Archive for February 7, 2022

You’d probably think I don’t have a dog in this fight. I like a few Neil Young songs, I’ve seen a few short clips of Joe Rogan’s podcast and it seemed interesting, but I’m definitely not what you would call a rabid fan, so why weigh in here? Because I do have a dog in this fight and it’s a big one. Let’s start with the basics. Neil Young threatened to pull his music off Spotify if they didn’t de-platform Joe Rogan over the fact that Joe Rogan had a guest on his show who dared to question the COVID vax narrative. Mind you this was not some crackpot who didn’t know anything, it was one of the doctors instrumental in developing the technology behind RNA vaccines, the very type of vaccine that most of the COVID vaccines are. Here’s what bothers me. Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell who has since followed suit, were both protest singers in the 60s and 70s. How is it that people who were at one time champions of free speech are now actively working to have others deprived of their free speech? That my friends is what cancel culture is all about and it is the very essence of hypocrisy.

Here’s the thing, I disagree with a lot of people. Some would say more than most, but I do not want to see anyone’s free speech silenced, even if their opinions and even actions are vile to me. Why do I say that? Because I value my own free speech. Make no mistake. There are plenty of people I have cancelled, at least by virtue of their commercial offerings. I do this very simply, by turning them off. I ignore them and actively work to make sure they get none of my hard earned money, but I would never want to see them denied their freedom of speech. They have the right to their opinion, and they have the right to share their opinion and I have the right not to listen. Further, I have the right to debate them in the areas of ideas, or better yet to try to change their mind. This is open dialog and it is a huge blessing of a free society. Through civil discourse, I can find common ground, share ideas and even possibly bring people over to my point of view and in some cases vice versa. At the very least I can at least try to understand and maybe even alleviate animosity.

Cancel culture is the opposite of freedom. It is totalitarian. It seeks to silence opposing points of view. I would never want to live in that kind of society. It’s a small step between “agree or be silenced” and “agree or die.” We have got stop dehumanizing those with whom we disagree. Beware of cancelling someone else’s speech, the next person they might be coming for is you.