Cancel Culture thread, Part II

    This was such a goodie that I had to start a new thread. (Here is the link to Part I with its title:IS "CANCEL CULTURE" AS BAD OR WORSE THAN THE RIGHT-WING CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT?)

    Boy George officially now a figure from the Before Times:

    — Wesley Yang (@wesyang) January 19, 2020


    Okay, teach - more from Wes:

    Outrage Culture Is Ruining Foreign Policy As the 2020 presidential campaign heats up, U.S. politics is getting harder and harder to explain to the rest of the world.

    Op-ed by  @, JANUARY 20, 2020

    August and September 2018 were two significant months for the outrage culture that has afflicted the U.S. public square in recent years. In August, the California Democratic Party called for a boycott of In-N-Out Burger because of a $25,000 donation that company made to the state Republican Party. A few weeks later, some Americans burned their sneakers over a Nike television ad featuring the blackballed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

    Ever since, I have wondered how foreign diplomats posted in Washington try to capture the current moment in U.S. politics. Do they and the foreign ministers, prime ministers, presidents, kings, and queens they serve grasp the near-constant state of indignation that has gripped society, fueling polarization and even fear in recent years? It seemed absurd to me that a beloved burger joint became the object of political ire among Democrats and that people, the majority of whom seemed to be supporters of President Donald Trump, were burning their sneakers. I cannot even imagine what those diplomatic cables say.

    These episodes were no doubt regarded as the oddities and excesses of the current moment in American politics and may have been a source of confusion and dismay for U.S. allies, but the Kaepernick story and the burger boycott (which failed) had no effect on foreign policy. Yet this may be changing. In recent months, outrage—and its cousin, virtue signaling—have made it harder and harder to have a conversation about U.S. foreign policy. At a time when the world and U.S. priorities in it are changing, this sad state of affairs is putting Americans at a disadvantage.

    There are already countries in the Middle East that elites in the United States tend to view through their own ideological prisms. As I wrote last summer: Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are “red” in the sense that Republicans tend to be—or are perceived to be—more supportive of these governments than Democrats. In turn, Iran, the 2015 nuclear deal, and Palestine are—or are perceived to be—“blue” given that Democrats tend to support engagement with the Iranians, back the nuclear agreement, and express sympathy with the Palestinians in greater numbers than Republicans. This state of affairs, I argued, was not a positive development. Looking back, I was a bit too Pollyannish for fear of giving offense—it is actually ludicrous, moronic, and dangerous.

    In Washington these days there is no conversation or debate about foreign policy; there is only politics. The appreciation of a complex world in fine-grained shades of gray—the recognition of which once indicated an active and fertile mind—has given way to a binary world of absolutes. Folks choose teams and advocate for what is best for their side, not necessarily what is in the best interest of the United States, 

    This seemed clear as the conversation— though it was more like people talking in their own echo chambers—about the U.S. killing of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani unfolded. There was far greater interest among journalists, analysts, and activists in scoring points. That is how you get fury over a manufactured controversy in which Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate challenging Trump, allegedly changed her position on Suleimani’s demise. She did no such thing. I suppose that this type of nonsense is to be expected in a political campaign season, but it is precisely because the stakes in a confrontation with Iran are so high that the indignation and trolling were inappropriate.

    There were a bevy of interesting analyses written over the last two weeks, but the overall quality of the discourse over the Suleimani hit was diminished by partisanship in which two basic facts seemed to get lost [....]

    This one looks like a paranoid pre-emptive:

    “As defenders of freedom of expression, we categorically reject rigid rules about who has the right to tell which stories.” ⁦@PENamerica⁩ weighs in on AMERICAN DIRT:

    — Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) January 30, 2020

    Good background piece if have have the need, @ American Dirt’s publisher cancels the rest of the book’s tour, citing threats; American Dirt’s publisher says it is receiving threats. Critics of the novel are receiving threats, too., Jan. 29.

    yes, absolutely, both sides do do it:

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