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The Ruttle Report - The hypocrisy of so-called 'cancel culture'

The Ruttle Report for this week
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We live in, shall we say for lack of a better term, 'interesting' times, don't we?

To be more exact, perhaps a better way to describe our current climate these days is to say that we're living in always-being-watched, always-being-corrected, watch-what-you-say-or-you'll-have-your-entire-internet-backlog-brought-to-the-light-and-be-publicly-shamed times. There, that's being a little more precise, in my book.

Cancel Culture has become the new trend in our world over the last decade or so. Well, one out of about 600,000 trends that come and go. But this one has stayed, for better or for worse, depending on your viewpoint. What is it, you ask? Well, it's the practice of targeting people who exhibit behavior such as racism or sexism, or people who have committed wrongdoing in their pasts. Now, 'targeting' can mean a host of things, but it mostly means a whole bunch of people bringing it up on social media in the hopes that the perpetrator suffers some form of consequence. This may mean losing their job or other types of income streams, and a time spent in what I can only describe as the 'public blast zone' in which their name is run through all types of mud on the internet.

What I've found over the past few years is that there are instances of 'fair' Cancel Culture and 'this is bordering on hilarious' Cancel Culture.

Fair is how the internet reacted when it was discovered that longtime actor Kevin Spacey, a highly-respected veteran of his craft, had reportedly engaged in despicable sexual behavior in years past with a number of men who came forward, telling of instances in which Spacey harassed or even assaulted them. As a result, Spacey lost his starring role on Netflix's House of Cards, his name became mud, and ever since, he has been in hiding while working under the radar on the odd production. It's unclear if any official charges are going to stick, but it's Hollywood, so it's a gamble. If Cancel Culture had any positive qualities, it would be in this case.  pacey didn't go to a physical prison, but he's basically in a career one as far as the internet and our society are concerned.

Now, as far as Cancel Culture going too far and even bordering on the downright silly goes, I would have to go with the current situation surrounding comedian Dave Chappelle, who signed a monster deal with Netflix to issue standup specials that will see the longtime funnyman laugh all the way to the bank for many years. Dave's not a clean comic, far from it, and he's not afraid to voice his opinion. One of those opinions has him deep in troubled waters with supporters of the transgender community, who say that jokes he made in his specials make fun of those people.

So here's the thing. I knew all of this before I watched Chappelle's latest special. I knew of all the headlines it was making and all the hubbub and all the cries for Dave to be cancelled, so I just knew that I HAD to watch this for myself to see what all the blockbuster controversy was all about. After I watched it with my friend Kyle, I just thought ....is that it?

Don't get me wrong - Dave says some wild stuff and I'm not saying I agree with everything he says, but what I am saying is that this was not the wildly-inappropriate, highly-potent, world-is-crumbling, children-are-crying material that I was led to believe. It also led me to believe something else, and that's that far too many people are bandwagon jumpers when it comes to the latest 'Controversy of the Week'. I'd be willing to bet $100 that significantly more than half of the people crying online about Dave Chappelle haven't even done their homework and actually watched his material that apparently is wrecking humanity. Because if they had, a lot of them may have had the same 'That's it?' reaction that I did.

We need to become a lot more balanced in our world. We need to see both sides of the fence instead of deep-rooting ourselves in one end and demonizing anyone who dares to be different. Our world has already had one too many people who've done horrific things to others because they didn't "fit the mold".  Forward, not backward.

No one has a past that is squeaky clean.  veryone has said something they regretted. Every person has done something they wished they could take back. That doesn't mean that some dweeb doing a deep-scan on Twitter has the right to try and make someone's life Hell for something said in 2010 or something they did in 2013. And honestly, if you are one of these people who comes across old and ancient stuff like that, I have two questions for you: why do you even have time to be doing that, and where can I get a cushy job like yours?

The thing that really gets me about these societal things that we adopt like Cancel Culture is the fact that in so many instances, it's actually being a lot more toxic than the behavior it tries to correct in the first place. In some cases, it's downright terrifying. So much of the rhetoric that's out there these days seems to carry the notion that unless you fall in line with what everybody else says, thinks, or believes, then YOU are the problem and YOU must be corrected and 'handled'.
Far too much of our Western society has seemingly adopted the mantra of "BELIEVE WHAT WE BELIEVE AND BE ON BOARD WITH WHATEVER WE SAY OR WE'LL CRIPPLE YOU FINANCIALLY AND PERSONALLY!!!"  I'm exaggerating for effect, sure, but I'm also not that far off the mark.

Look, just be cool, everybody. Be cool. Respect one another, see the other side of an argument once in a while, and when you're not winning an argument, just live and let live. It's cool. You'll be fine. I promise. Life will continue to go on.

Don't give in to the toxicity.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.