Woke folk won’t even walk on the mild side

Woke folk won’t even walk on the mild side, by Nick Cater.

Rock stars once regarded offending people as an essential part of the job. Indeed, for a glorious period in the late 1970s after the arrival of the Sex Pistols, the imperative to scandalise ranked above the requirement to learn an instrument.

Today, however, any artist with a career that began more than 10 minutes ago is liable to fall victim to “cancel culture”, which happens to be the Macquarie Dictionary’s 2019 word of the year. To suggest that it is two words would be an unwarranted cultural presupposition. The rise of cancel culture explains why you won’t be hearing the Rolling Stones’ Brown Sugar or Under My Thumb on an FM radio station any time soon.

The cancel culture’s objection to “faggot” explains why Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing has been banned by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Homophobic hate speech also would rule out Taylor Swift’s Picture to Burn and Katy Perry’s Ur So Gay.

Lou Reed’s borderline-transphobic Walk on the Wild Side wouldn’t get a look-in.

Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s anthem to racial equality, Ebony and Ivory, has been promoted from mildly irritating to highly problematic. The contemporary zeitgeist favours rappers such as Noname who refuses to dance on stage for white people. On the plus side, the avoidance of racial stereotypes and cultural appropriation means we may never again have to listen to Carl Douglas’s 1974 hit Kung Fu Fighting.

You can’t be too careful these days. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has yet to recover after he referred to “coloured actors” in an American TV interview four years ago. What he should have said, of course, was “actors of colour”. …

One hesitates to refer to religion in these judgmental times, even at Christmas.

Yet we cannot but reflect that cancel culture is yet another of the birth pains of a new religion, ugly and badly formed, conceived to take the place of the old religion from which many of us drew our moral compass as recently as five minutes ago.

Cancel culture was what once drove the Catholic Church to excommunicate heretics, pull out their fingernails and burn them at the stake. …

The new religion, like the old one, requires us to wrestle with seeming contradictions.

  • Why in the name of the they-hood of humankind are people so readily excluded in the cause of inclusivity?
  • Why does their God, if they have one, appear to care more for the suffering of some minority groups than others?
  • How does their declared love of global humanity fit with their contempt for their neighbours? …

Who appointed this new priesthood and why do they spend so much time on Twitter?