The grift economy of cancel culture
Yeah, Sinead O'Connor never made an extra dime off of getting cancelled either. Who gets to monetize cancellation has always been a measure of power and proximity to the status quo.
This piece made me think of "punching up" versus "punching down." It seems like the right and perhaps cishet white men in particular like punching down. I'm thinking of Trump publicly mocking a disabled reporter... and women reporters... and so many others. Most people find it cringey but it's like a dog whistle to the far right. It's the sort of humor that reassures those at the top of the pecking order that they are secure in their status. But punching up, like The Chick's did, threatens that power structure.
"the great white whine" is a fabulous phrase that sums up the ongoing situation. So apt. Thank you for that and for this entire article/issue of your newsletter. Right on target.
Nailed it. It's always baffled me that people want all this bitterness/hatred/violence "out there" to justify their own beliefs or lifestyle choices. People are dying out here....they need to knock that $&!+ off. A little ditty that sticks in people's brains doesn't help.
Great insight and so well articulated -- thank you.
What doesn’t benefit white men? The older I get, the more I see the depth of misogyny. It’s the river the runs beneath us. We’ve been baptized in it, believers or not. You see all the bad places this metaphor can go. Let’s hold on to each other.
Cancel culture as a hate economy is not something I've considered. Thank you for such a thoughtful and well written piece.
This is the best piece I’ve ever read on the nature of “cancel culture.” Thank you.
Interesting that Kingslover calls out condescension towards rural Americans. I gave up on “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” because it felt like she was being condescending towards city people’s lack of knowledge about plant lifecycle and growth.
Reminds me of this: "'He might say mean things and make all the men cry because all the men are wearing your wife’s underpants and you can’t be a man anymore,' David Green, 69, a retail manager in Somersworth, N.H., said of Mr. Trump. 'You got to be a little sissy and cry about everything. But at the end of the day, you want results. Donald Trump’s my guy. He’s proved it on a national level.'" https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/31/us/politics/2024-poll-nyt-siena-trump-republicans.html I don't even understand what this means, it's totally unhinged
The right-wing media machine works this way as well. Just to name two examples, Bari Weiss and Glenn Beck became much, much richer when they lost their mainstream media platforms and began charging like-minded people for access to their work.
I was just listening to the Sam Sanders interview with Tressie McMillam Cotton this morning! Good episode
I am so out of touch with mainstream conservative culture (and a lot of mainstream culture, generally) and had never heard of this song before. So weird how siloed we all are these days. Though maybe it’s always been that way?
Anyway, thanks for keeping me in the loop!
Somewhere in this conversation is lost the fact that this song was written by an Iowan. Presumably someone who understands Iowans and Iowa. Or does he?
Absolutely brilliant piece of writing. Thank you.
well said. It is all about $$$. All the "values" issues were raised in the first place to defend racism and hide the impact of corporate exploitation from the public square.
I have to point out that The Chicks HAVE risen back up the charts. In 2007, their "Not Ready to Make Nice" album also won 5 Grammy awards, including song of the year and album of the year. I've got tickets to go see them next week and CAN'T WAIT! :)