Why Cancel Culture Needs to Stay in 2022.
Anyway, after all of that, shall we have Swedish Fika?
I studied the discipline of literature for five years, and what I value the most from my education is the context. Whether art, literature, music, or film - it has to be viewed in the context of its creation. During critical analysis, you must consider 1. the Context of the text; historical, political, and social. 2. the Purpose, what is the intention? Is there a moral to the story? What was the creator's aim? 3. the Receiver, what effect does it have on you the reader in your contemporary perspective, compared to the effect it had on those who first consumed the text? This is referred to as C.P.R.
I believe it is vital that we must view all creations literature or otherwise in their context because this as a society is how we learn from our mistakes. This is progression. Acknowledgement of racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and all toxic forms of discrimination is good, because it means we have changed as a society, and that we have learned that these things are unacceptable, and it must never be allowed to occur again. This is why calls for inclusive and diverse representation are louder than ever, and so they should be.
Understanding art in its context means we can consume it in the eyes of the creator and their receivers. We then begin to understand the purpose of its creation, and why the creator set out in creating. We attempt to understand the creator's intentions and aim to gain a better interpretation of what the creator's message was to their world. This is why themes, motifs, metaphors and all of the above exist. It is all in the detail. The effect on the receiver whether contextual or contemporary reveals our own beliefs, ideals, fears etc. This is why art is subjective, you can't please everyone. When we compare the two effects on the receiver (contextual vs. contemporary), we can see how humanity and society have grown, and how we also haven't changed at all.
Now I'm not saying if someone has a harmful or offensive opinion and thus creates a piece as such, we should just accept it in the name of the subjective. I'm a disabled person, so I've heard my fair share of offensive language and opinions. For example, the recent controversy around ableism in the music industry has shown society's acceptance of this prejudice and how ingrained it is. And honestly, as someone who grew up having this word thrown at me, when it is actually the abbreviated medical term for my disability, I was utterly devasted, angry and disappointed to hear this, and every time I do hear something like this it is always the same feeling. Especially when I have spent a lot of time educating people on my life, and what that word actually means. Only to hear someone I went to school with say 'get a grip it's just a word.' It is not. It carries meaning and it's extremely damaging.
I find cancel culture frightening, extremely volatile and equally harmful. I don't think 'stropping to someone's level' to prove a point that someone has said or done something wrong is the right way to go about it. Human beings are prone to mistakes, it's our nature, and it's what makes us human the important thing is we learn, and learn we must. Yes, we should call people out when they do wrong and hold them responsible for their actions, but we should do so by taking the moral high ground. We want people to be better, and the toxicity that exists within cancel culture shows we are all as bad as each other. It's as if it becomes a witch hunt. We are all saints and sinners. Good people make bad decisions and bad people (sometimes) can do good.
Acknowledging this flaw within ourselves is the first step to recognising what is truly right and wrong and we can achieve an accurate moral compass. Holding people accountable for their actions is essential, this too is how we learn, and this is how we become better versions of ourselves. This is how society changes and progresses for the better. If the same things keep occurring then it is because we haven't learned our lesson and thus 'history will repeat itself.' The only way to do that is by opening up the conversation albeit taboo in nature. Removing or cancelling old shows, or people will allow social amnesia, people forget too quickly, and it might mean an already discussed conversation, will have to be re-addressed because it has been lost to the expelling that is cancel culture.
Cancel culture allows divisions within our society to grow, and drift us all further part when in reality it is now more than ever that we need to harmonise the individual and the collective. When someone says, does or creates something offensive, whether now, or 50 years ago, there are two effects. 1. It teaches others that they too can use, do, or behave in the same manner, making the problem worse, or. 2. We recognise that things have changed and these things are not ok, thus opening up the conversation; an uncomfortable conversation that is needed in order to learn, and progress together as a society.
For the first time in my life, I am seeing the voice of the disabled community beginning to be heard. This is the beginning of change, acknowledgment of their faults (Lizzo) is growth, small but necessary. Although some are adamant they are right that 'it's just a word,' it means they still have things to learn. Patience is a virtue, and now the conversation is on the table, after we spent so long getting onto it, it is good. Every cloud as they say.
People can change, not all, but most. We are all different people throughout life, sometimes our beliefs shift, and our interests change, for better or worse. It is those who fail to change for the better of others, are the ones who will never become the best version of themselves. Stuck in their ways.
I don't think cancel culture is the answer to something intolerant, discriminative or damn right unacceptable. It creates this idea that we can treat people badly, because they are bad, or did something such. (Unless a violent criminal), I don't think a witch hunt mentality is a great response to someone who is spreading offensive beliefs, or posting ignorant comments. It's contradictory and hypocritical. Kill them with kindness. Focus on the fact that you understand what is right and wrong, and that you are (in essence) an ally of change. Don't let the assholes get to you.
We need to be better, so I think when people say or do or create, do not give in to the temptation of the witch hunt. Don't give rise to something damaging, toxic and distasteful. Instead use that energy towards opening up the conversation, educating society, changing attitudes, and breaking stigmas and stereotypes. Unite together in the name of justice and under the banner of morality. Recognise the context, the purpose, and the receiver, acknowledge the change and learn every lesson that is given. and Become the best version you can be, and make sure the conversation never has to be discussed again.
No matter how many problems we solve, or how many conversations are opened. New issues will occur that will throw new obstacles our way, so we have to learn to let go of an old conversation (if the change has been adopted). Cancel culture needs to accept this or be cancelled itself. Change is our only constant. The truth is an illusion. Acceptance is the key to knowledge. This is why books will always be my greatest weapon. A library is a physical symbol of change, of time, and humanity. If you start banning books you push people to read them. If you continue cancelling people, you push people and society further into division; a cascade of toxic righteousness.
Anyway, after all of that, shall we have Swedish Fika?
Swedish Fika - Go Royal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRIeytEXGhQ
"Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for Fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat.
All Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise: to take a pause. It refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships. And it makes good business sense: firms have better teams and are more productive where Fika is institutionalised."
About the Creator
Laura-Jasmin Nuttall (Mama L)
Hey hey! My name is Laura, and I like to write about things people don't want to write about.
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Good to see it well argued here. You cannot build a pedestal by cutting off everyone else at the knees. And I just enjoyed my fika (in private). Now, it is time to write... :)
😉Great piece! Bravo!👏🏼Thank you very much for sharing. 🙏 All the best and happy writing.