I've been thinking my own thing about a lot of things I see happening throughout the world, my own country, and in the crypto-verse without really giving voice to that own thing in my thoughts.
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The reason for that is one of those things I have thoughts about. The ridiculous ease with which people get offended and the even more ridiculous way that a large part of society, media, and even governments go out of their way to please those ridiculously easily offended people.
Seriously, from the way some people behave now in comparison to their behavior say five to ten years ago, you'd think that capital punishment has been instated for the crime of giving offense! The most obvious branch this can be observed is the stand-up comedy sector.
Ten years ago, there were a lot of comedians that you could classify as "Saying shit you think but are too polite to say out loud" comedians. There were also a number of comedians that were just plain shock comedians that seemingly competed for the most inappropriately shocking comedian award.
Today though, the number of the first group has gone down significantly and most of those that do still perform as stand-up comedians have significantly toned down their acts, coasting along on their reputation and popularity gained ten years ago. Of the latter group, there are very few left, with most of them either completely disappearing from public view or having joined the other group while losing their appeal in the process.
I can hear the cries for proof and shit from across the internet! Really loud people out there, sheesh! Well, let's take an example, then. Who's heard of Daniel Tosh?
Yeah, that's right, one, two, maybe three of you have heard the name, but even if you heard of him... Did anyone see any new material from him? Well...? No, I bet you haven't! That's because he was deemed too offensive. This was the "Prince of controversial comedy" back in the day, like in 2009-2015.
His last special was in 2016, and the Tosh.O show showed a gradual decline over the years as the content got "cleaner" and the number of viewers got less. In 2020 the show got canceled, reversing a four-year renewal commitment from Comedy Central.
And he is just one example, and this is just about one branch of entertainment. This phenomenon, earning its own name over the past few years as "cancel culture" is prevalent everywhere. Be it commercials, tv-shows, books, newspapers, websites, games... Everywhere, it seems, the notion that you are free to speak what you want to say has been put in a straight jacket and thrown into a rubber room.
It seems we're getting farther and farther away from the memorable and commendable quote "I despise every word you say, but I will give my life defending your right to say it". Now, who said that is a topic of debate, Oscar Wilde, Voltaire, JP Sears being named as well as "A WWII veteran" but they're all wrong. The writer Beatrice Hall wrote it in a book about Voltaire and mistakenly put it in quotes, causing it to be thought an actual quote from Voltaire. It wasn't.
But who said it is irrelevant. The meaning of the quote is what matters. Not long ago, this was how the huge majority of the world's population claimed to feel about free speech. Fast-forward a few years and now almost everybody replaces the period ending the sentence with a comma and add exceptions to it. Now suddenly one of my life's mottos on this subject "Offense cannot be given, it can only be taken" is one that, though I refuse to change my mind on it, isn't one I boldly and challengingly put in social media profiles or as signatures in forums anymore.
The same as the attitude "there is nothing that cannot be joked about" which was a law, not more than a decade ago, no longer seems valid. This development in modern society was horrible and deeply worrying, but regardless of how worrying and disgusting that trend was, I would give a lot for our societies to go back to those times. The trend I've described here has evolved into a complete culture, or even worse, a philosophy by which many live their lives. Woke, and the cancel culture, are beginning to take on characteristics that we have not seen... dare I say it... well if I don't nobody will so... here goes nothing:
We haven't seen a group of people, that shared an ideology, or followed a philosophy as intolerant and violently oppressive to anyone voicing different opinions or beliefs like the Woke-folk (my favorite thing to call them) since the 1930's... well, 1945 really, when they were kind of obliterated, but everyone knows what I mean. And I'm sure there are those with steam coming out of their ears because of this comparison, but that doesn't make it any less true.
The woke-folk think of themselves as "gutmenschen" as good people, fighting the power for the rights of women, lgbtq[half the alfabet]+, emo's and against racism. As they are "gutmenschen" the notion they could be oppressive, racist, or anything else associated with "evil" is inconceivable to them. But has anyone of you ever tried to get into a discussion with them? J.K.Rowling or Gina Carano do to name but two famous persons that suffered from the woke-folk!
If you go against them and voice an opposing view, or even worse, point out any flaw in their thinking or actions, the woke army will annihilate you! Maybe not physically (yet) but in any other way, they possibly can. They'll doxx you, run a smear campaign against you, fake news you and harass you, your friends, your colleagues, and your family, until you either lose everything and everyone you ever cared about or until you admit defeat publicly, humiliate yourself and apologize on the record.
Any publications or media that do not comply with woke criteria are to be taken down, canceled, and if on paper; burnt. Any dissenting or contrary voice or expression is to be removed from society, and the perpetrators of the violations should have their lives be made impossible to live. Does any of this sound familiar? It did to my grandma who lived through the occupation, and to the old lady at the end of the street who fled Germany just before September 1940. They told me, after checking, there was no one else that could hear them.
I hope this is as bad as this development is going to get. Seeing as the epicenter of his lies in he US, I'm hoping that Biden's enabling of the woke-folk and the backlash from the woke-army's escalating boldness and loudness. But I'm afraid it is far wider spread than most realize. The go-to tactics of the woke, accusing their opposites of being racist, misogynistic, bigoted (and so on) still works, because of the horrible things the Nazi's did in WWII instilled in our society an over-react reflex that still subconsciously makes many people instinctively afraid or anxious to get involved in any discussion or debate where one accuses the other of anything that can remotely be associated with what happened back in the 30's and 40's.
History teaches us about the swing of the pendulum. That humanity swings from the first extreme all the way to the other extreme, before settling in the middle. I'm hoping that this is as far as the pendulum will swing and that we will now swing back again, to stop swinging in the middle. Meanwhile, I'll be keeping to my principles among which i hold "There is nothing that cannot be joked about" and "Offense cannot be given, only taken" as some of the most important ones.
Thank you for reading this!
Stay safe, and stay happy!