emojis about whether I can write or not. Lucky for them, I can or what would they have to talk about?

And all of these people “don’t get hate” as they tear people down whom they don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand? Then it’s I have a skewed perception of freedom and I must be crazy? Yay!!! Pretzel logic, and don’t let the acrylic nails get in the way as you type furiously.

Truly, I find these people fascinating. You see all these slogans out there like “Dare to be Different” but if you are, you must be bad.

One of my readers said today:

Isn’t it weird how the people that scream and cry about cancel culture are exactly the same people that want to take away your opinion? 

Exactly. And it is weird.

Vox said in 2021:

“Cancel culture,” as a concept, feels inescapable. The phrase is all over the news, tossed around in casual social media conversation; it’s been linked to everything from free speech debates to Mr. Potato Head….As the logic behind wanting to “cancel” specific messages and behaviors caught on, many members of the public, as well as the media, conflated it with adjacent trends involving public shaming, callouts, and other forms of public backlash. (The media sometimes refers to all of these ideas collectively as “outrage culture.”)

There was a great op-ed in the Courier Journal a year ago:

Political correctness on steroids: What cancel culture is and why it matters
D. Eric Schansberg Opinion contributo
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I wonder if I’ll get “canceled” someday. I could trip up and say something awkward or inappropriate — and get crushed for it. It could be a phrase in a Facebook post or a newspaper article like this. It could be a slip in the classroom that gets reported by a student. It doesn’t bother me a lot. I know I’m not perfect in word, deed, motive or thought. And I don’t worry much about what others think about me. But it’d be painful and would hurt those around me.

Today’s “cancel culture” is not entirely new. “Political correctness” (PC) started in the 1980s and prompted people to speak more carefully about certain topics. If you crossed the line, some people would call you out and make life difficult for you. But there was a relatively healthy balance between valid concerns and silliness. Some people took it too seriously, while others would respond with eyerolls.

Cancel culture is PC on steroids. The approach is similar — increased sensitivities for better and for worse — with a heavy dose of fascism…You might also think of cancel culture as similar to the recent emergence of #Karen — a light social-media poke at aspects of middle-aged, middle-class, social conservatism. Cancel culture is a type of #Karen on the left. But while there’s a tongue-in-cheek humor to #Karen, cancel culture is deadly serious with much more at stake.

Cancel culture starts with principles that range from legitimate to debatable and incoherent. Its practitioners can quickly get insistent and dogmatic. It’s a religion that lacks mercy and grace, forgiveness and redemption. As any other religion, it’s never any fun arguing with its fundamentalists. It wars against civil liberties, free speech and free thought.

Who died and made them boss?

Seriously, it’s kind of an interesting topic. I guess we could all be canceled? But what does it really mean if the people doing the canceling don’t matter in the first place? Then is it just acidic pabulum being regurgitated to make them feel better? Would they like a binkie too?

To me it boils down to if you put them out of their comfort level, you are bad, so you should be canceled. You don’t write about or speak about or converse about what they are comfortable with, so you should be canceled. They said the moon is made of green cheese and you asked as of when, so you should be canceled. If you are the least bit different from them, you should be canceled.

How about all of you do you, and the rest of us will do us? Oh no wait…we might get canceled?

Thanks for stopping by.

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