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Mand love being canceled, ”Dave Chappelle told a crowd of 19,000, after his Netflix special saw a staff member come out to protest the way they had handled complaints for his trans jokes. . Leaked internal financial data revealed that Netflix spent more than $ 20 million on each of Chappelle’s shows, a number that in part helps persuade me that “the crop cancellation” could be one of the most profitable startups in living memory.

I read Chappelle’s quotes on my phone while waiting for a friend in central London, a place now freezing and slightly hysterical, standing outside what appeared to be a Monopoly theme park. Yes, right next to the closing of the Habitat is a sparkling new theater, where for around £ 60 you can play an immersive version of Monopoly. At Christmas, this may be the only way most of us can enjoy the experience of buying a house in London – walking around a huge plank with colleagues who have grown considerably in size since ‘they shared a workspace for the last time, slightly drunk on red cocktails, alternately yearning for the house and sickening at the idea that this fun has to end, and at midnight, completely confused by the concept of cash.

As well as offering a happy dystopian thrill, it reminded me a bit of the last grift, sorry, gift from the “anti-revival” community, the University of Austin. Launched by a group of canceled academics on an “intrepid quest for the truth,” it has so far been just as illusory. It really is a work in progress, it has no campus yet, no study programs, no faculty – it’s just a shiny facade.

It is becoming increasingly clear that a defining characteristic of “culture cancellation” is not, as one would expect, silence, apologies or shame. A defining characteristic of the cancellation culture is a lot, a lot of money. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that there is still no real consensus on what cancellation culture really is. Everyone has a different idea of ​​what it means, or what it should mean, to be ‘canceled’, a word that I regularly have to accessorize with frilly quotes for the reason – it’s used to describe consequences of social transgressions, but used in a way that tries to shame the critic. This vagueness of meaning allows almost any conservative, nonconformist, or those facing a little online friction to benefit from the revoked status.

And the benefits can be huge. The beauty of embracing a canceled identity is that it imbues the cancellation with an aura of rebellious glamor. Rather than being seen as maybe mean, maybe out of touch, maybe a little tyrannical, they become outlaws. This exoticism allows them to take their next steps through a cloud of virtual cigarette smoke, their opinions quickly flushed out of offense, suddenly becoming controversial in a haunting manner. Just by dabbling in the forbidden, no matter what they said or did, they got interesting. Which leads to attention, which leads to fame, which leads to profit, both for the canceled and those who account for them, hi.

Louis CK, who has vowed to “take a step back” after accusations of sexual misconduct (and saw his television series literally, in fact, properly canceled) was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. His career has undoubtedly been impacted by the revelations, but it’s hard to say whether the darkness that has gripped him after sexually intimidating several women has had an entirely negative effect, or if, in fact, it has. also found a new audience. , with critics seeing depths among the weeds. So is Marilyn Manson, currently facing three sexual assault prosecutions, with charges of more than a dozen women of psychological, sexual and physical abuse.

It’s not fair to lump all the “canceled” men together, I know, and maybe theirs are actually some of the best albums of the year, of the decade, of all time. It’s possible! It’s possible. But when the industry judges behind awards like the Grammys choose to elevate the defendants over the countless other artists vying for the space, including other artists who haven’t, for example, built soundproof booths in which they’ve imprisoned ‘bad’ girlfriends (as Manson is accused of doing) or masturbating to female comics (Louis CK), knowing that this sends a very clear message to the world, about art, about rewards, who and what really matters, it makes you wonder what justice should look like today. When even the literal cancellation probably leads to scintillating prices.

Without a doubt, there are people right now who are putting the finishing touches on a racist tweet designed to have them completely and gloriously canceled tomorrow, with an eye on the riches to come. There is no doubt that there are people out there right now, who are putting their spicy opinions on the genre into practice and are rubbing their thighs at the promise of a long career in punditry. If that’s not a sufficient reason to quash all belief in “quashing the culture” then I don’t know what it is.

Email Eva at e.wiseman@observer.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @EvaWiseman




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