- Trump breaks the routine tedium of saying and doing stupid things, and selling out American troops and foreign policy, etc., etc., to have an "event."
- Some F-list rando celeb hitches their non-existent wagon to Dear Leader's ill-fitted coattails.
- Twitter gathers up a collective "fuck you" to said celebri-dupe and moves on to the next one.
- "News" and "commentary" sites churn out reliable, predictable content on the "cancel culture" template they all keep handy for such occasions. Like the "obituary roll" corporate news organs keep compiled for quick deployment in the event of the demise of an ancient or volatile famous person, there is now a "cancel culture" roll apparently.
Help, help, I'm being repressed!
I would be interested to know how you would go about "cancelling" someone who doesn't do anything. To take the most recent example, Mary Hart never really did anything anyway. She spent some number of years on a syndicated teevee show, regaling shut-ins and people who couldn't find their remote with the comings and goings of entertainment personalities. She read copy that someone else wrote, and pretended to give a shit. If that's a noteworthy skill then we are all superstars, truly.
More to the point, she retired a long time ago. (I mean, I'm pretty sure she did, right? If someone leaves and you don't notice they're gone, were they really ever there in the first place?) She's married to a game-show producer who hasn't done anything in thirty years. If Mary Hart has an appreciable asset that's even worth the bother of a boycott or whatever, good luck tracking it down.
The weird penumbra of bullshit surrounding the "cancel culture" trope is more interesting in its meta-senses anyway, the poutrage generated by the spectacle of completely powerless, anonymous internet commenters performatively commenting about someone who is being a public asshole precisely to generate that sort of reaction.
There's nothing to "cancel" for Mary Hart. She hasn't even updated her Twitter page in a decade. She's out of the game. She resurfaced for that, which tells you what you need to know about her as a person -- if, in fact, you really "needed" to "know" anything about her at all.
Obviously, that's a huge part of the problem with "celebrity culture," this weird idea that these individuals are at all interesting or noteworthy outside of the creative projects they're involved in. Sometimes they are, but just as often they really are just like you 'n' me -- in other words, nice but otherwise ordinary in most respects.
But there's an industry of reactionary "cancel culture" meta-commentary now, counter-reformationist content curation for the addled masses, who want to distract you from the real bullies and thugs with imagined scenes of a dystopian future where the worst thing that can happen is that some anonymous person calls you an asshole when you act like one.
Snowflakes indeed. I dunno. Some guy had a tee-shirt once telling me to fuck my feelings, so I suppose that's as good a response as any. But what this really is is the creation of a cottage industry. It started with the cosseted, sinecured pimps of the NY Times' sorry excuse for a slop-ed page, as MoDo and Bobo and Bretbug gnashed their teeth and rent their garments over the prospect of nasty comments being the rough equivalent of a guillotine in Times Square.
As my Texan great-grandmother used to say, a hit dog hollers loudest -- meaning that the more a criticism is justified, the more its target will whine about how unfair it all really is.
Which is another huge tell -- the people who are the first to tell you how unfair cancel culture is to its "victims" are usually the first ones to tell you that life isn't fair, so long as it's smacking someone else upside the head, but leaving them to peddle their nonsense.
Funny how that works, isn't it?