All violence is an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem.James Gilligan
I’ve never had a fear of missing out, what the kids these days refer to as FOMO. I really don’t know why this is. Growing up in a remote location you got used to the fact that stuff was happening elsewhere and you couldn’t be part of it. Growing up poor meant that there were things happening right in our own town that I couldn’t participate in because I didn’t have the money to be there for the thing when it happened. You will miss out on something. Accept this fact and move on.
This insight about FOMO does not make me an Iconoclast or a non-conformist all by itself. I aspire to rate a label of iconoclasm, the crusader bent on objecting to accepted norms and beliefs in all their forms simply to illustrate the failings of same; and I loathe the knee-jerk non-conformist when I meet one. The petty, childish “I won’t do it!” that never produces positive results. I’ve never had a group that I put myself firmly inside of that was more defined than trekkie, liberal, atheist or libertarian, and all of those labels aside from liberal are represented by people that I’ve strayed away from and don’t want to be part of anymore. Could I be an iconoclast crusading against the vanillafication of trekdom? Maybe.
In some way this knowledge that you can’t be part of everything important, everywhere that it happens, takes the edge off of FOMO for me. I think this understanding is why I unhesitatingly cancel people every day. If I don’t think a post is interesting and scroll past it? Canceled. If I block somebody because I don’t have time for their stupid? Canceled.
I don’t run around telling everyone “cancel this guy, cancel that girl” I don’t need to be an influencer or a trend-setter. I just do the thing and move on. No one cares what your opinions are anymore than you care what a random stranger’s opinions are when it comes to which shoes you will wear today. If you do care, you need help.
I have canceled people for years now, online. I’ve been actively engaging in this behavior ever since I determined that there is a vast swath of people who post online specifically to stop the passage of information, the forming of understanding between two other people or groups of people. I didn’t call it canceling when I started doing it, but cancel appears to be the word of the day for being selective about who and what will demand your time:
Conservatives afraid of being canceled? They are so damned predictable. They accuse everyone else of creating death panels, then continue sentencing the poor to an early death just as they traditionally always have done. They accuse liberals of creating political correctness, then pass laws making sure that only their political views are taught in school. They accuse the liberals of creating a cancel culture, then they set about canceling liberals left and right as they see fit. It never ends and it is never surprising.
However, Conservatives are no longer satisfied with having created their own set of facts and their own news organizations that parrot the things they call politics. Things they call politics but are in fact the same religious beliefs that they also claim to be theirs alone. They maintain a broad spectrum of bullshit outlets that spew a carefully constructed view of the world that they won’t find troublesome. This is why we have such high percentages of Republicans that think that Donald Trump is still president right now, they have news outlets willing to tell them this comforting lie, day-in and day-out.
Because of this fact, the spoon-fed nature of their delusions, there needs to be a journalistic standard of ethics that is enforced by law or by the authority of a licensing board, an opinion I’ve aired before:
It is a common concern. How can we continue on as a country or a people if we can’t agree on a set of facts? Donald Trump is not president. Do you know how I know this? Because he is in Mar-a-Lago living in a made-up world that he has the money to create around him. The benefits of being wealthy on paper. He is not president because someone else is sitting behind the resolute desk and that person now controls the US government. That person could squash Donald Trump like a bug if he so desired.
So why doesn’t he? Therein lies the crux of the problem. Vladimir Putin is now sounding off about the persecution of the January 6th attackers and the stealing of the election from Donald Trump. He is doing this because he knows what he would do if he were sitting in Joe Biden’s shoes right now. What would he do? For starters there wouldn’t be a Mar-a-Lago anymore other than a smoking crater where the place once was, and he would have had most of the people opposing him executed or jailed pending execution. People like Vladimir Putin see restraint as weakness, because they don’t respect anything that isn’t bold action.
If Joe Biden shows any inclination to crush the rebellion at play in the United States, he plays right into Vladimir Putin’s hands, and into the hands of people who hate the United States simply for being the United States in all it’s failed glory. But he has to do something because the threat to the reality of the United States’ existence has never been more dire than it is right now. Not even Nazi Germany or Japan had the impact on the reality of the continuing existence of the United States as a global force that Vladimir Putin has had in getting Donald Trump elected to the presidency. That he has in continuing to support this disgraced, twice-impeached, former holder of the office of the presidency.
We need to cancel this cause celeb, this slow-moving coup d’état that is still in progress. There are traitors in our midst, and we need to sort them out of the rest. That requires investigation, and the investigation should have started already. As others have pointed out, Mitch McConnell still holds all the cards as far as getting anything through the Senate because of the filibuster rule, and this includes an investigation that has support from all sides concerned. The filibuster has to go, even if it means removing the senators who don’t want to see it go as a part of the process.
We need to cancel the Republican groups who are currently trying to cancel the American experiment. We need to secure ballot access for all Americans, even if that means that the Republican base will not support anything the rest of us do for a generation. We need not fear missing out on the future they have planned for the rest of us. That future has been painted in vivid color for anyone brave enough to read the speculative fiction that has been penned over the last hundred years. We can rest assured that future is not a thing we want to experience.