Warning this post contains the word “cancel” or variations of it a lot, if you fancy a drinking game; have a sip every time I say it, you’ll find my jokes REALLY funny by the end of this. promise.
Now when I say I don’t “cancel” artists or people or offenders online when they do something that is completely unacceptable it isn’t to say I still support, follow or listen to them. It is the specific nature of cancelling that I just can’t fully buy into anymore. I can remove my focus or interest in someone without publicly declaring that I am removing these things and I have (what I think is) a good reason for this.
I want to tell you right at the beginning of this post that I don’t think cancelling works anymore. I think that when you publicly declare someone to be CANCELLED you are giving them more attention, their name is in more articles, they get more streams, more followers and once the dust settles they rise like an annoying phoenix from the ashes of their demise, as sorry and as humble and BETTER OFF than ever.
And for this reason canceling no longer makes a whole heap of sense to me, don’t worry I am going to explain further.
Did you know that when you cancel someone it make us (or me at-least) research who they are?
There were quite a few people who were vanquished in 2018 that I had never heard of, but because of the outrage, because of the VIM online I just HAD to research, and do you know what that means? Googling them, reading their articles, watching their videos, streaming their music. Putting coin into the offenders pocket. Even if I don’t mean to, even if it is in the process of trying to find out what exactly it is that I am canceling and why they were a fave in the first place. We give them a spotlight and a stage while we are waiting for the infamous apology written in the notes app and screenshot for us to scrutinise and pick apart.
And lets not even mention the brands that troll us! Ok I am going to mention the brands that troll us. You have to admit that last year things got out of hand and I have a theory (which is shared by loads of people tbh)
There are numerous brands that have jumped on the outrage bandwagon to incite anger and the associated ADVERTISEMENT from us to promote their products. Each time we “out” Gucci or H&M or *insert whatever brand is offending at the time of this post* we give them what they want: attention. The attention they never would’ve got if they just advertised normally in the first place. Every-time we retweet an offensive jumper or call out an insensitive campaign we are giving them just what they want: reach.
We have to consider that denouncing something as “cancelled” rarely has the effect we were after. Gucci is still do black-face, H&M still call us monkey’s and Jeffrey Star is still selling out whatever collaboration he got AFTER he was accused of being racist.
Do you see where I am going here?
I don’t think canceling works. I have been watching from the shadows and a lot of the time these villains come back bigger and badder than ever!
I have another example: Michael Modern. He is a cancelled guy who just wouldn’t go away, even so that he became our anti-hero. Whenever there is anything controversial being discussed online up he pops, adding his two-often nonsense- cents just because he knows it will get him attention. His canceling has made him relevant, I see friends of mine, people I love and respect. People who have good common sense reacting and interacting with him online and I just want to bash their heads.
HE EVEN GOT HIS OWN DOCUMENTARY ON VICE FOR GOD SAKE! I am even mad at myself for mentioning him because I know that if he finds out he will love it.
I do understand the logic in canceling. I get why we sometimes HAVE to call someone out, we HAVE to let them know that it just isn’t on! We as followers or customers or consumers have more of a say today than we ever have and without speaking up and out they would get away with it. You see in theory it makes sense but I don’t know how effective it really is in practice.
There is another reason canceling may have lost its gusto: we all have the one friend, the one who goes a little too far.
You’ll be laughing and joking roasting each-other and they will come with the low blow talking bout “what about that STI you got last year!” you know in the movies you have the dude who kicks the guy after everyone has beaten him up? That is kinda whats happened with canceling people.
SOME of us have gone too far and it is almost as if celebrities, humans, aren’t allowed to make mistakes. If a famous person steps ONE FOOT out of line their head is on the chopping block, take the recently mis-quoted Chance the Rapper if we CANCELED him; his explanation wold be irrelevant right? Because he is now on the trash heap right? We no longer engage in ANYTHING he has to say right? You see where I am going with this RIGHT?
Digging up old tweets has become sport for some and it is so worrying, every-time one of my mates posts an apology online I search my name and the offending word just to be sure I didn’t laugh at anything in 2009 that will cause me to lose my job in 2019.
There has to be a balance. Some kind of criteria before we cancel Ms Banks because she laughed at a joke before retweeting was an option? How are we meant to learn/ grow/ get even the tiniest bit better if we chose to mute those who have even slightly offended. My issue is that blanket punishment of online offences kinda dilutes the point right?
If we are going to cancel something/ someone shouldn’t it be because they have gone too far? Beyond repair? There is absolutely no coming back from the pits of shame? There HAS to be criteria to this, there HAVE to be rules.
Traditionally to cancel something is to decide or announce that (a planned event) will not take place and while I think YES it is needed and YES some people have gots-ta-go, is it effective? Do we need to re-think it? Does it do what it says on the tin? Because I’m not sure.
Continue the conversation>>> @YinkaBokinni