April 26, 2021
“Canceling” is a way to make sure that bad people do not have a platform from which to say bad things.
Canceling can be accomplished by shouting down speakers on college campuses and at other public forums, encouraging censorship and self-censorship in news media, denying the canceled access to social media, eliminating their appearance on TV or in movies, protesting their presence in person in their private lives, and by generally demanding that people who aren’t young, hip, with-it, and “woke” should shut up.
Having once been young, hip, with-it, and the 1960’s equivalent of woke, I sympathize…
Awaking From The Woke Nightmare
No doubt cancel culture is a vital element in the battle against systemic and interstitial bigotry, structural bias, cisgender normative prejudice, white male privilege, LBGTQ+ oppression, cultural appropriation, and several other terrible things that I’m probably forgetting because I’m an old dead white male (or getting close to being one).
And let me stipulate – lest I be canceled – that this battle is being fought with the kind of high-minded idealism that we are always encouraging young people to have.
To date, canceling has been limited to people – sometimes for what they’ve done but mostly for what they’ve said. And what these canceled people say are just words.
In which case, cancel culture has not gone far enough… To date, canceling has been limited to people – sometimes for what they’ve done but mostly for what they’ve said. And what these canceled people say are just words.
Cancel culture needs to go beyond words. Words are simply one way to express ideas, but other modes of expression exist. Ideas can be expressed with mathematics. Cancel culture needs to start canceling numbers.
I suggest beginning with the number 9.
Personally, it’s the number that I dislike the most. This is because, in 4th grade, it was the “9-times” part of the multiplication table that tripped me up. I was fine all the way through 8 X 10 = 80. But when I got to the 9s I fell apart. To this day when I see 9 X 9 I want the result to be 99, and I suffer a feeling of exclusion and powerlessness and a need to go to a safe place when I’m told by the people who hold power in our society that the answer is otherwise.
As any woke person will tell you, “The personal is the political.” And this is true 9 times out of 10, so to speak.
Therefore, with righteous indignation, I demand that 9s be banned.
Twelve-term Congressman. Air Force surgeon. Presidential candidate. Ron Paul reveals the secret to “opt-out” of our bankrupt, increasingly socialist system right here.
9/11 is Islamophobic. 911 undermines police defunding. “Possession is 9/10ths of the law” encourages capitalistic exploitation. Capitalism exploits workers from 9-to-5. And to be “dressed to the 9s” signals membership in the exploitative capitalist class.
Speaking of which, San Francisco 49ers is an offensive name for a sports team. The “49ers” of the California gold rush were not only capitalist, they were also imperialist, colonialist oppressors of California’s indigenous peoples and its Latina, Latino, and Latinx population.
Mining for gold is ecologically unsustainable, harmful to native plant and animal species, and releases toxic substances into the ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Super Bowl IX was lost by the Minnesota Vikings, whose team name is a pejorative term for Scandinavian-Americans. (Or ought to be after that guy in a Viking hat helped invade the Capitol Building.)
Elsewhere in the sports world, there are 9 people on a baseball team. Baseball is played for 9 innings. Do the math… Of course MLB has no transgender players.
9 is a hurtful number.
Consider the cat-o’-9-tails and the way it was used to suppress peaceful protests such as shipboard mutinies. And consider how the 9 cats and their tails felt.
Use of the phrase “a cat has 9 lives” is opposed by animal rights activists. It’s a clear provocation to animal abuse. And the “K-9 Corps” forces dogs to be complicit in militarism.
Ownership of a 9mm handgun is nothing if not a “trigger warning” of opposition to gun control.
The song “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” trivializes the serious problem of campus binge drinking.
Price tags such as “$49.99” are insensitive to those who are differently abled in cognition and therefore may be disadvantaged by not realizing that an item costs $50.
There are 9 justices on the Supreme Court, with 6 of them appointed by Republican presidents. I’m not saying this is what killed RBG, but there are rumors on www.staywoke.org. And there’s no longer a firm majority in support of abortion rights.
Pregnancy lasts 9 months, and overpopulation is a major cause of climate change.
Correcting the Overcorrection
Telling activists in the struggle against social inequity to go to hell is hate speech… There are 9 circles of hell in the Inferno by a very dead white male Dante, Coincidence? I don’t think so.
And I apologize for my insensitivity in even using the “10-1 word.” I have done so only to show its power to injure and offend. Fortunately, we have already begun to “no platform” this transgressive integer.
Remember how many planets we used to count in our solar system? Not anymore. Thanks to arithmetical correctness, Pluto has been relegated to the status of “trans-Neptunian Kuiper belt object.”