Liberals are proof that you can come from a place of compassion, yet still do a lot of damage. No easy trick. For all my pomp and circumrants, I remain a moderate liberal and my ideological drift leftward can be wholly attributed to a reactionary GOP-repulsive force. Electo-MAGAtism? The growing danger the GOP poses to humanity is why I blog, however, today, I’m officially calling out the cultural-warrior-faction of my own party, in Fatboy Slim style, aka Right Here, Right Now. My chief concern with the rise of the Language Police is how the coming Sayless Witch Trials could hand the GOP another underserved victory in the midterms and beyond. Woke, as it relates to supporting diversity is a good thing, but Woke as it devolves into some racist chasing tribunals …well, let’s defund those police before we ever hire them. Language penalties and jail time may well be on the horizon for such offenses. You don’t believe me? It’s already happening in the Great White North. Cancel 2.0 must be kept in check in the good ole US of A. We must encourage a societal shift toward acceptance, diversity, and a more conscientious discourse and yet there’s nothing liberal about punishing people for less than stellar usage issues. What next, the IRS doles out syn-taxing penalties? Does this mean I am rallying outside schools that insist on teaching a more balanced and accurate account of American history? No. In all-or-none thinkingville, many of you have already switched my brand to card-carrying member of Team Batshit, but that is false. I’m just issuing another warning: we have one legitimate political party left in this country and if you fuck this one up, too, there’s nothing here worth fighting for. As I move to post, the head of the Olympic committee over in Tokyo was just fired for a joke. Kentaro Kobayashi was dismissed for using the phrase, “Let’s play holocaust” during a comedy act the same year the X-Files movie aired in 1998. Personally, I am a holocaust joke denier. I don’t think he ever said it, but the truth is out there. In the western world, the green dragon has awoken, sooo how do we slay this beast?
If you are a Canceler, I implore you to avoid canceling until the end of this article. Before you go, you need to start to understand just how damaging your stunted worldview has become. Are you MAGA? No. Are you displaying MAGA-like fallacies of thought? Yes. Before I start making fun of everyone and get myself canceled, let’s remember that members of the LGBTQ community are at higher risk of any number of mental health maladies as well as a statistically higher chance of abuse and suicide. Whereas I staunchly support this community, I can show this support by dancing this fine and very important line:
1. Not damaging the foundations of anyone’s fundemental freedoms as written in the Constitution.
2. Not aiding and abetting the GOP’s reelection chances.
And, as much as I love the 1st Amendment, it’s a tough call in 2021 which one of these is actually worse for mankind. Strong work.
We’ve always had a cancel-type culture here in the land of the free. If you’re offended, sure, ditch a company and stop buying their merch. How we choose to spend our money is our own business. These preferences are expected and for the most part healthy. Over the last four years, however, the prevalence of bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia rose to disturbing levels here in the US, but your response? To forever banish anyone who dares to utter a less than politically correct statement? Hmmm. Gee, I wonder if you reach a position of prominence if one word or sentence from your past will take you down? Gosh, let’s hope so. Karma is a bitch. This is like if Thanos forgot he’s watching the opening to The Addam’s Family, and just started snapping away to the tune. And, of course, this perfection is a hurdle the cancellers themselves would never clear. Who could? If you are living in this dimensional plane of existence you are not perfect, unless you’re a bodhisattva, in which case you’re probably only watching my videos. Yeah, they’re weird.
Horrifying as the scourge of the last four years were for anyone with cultural sensibilities, how we respond to these societal trends must be grounded in constitutional principles. Thus far there’s no indication of this even-handed approach from our resident safe-space warriors.
Liberals believe they represent the highest perspective in the land, so anyone who doesn’t agree is immediately shut down. So they’ve created a pluralistic approach, minus any other perspective but their own. See the irony? They don’t. Sure, canceling discourse with those who identify as openly republican seems reasonable, but it is not an invitation for progressives to start devouring their own.
Here are my two canaries in that proverbial coal mine:
The Firing of Andrew Sullivan from NY Magazine:
Andrew Sullivan, among the most reasonable and even-keeled pundits of the 21st century, was recently ‘let go’ from NY Magazine over his differences of opinion on Critical Race Theory. Since he didn’t conform to the ever-narrowing narrative, he was sent packing. Sully’s own take:
“They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space.”
Where were his colleagues for this one? At the very least, I would have expected Jonathon Chait (another of my favs) to come to his defense. Boo!
[Critical Debase Theory joke removed by the Ottawa Parliament.]
Bill C-16 is starting to wreak some havoc in parts north:
In 2017, Canada passed legislation to force Canadians to use preferred pronouns. This law provided every Canadian citizen the right to be identified in a pronounulary accurate fashion (which is a word). Scholar and professor, Jordan Peterson, made a stand. He did this not out of any maliciousness toward those transgendered, but he simply understands the bedrock of free speech. Anyone should recognize how dictating language is why Orwell wrote that book—after the title was shamelessly snagged from that Van Halen album. Shame on you, Orwell!
Learning the appropriate way to address people to make them feel more comfortable = Good
Arresting people who don’t adhere to preferred pronoun usage = Bad.
Liberal fascism must never be allowed to take root in this country. If you never ran across him, Professor Peterson is an interesting character. His old lectures helped me through the pandemic and his Maps and Meaning is in my Amazon book cue. He’s a Jungian-type psychologist with a dizzying intellect. He is tough to place on the political spectrum, yet appears integral-minded at times. During a lecture at Lafayette, he was assailed by students for supporting hate speech for defending free speech. According to Professor Peterson, many of his colleagues at the University of Toronto understood and secretly support his position, but they were too afraid to speak out publically. This is chilling stuff. Do you know how many comedians were similarly run out off college campuses in recent years? This is not remotely funny.
On a good note, if we do bring similar legislation south of the border, we can throw most republicans into their own private prisons. And not just for pronoun offenses, we could easily expand this to all grammar-related issues so the next Trump rally would have two attendees, neither of whom talk or write much. A silver lining?
And then there’s this fallout from that same Canadian bill:
On March 16, 2021, at 10 a.m., Robert Hoogland surrendered himself to the court after a warrant was issued for his arrest by the attorney general of British Columbia. His crime was to call his daughter, a biological female, by female pronouns, and refusing to affirm her medical transition to become a trans male.
On that note, I would like to pass legislation demanding that I be addressed with a regal-like, yet slightly dismissive hand wave whenever I enter a room. Offenders will be prosecuted. Admittedly this Hoogland guy is probably a hooligan, who refuses to honor his daughter’s identity wishes, but what of the people who, oops, use the wrong pronoun in public or on social media.
People’s lives are being ruined over something they tweeted at 2AM. Some are openly racist so maybe that’s okay, but many more are just caught up in the cultural curfuffel. Are you getting it, or are you canceling right now? Yes, you’re marginalizing an otherwise important concept and, worse, you’re pitting defenders of LGBTQ with defenders of the constitution. Great plan! Can’t we protect the constitution and our LGBTQ peeps, or are you what republicans fear, aka not familiar with our basic inalienable rights? Also, the end result of canceling everything that reaches your sensory perceptions will eventually land you somewhere around a MAGA-rally-vendor level of consciousness (MRVLoC). Sounds like a warlock, who can probably burn at a stake. You know, maybe burning anyone at a stake is a bad idea. Ever think of that?
My two examples are rockstars in their own right, and perhaps even more truly liberal than any of their rather illiberal attackers. It has begun, folks. Whereas I did warn of the potential of progressive reactionary horrors, I believe I also minimized the problem recently, here. Until today, I viewed it more as a loose collection of non-electable, linguist-fascists (NELFs), but there’s a real mounting threat here that must be addressed. This is still at the warning phase here in the US, because it hasn’t happened here, yet ….yet. Will Biden and Harris operate from an integral perspective and identify Orwellian laws for what they are, or will they cave to the worst aspects of moral relativism? This is a rare moment in which I don’t even have a guess. This administration is both savvy and susceptible to far liberal whims, so it’s a tough call.
Here’s an example I hope resonates: for the last several years republicans did all they could to destroy Obamacare, not having the slightest idea what to replace that program with except death, misery, and medical bills for those uninsured. Certain liberals want to similarly destroy the foundations of the constitution and then replace this with, uh, what exactly? This is potentially a much bigger deal than the health-insurance-as-a-right argument. On some level, many liberals are saying ‘F the Founding Fathers because they had slaves,’ and let’s start arresting people who don’t conform to these new language expectations. So, what is this constitutional replacement plan and does it involve key influencers like the Kardashians?
You are the Cancel Queen, young and mean, only seventeen!
What the hell is integral, Zano?
Well, that’s what I’m talking about, if you’re not familiar with Ken Wilber’s work, it’s time to get acquainted. I recommend his Eye of Spirit or A Brief History of Everything. Wilber’s integral, or second tier-thinking, will prove increasingly important as mankind faces mounting obstacles to our ongoing existence. Thus far the left corner of liberalism is clearly not up for the task. Wilber’s integral theory—built off a number of developmental models from Jean Gebser, Jurgen Habermas, Carol Gilligan, and others—posits a series of individual and societal developmental stages and levels that tend to move us from egocentric, to ethnocentric to worldcentric thought.
I am starting to understand the implications of Wilber’s warning as laid out in Trump and a Post-Truth World. I struggled to accept the dangers of liberalism when the MAGA counterpart seemed so in-your-face prominent. What do you focus on, some liberal folks not in power who want to cancel shit, or republican folks who elect a man who very likely stashed a copy of Mein Kempf in the WH nightstand? Until today, only one side resonated. Do we have a battle on two fronts mounting? I sincerely hope not, but if Tokyo or Ottawa are any indication of the weather …underground.
Wilber’s warning has two components: one, the far left could well mire consciousness development at the pluralistic/relativistic stage and, worse, dismantle the very societal and experiential apparatus that allows the movement through the spiral of development in the first place. This has become painfully clear to me as my own process of growth would not have been permitted by today’s libs. I had way too much fun for these joyless and traumatized green meanies. The cultural far left has become a developmental wrecking ball, one that will not only strand people in dysfunctional green but, again, will sabotage the developmental apparatus that allows individuals to even reach such a level in the first place. We are not born liberal or integral, we move through stages of development and each stage must be allowed to unfold, or enfold.
What are you talking about, Zano?
Here are two child rearing errors, the first from a republican fundamental level (amber/orange) and the other from the liberal (green) perspective:
Fundamentalist level parenting error:
Many years ago, I read in my local newspaper, in rural Pennsylvania, how a man was upset that he couldn’t get his toddler to understand the importance of staying still and quietly listening during Sunday mass. Frankly, the editor’s response was not up for the developmental task. It seems all the beatings in the world weren’t getting through to junior, who needed some Old Testament understanding to start taking hold. So a father is mistreating a child, who couldn’t possibly have the cognitive capacity or wherewithal to understand the gospel. This is a cautionary tale.
Liberal level parenting error:
I am currently reading this wonderful, scholarly book on Pantheologies, but the author tells a story about stopping her three-year-old from whacking a tree with a stick. She did not want to raise an individual who acts out violently on anything, plant, animal, mineral, etc. Hmmm. For this example, we see someone again imposing a level of consciousness, in this case, pacificism/liberalism, or worldcentric thinking, on a toddler of about the same age. Each individual must move through the spectrum of consciousness. Toddlers need to grow into and out of the tyrant level, which is something we all must do. Hitting a tree is a better way to move through this phase than hitting a playmate. Usually, children will move beyond this stage within a few years, or sometimes they never do, yet still manage to get elected to the position of Commander in Chief.
Both of these scenarios are not allowing the natural stages of development to unfold. Both are potentially damaging. Everyone goes through these stages and you can’t skip steps, but they can stop wherever their little hearts desire. But we must, as a society, allow for the growth to naturally occur. In that first example, that same toddler will reach fundamental thought and hopefully surpass his father some time around middle school and, in the second example, hopefully, that was just a momentary parental faux pa. We need to allow kids to be kids, within reason, or we risk hindering mastery of certain pre-personal stages, which might spark repression and the creation of shadow elements. To be integral means to understand the values of each level in human development, but it does not mean impose higher but meaningless concepts before their developmental relevance.
Now you may cancel me. Go in peace and thank you for listening.