Friday, February 11, 2022

Joe Rogan and Cancel Culture: Freedom for Some But Not All

It seems like the establishment media, especially social media, has gone into overdrive to try and manufacture a media non-event into something resembling a "story". I'm talking about, of course, this "tempest in a teacup" over podcast host Joe Rogan remarks on Spotify which some on the Left disapproved of.  The result is the predictable backlash of the Cancel Culture's "PC" clique. 

The hubbub started a few weeks ago with Rogan making a statement opposing mandates and masks. That's his personal opinion. Rogan is also something of a "shock jock" who enjoys stirring the pot. Now (right on cue), videos from 2017 are popping up where Rogan was making light of the politically correct minefields whites have to tap dance through while others get a pass. Again, his personal opinions.

The latest is from Andrew Yang. He originally came out and agreed that Rogan, while somewhat crude, wasn't a racist.  Now, he's caved to pressure from a relative handful of Left Wing nuts (he's apparently of being called names), has reversed his position and has decided that Rogan is racist after all.

As some of you may remember, Yang, who is of Taiwanese ancestry, is a former Democratic presidential candidate. He's also a businessman and founder of a political action committee, the Forward Party which promotes a non-partisan approach to politics. Supposedly Yang also knows Rogan, and has admitted that Rogan regularly interacts and works with blacks. Yang even said that he had never known of any racist issues, but that was evidently before caving.

As an aside, the Forward party claims its "Not Left Not Right" and its goal is to create a new third party and breaking the rule of the Corporate owned Democrat/Republican duopoly.  It supports Rank Choice Voting, something called "Human Centered Capitalism", "Fact-Based Governance", a Universal Base Income, and a government based on "Grace and Tolerance" since people are fallible. Apparently they're indecisive when too.

Others, some of whom having overestimated their clout, have opted to leave Spotify include Neil Young, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, India Arie, and author Brene' Brown as part of a "protest" that either Joe Rogan goes or they go. So far, it looks like Rogan is remaining. However, Spotify is now adding a "disclaimer" , warning listeners that Rogan's podcast may include "triggering" language. I guess that means having your blanky at the ready. 

For his part, Joe Rogan has denied being "racist" but has agreed to soften his usual acidic shows for the benefit of...who exactly? Joe's audience is mainly pretty conservative. Not that many "light weight" types listen to his podcasts, but I suspect there's a few trying to bait him, but whatever.  He's also repeatedly spoken out against Biden's mask mandate, as well as mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations.

Frankly, I'm not much of a fan of Joe. I've never found his podcast particularly entertaining. I get the impression that he's trying to fill Rush Limbaugh's shoes while using a Howard Stern or Don Imus format (both of whom also got into trouble over a racial remark). But, if so, that might explain all the manufactured ado over essentially nothing.  Of course, nowadays, it doesn't take much to set people off on some hissy fit.

 Lord knows that people aren't suppose to speak their mind or have independent thoughts outside the collective.  The Establishment Media, after all, provides the dicta to what's news and what's not or what we're suppose to think and say.  It tells us who to like or vote for, what is or isn't important, how to feel or look, and ultimately, what's socially acceptable or not.  In short, it conveys the ideals and attitudes that we are suppose to adhere to.

The Establishment Media is what's responsible for the current social and political climate in America. It rides roughshod over the herd mentality it creates.  It serves as the mouthpiece of the ruling Oligarchy on behalf of the Corporatocracy which has replaced our Republic. Cancel Culture is its bastardized offshoot, along with political correctness, "wokeness", and instant offendedness de jure.

As a political writer, the majority of my work is posted online. I've learned that if we stray too much from the accepted script (aka "guidelines") or "cancelled", which included being shadow blocked (something I know well), suspended or removed from our host site. They also restrict how often our posts are cycled through. We're also trolled, chastised, censured by self-important "fact finders" or called names (just like on a playground except they hide behind their keyboards).  It's all part of the "Cancel Culture".  

 Don't fret about Joe though. People like Rogan or Stern may take a hit, but they've got a pretty good management team that plays the game well. In fact, the so-called "controversy" typically boost their audience.  People love to live vicariously through others into today's media driven society.  

That's why we love watching shows like "The View", "The Bachelor", "90 Days and Counting", and other "reality shows" .  Face it, we've devolved into a voyeur society. We rather watch other people do what we wish we could do. That's, in part, the premise behind "The Running Man" and "The Hunger Games".

We wish we had the guts to stand up or speak out against "the system", but we prefer the comfort and safety of our couches while stuffing our faces and yelling at the television. As close as some get to standing up is playing video games where they exist in a virtual world with no consequences for our actions...or mistakes and almost always emerge as the hero.  That too is part of the Cancel Culture.

This fantasy world has been created for us as a way to vent off anger, frustration, and gives us a false sense of having "accomplished" something (they also comprise the core of so-called "fact finders"). We play a video games or watch a movies to emerge ourselves into some plot or character who saves the world or whatever. Meanwhile, the Corporate beast goes merrily on its way, having defused itself of any real threats to its control.  Who needs freedom when you can have "virtual freedom"?

There's a great line in the movie, "The Longest Day", in which Richard Burton's RAF fighter pilot character, Flying Officer David Campbell, says "the thing that's always worried me about being one of the few is the way we keep getting fewer". There's a great deal of truth in that statement. Those of us who do speak out often find ourselves isolated by the powers that be. When I first started writing articles back in 2004, there was about a two dozen of us locally. Now, there's just Nationally, it's the same story.

Some who posted on sites like YouTube found themselves blocked, censored, and defunded; sometimes even before their video was even posted!  In some cases, their video library was even deleted. For a few determined individuals, they've found other platforms to host their videos, albeit taking a hit in audience numbers and income. However, hundreds, if not thousands, folded out of frustration.

A few continued to write, post videos, do podcasts or radio shows have cut back on content. They no longer freely say what they want to say. They're afraid of being harassed, stalked, defunded, or being "cancelled" again. Several changed their formats to something other than political.  

That's the "self-cancelling" portion of the Cancel Culture, which is perhaps the most insidious since it forces you to second guess or silence yourself. You're no longer able to "speak your truth" out of fear. You have effectively imprisoned yourself to the delight of the ruling Oligarchy and it's "woke" minions.

Speaking of truth, the Cancel Culture has a funny way of defining theirs. However, hypocrisy seems key. If someone is white, Asian, Hispanic, male or non-feminist female says or does something it disapproves of, that individual must immediately apologize or face retribution. They must express the deepest remorse, seek forgiveness, and make some sort of restitution.

Case in point, if someone makes a comment or joke about race, they're usually suspended, if not fired. Same goes for comments not supportive of BLM, feminism, or LGBTQ.  However, comments and jokes about whites, Asians, Hispanics, or straights are okay. But understand this is a one way street.

Fairness and equality should allow everyone or no one to make similar comments or jokes about other groups, but this isn't about fairness or equality. It never has been. It's about creating two classes. One of the "oppressed" and one of the "oppressor". Don't believe me? Pay attention the next time you watch a standup comedian or almost any of the comedies on TV.

As the great Mel Brooks said, political correctness is "the death of comedy". Once, openly laughed at bigots, racism and racists on all sides. Now we're afraid too. The comic genius added that because of political correctness, movies like "Blazing Saddles" or "Young Frankenstein" couldn't be made today (or the "Blues Brothers" or "Smokey and the Bandit") Yet, we have movies like "White Chicks" featuring two black men in drag as white blonde girls.

Nick Cannon, host of "The Mask Singer" and several other shows on MTV, made an anti-white and an anti-Jewish comment. He was fired. However, after he offered an apology (of sorts) for his anti-Jewish remarks, he was rehired. Whoopi Goldberg was recently suspended for two weeks for making anti-Jewish and anti-Holocaust comments. Anyone else would have been fired.  On the other hand, look at what happened to Mel Gibson for making similar remarks. The guy is still an outcast in Hollywood.

Lastly, while we're still on the topic of double standards, let's take the 2021 miniseries "Anne Boleyn". While there have been other movies about ill-fated Queen of England, what makes this one stand out is that "Anne" is played by a black actress, Jodie Turner-Smith.  While she is a very accomplished actress, should she be playing the Queen of England? (disclaimer: Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary are ancestors of mine. Their origin was Norman, an admixture of Norse and Northern Frank, and Celt).

What about the British TV series "Merlin", which is about the great wizard, King Arthur and his court where Queen Guinevere is played by Angel Colby, another talented black actress. No one said anything, but was that acceptable?  The Arthurian story is central to the self-identity of the British. It's part of their national character as much as Helen of Troy and Achilles are for the Greeks or Siegfried is to the Germans.

Let's put it another way. What if an Asian actress played Tina Turner? Is that politically correct or should the Cancel Culture overrule artistic license? Could a Hispanic portray Martin Luther King ? Would everyone be okay if a white guy played Michael Jackson or Barack Obama?  How about a black guy playing Bruce Lee or Cesar Chavez? And in the realm of "fat chance", what do you think would happen if transgender actor of any race was to play Jesus, Moses, Buddha, or Muhammad? Yikes!  As an aside, Jews would be least likely to object over someone gay portraying Moses.  Ironic isn't it?

Where political correctness should have stepped in (but didn't exist at the time) was in the making of Westerns where Europeans were made up to play Native Americans and Mexicans, especially given that there were ample Native American and Hispanic actors available! Same goes for actors doing blackface (except in 1993, when Whoopi Goldberg's honey at the time, Ted Danson, did a roast for Whoopi in blackface.  Hollywood said that was okay).  Now, political corrected has gone too far the other way.

Fear is a powerful weapon. It causes self-doubt and silence. It's the "mind-killer" as Frank Herbert, author of the "Dune" series, wrote. On some occasions it forces people to turn on others...and joining with the mob to silence others. There's a Faustian security in numbers. There's also intimidation too, which is the slimy underbelly of the Cancel Culture.

The Cancel Culture thrives on fear. It's power is there. It seeks to hide the truth. Political correctness would have no objections anyone of another race portraying someone of European origin, but not the reverse. The Cancel Culture would ensure that no one spoke out or objected less that be censured, fired, or purged. It has confused the etiquette of free speech with the right of free speech; of being respectful, and in its place imposed denial of free speech. It's the same type of fear mongering the Nazis spread during the 1930's and 40s. It's the same too as the McCarthy Era "Red Scare".

When it comes to expressing one's opinion about a topic, particularly something like Covid or vaccines, what gives the Cancel Culture the moral right to slap anyone down and tell them they don't have the right of free speech? The Founding Fathers didn't include an addendum to the 1st Amendment saying that we had freedom of speech and expression except when someone else disagrees with the mob.

If the politically correct "woke" individuals and groups behind the Cancel Culture truly want to celebrate and embrace diversity as they claim, they need to first start with diversity of thought and opinion. They need to move beyond the superficial like gender and skin color and look to ideas.

Cancel Culture is the unholy spawn of Political Correctness brought into being by the emotionally insecure and intellectually coddled. It attempts to hide the very things it advocates, namely openness and diversity. It strives to protect the artificial bubble of "wokeness", which acts as security blanket using forced compliance, intimidation and censorship in the name of "freedom of speech" for some, but not for all.  Somewhere Stalin, Mao, and Hitler are smiling.

 I don't know that I'd agree with Joe Rogan anymore than I would Whoopi Goldberg, Nick Cannon, Mel Gibson, or anyone else who has faced censure.  But I do know that I would, as the 18th Century French philosopher, Voltaire, reputedly said,  "I may not agree with what you said, I will fight to death for your right to say it". It's time to put an end to doublespeak of closed minded "wokeness", incorrect political correctness, suspend Cancel Culture and get on with freedom of expression and diversity of ideas.

If you want to know more, please take a look at the links below. If you enjoyed the article, please consider passing along to others and don't forget to subscribe. It's free!


What Racial Slurs Did Joe Rogan Say? Viral Videos RevealPodcasters Past Remarks

Andrew Yang apologizes for saying Joe Rogan isn't racist because he works with Black people

Who has quit Spotify? A list of who have left over Joe Rogan

Neil Young quit Spotify because of Joe Rogan. These artistshave followed his leave

The Forward Party


Celebrities who got fired from their TV shows over racismclaims

Nick Cannon fired after calling white people, Jews 'evil savages, closer to animals' in racist podcast rant

Mel Brooks Says 'Blazing Saddles' Would Never Get Made Today Because Political Correctness 'Is the Death of Comedy'




South ender said...

My gawd … what a powerfully spot on assessment of the idiocy of the entire PC culture!!!

Paul Hosse said...

Thank you!