jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 9th July 2020
CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 114 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Tuesday 9th July 2020
JK Rowling joins 150 public figures decrying ‘cancel culture’
Some 150 writers, academics and activists – including authors JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood – have signed an open letter denouncing so-called cancel culture.
They say they applaud a recent “needed reckoning” on racial justice but argue it has fuelled stifling of open debate.
The letter denounces “a vogue for public shaming and ostracism” and “a blinding moral certainty”.
Cancel culture refers to online shaming of individuals who cause offence.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” says the letter.
US intellectual Noam Chomsky, eminent feminist Gloria Steinem, Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and author Malcolm Gladwell also put their names to the letter, which was published on Tuesday in Harper’s Magazine.
The appearance of Harry Potter author Rowling’s name among signatories comes after she recently found herself under attack online for comments that offended transgender people.
Her fellow British writer, Martin Amis, also signed the letter.
It also says: “We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters.
“But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.”
The letter condemns “disproportionate punishments” meted out to targets of cancel culture by institutional leaders conducting “panicked damage control”.
It continues: “Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.”
It was signed by New York Times op-ed contributors David Brooks and Bari Weiss. The newspaper’s editorial page editor was recently removed amid uproar after publishing an opinion piece by Republican Senator Tom Cotton.
The letter goes on to say that cancel culture has spread fear through arts and media.
“We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement,” it says.
It adds: “We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences.”
One signatory – Matthew Yglesias, co-founder of liberal news analysis website Vox – was rebuked by a colleague on Tuesday for putting his name to the letter.
Vox critic at large Emily VanDerWerff, a trans woman, tweeted that she had written a letter to the publication’s editors to say that Yglesias signing the letter “makes me feel less safe at Vox”.
But VanDerWerff said she did not want Yglesias to be fired or apologise because it would only convince him he was being “martyred”.
One signatory recanted within hours of the letter being published.
Jennifer Finney Boylan, a US author and transgender activist, tweeted: “I did not know who else had signed that letter.
“I thought I was endorsing a well-meaning, if vague, message against internet shaming.”
She added: “I am so sorry.”
Over to me and our world.
I have to agree with that letter. I have said for a while now we no longer have the freedom of speech we have fought for and are entitled to. It becomes stiffling.
We did some semi childcare with the grandchildren today. We visired and occupied two of our grandchildren whilst still keeping to social distancing rules today. We played games and talked all at one metre distance. Meanwhile their dad was upstairs working but on hand for any emergencies.
It all worked well. And it felt good to be semi-normal again. I found it very exhausting though especially as we did 8 lots of 30 second physical execises.
The grandchildren seemed so happy to be bringing us up to date with everything too.
As far as the TV in the evening was concerned I think we will soon be able to dispose of it. What use is it?
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY ESPECIALLY WHILST IN ISOLATION
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Passion first and everything will fall into place. – Holly Holm
Happiness is…being home on a rainy day
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? Short.
Love is…someone to cuddle during a storm
5 Things To Be Grateful For During Lockdown/Coronavirus
We are grateful Lockdown gives us a time…
- A time for free speech…A time for restraint.
- A time to pour with rain…A time for a sunny day
- A time for cuddles…A time for something a bit more intense.
- A time for a cup of tea…A time for a glass of water.
- A time for exercise…A time to rest
TOTAL STAIRWAY TO EVEREST CLIMB CHALLENGE
DAY 94 16 Times – 144 Feet Cumulative Total 14,157 Feet
©2020 Phil M Robinson