On Cancel Culture

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So here we are. Cancel Culture. Some people are enjoying it depending on who they are and who the person is getting canceled. Personally, I’m of the opinion people should be held accountable for things they say or do. Behind every word said out loud, there is a lot of truth behind it.

People that are in the limelight need to understand and accept that like it or not, their words hold a lot of weight and sway over others. I totally disagree with Charles Barklee when he said that he was not a role model. (Like it or not, you are.)They can easily manipulate others thanks to this power. They can choose to use this power for good or to take advantage of others. But to pass it off as “I was drunk” or “I didn’t mean it that way”…is ridiculous. You said it. End of story. Alcohol is the greatest truth serum in the world. It lowers inhibitions and people will say what they’re thinking or believe easily.

I’m a huge stand-up fan. Love it. I remember listening to Pryor and many others growing up. I’ve gotten to know several national acts through the years. But if I see or hear something that happens or that they do that I disagree with, I don’t immediately cancel them. I’ll try to do as much research into the incident as much as I can on my own before making that final decision to unfollow or stop supporting them.

The Names Have Been Changed because I don’t want to get sued

When the Louie SeeKay thing happened, I was disappointed. I loved his material, his show was great. I knew his writing was one of the key elements to Chappell’s success. But as I went back and listened to his older material, I realized he’d told us who he was early on. He even hinted at it on his show. Someone said to me just recently that the comedians he’d performed his “private act” in front of were adults and they could have left the hotel room. But remember what I said about the influence people have? SeeKay at the time was one of the top comedians, if not THE top comedian at the time. His words had power. When you’re in the standup world, every day is a hustle. You drive the circuit, make $25-$50 a night, if you’re lucky. You’re looking for that big break.

SeeKay offered that. If you played the game, then you could maybe get that break. It was a new version of a casting couch scenario. Then you have the Kris Dahleeah situation where he took advantage of underage girls. His little crew of hanger-ons have been called out as well. Good. While both SeeKay and Dahleeah are very talented and have, in my humble opinion, some of the best material. What they did off the stage is apprehensible. It’s gross. I haven’t watched it, but supposedly in the “apology” video, Kris doesn’t even apologize….which doesn’t surprise me. A narcissist won’t. They don’t know how.

But what is the weight of an apology anyway? It doesn’t take things back. The damage has been done. It doesn’t take one back in time and remove the incident. An apology is this case is an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. It should also be an acceptance that change is required. Get some help. Go talk to a therapist. Figure out why you do this horrible stuff.

We live in a country where politicians, people that are supposed to be respected and trusted to be leaders lie, cheat and steal. And they do it right in front of us without remorse. One of my favorite events I ever saw unfold was that senator from my home state of Texas got confronted by a reporter during an interview. It went like this:

“Did you sign this bill?”
“No”
*she pulls out a copy of the bill*
“Is that your signature?”
“Yes”
“So you signed the bill”
“Look, I get so many things across my desk daily, it’s hard to keep up with all the things I sign”
“You signed a bill without reading it first? Something that will impact millions of people?”
He then proceeded to gaslight further and distract the reporter away from the bill.

Apologies don’t mean jack

This is why an apology means fuck all at the end of the day. Sure, we can complain on-line through our social media channels until the person loses a role on a very popular hit show or clubs refuse to book the comedian or the person loses record deals, whatever it may be. But until someone is called out on their behavior by a peer and gets help to figure out why they do the things they do, the apology is worthless.

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