Day 119: Cancel Culture

July 20, 2020 Covid Culture Wars

It’s a strange paradox that the past two weeks have passed so quickly, even though we’re effectively spending them in one room. If time flies when you’re having fun then time should naturally stand still when you’re not—but instead it rushes past, even though we’re in self-imposed quarantine.

Let me back up: About a month ago, Rocío’s dad had a sudden appendicitis, causing her to fly to Mexico on extremely short notice. When you return from a risk state” (and Mexico is currently considered that), you have to stay at home for fourteen days, grimly waiting for the onset of Covid symptoms.

As the person sharing the house with the returnee, I’m stuck in some weird grey area: Technically I’m not in quarantine and allowed to participate in everyday life, but that seems to entirely defeat the purpose of this measure. So rather than becoming and unknowing Covid carrier, I’m making a point of staying inside as much as possible and… here were are, home once more, canceling everything we had originally planned.

It’s only been during this pandemic that I’ve truly come to understand the implications of what’s commonly called the culture wars”, that corroding force which turned facts into a matter of opinion and thrown the concept of truth” itself into doubt. It affects everything, right down to questions of whether the pandemic exists in the first place, how to address it, and what the government is allowed to do in order to curb the spread of the virus.

It’s rather ironic, then, that the term cancel culture” has become such a lightening rod in in the past weeks, just as everything is, in fact, being canceled. The threat of canceling someone—so raw of an expression, so brutal in its reality—has entirely lost its bite now that cancelations have become an everyday thing and what’s cancelled is swiftly rescheduled, only to possibly be canceled again a few months down the road.

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