SATURDAY, MAY 16TH, 2020
Have Your Milkshake And Drink It, Too
THE LATEST SIP
Big warning for this article: I have a pet peeve with some liberal rhetoric and I've got ~MILD OPINIONS~ about it. This thing's worded a little aggressive, and it's because I'm just a bit sick of falling into the same trap myself. I'm not calling out anyone specific - by all means, everyone I've talked to in the Neocities internet sphere has grokked this concept just fine. I'm more ranting at, like, shit I've seen on Twitter and Tumblr. No, I'm not saying milkshake ducks are fine, and I'm not saying you should unabashedly support them. We good? Read on, then.
It happened again, folks. You're on your twitters.com, scrolling through the "Re-Tweets" and "Internet Posts", when you find out your favorite Influencer™️, with whom you've had a loving parasocial relationship for three years, has officially been Cancelled. Tears streaming down your face, you furiously google the alleged charges, looking for any holes to poke in the arguments. 'It was just taken out of context', you cry! 'Babyshooter89 would never milkshake duck on us!'
I'm sorry to say, but you've been bamboozled again. Celebrities do have flaws! History has seen this story play out many times through the generations. Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, and Mel Gibson all did terrible things. Kramer's actor said the N word. Quentin Tarantino has done a lot of fucked up garbage. Jontron's racism central now. And don't even get me started on Notch. You get the point. A lot of great things were made by real shit people, and this isn't exactly new; it's just a lot easier to find out today, thanks to that pesky 'controversies' bit of every Wikipedia page.
And - look, I'm not here to talk about """cancel culture"""" itself. None of these dipshits deserve a platform, and yet very few were de-platformed like the people crying about it would like to have you believe. There are enough white guys out there who really want to say the N word for Jontron to make money forever. But that's not you, right? Presumably, if you're reading my website, you're the left-leaning, moral-minded type. If you aren't, fuck off, this isn't for you. I bet you've already made peace with your love of Shadman or something equally fucked up and gross. Get out of here. But, if you are a leftist and not a freak, you might be grappling with what you should do as a content consumer. After all, what you watch shapes who you are! And, more importantly, what will people think if they find out you still watch - gasp! - Game Grumps?
Honestly? I don't care what you do, and I'm not here to tell you any reaction is right or wrong. If you want to go bash racists online, please, be my guest, take my tire iron, I would LOVE to see that. If you want to performatively block some chump for clout, sure, that's fine too. Make a day of it, start a hashtag. Have fun. I'm not here to stop you. I'm just here to say, that if you're still pulling your hair out over your love of a video from 15 years ago that has some homophobic language in it, maybe... don't worry about it, bud. It's fine. You won't get cancelled by proxy. I'll get to why. Just listen to this personal anecdote first.
Sjin from the Yogscast was known to be up to some skeevy shit since at least 2016, but wasn't ousted from the company until 2019. Go to any video about him right now and you'll see dozens of comments defending him. Some clearly know what he's done wrong and are likely perpetrators themselves; others just don't understand that it was more than 'flirting'. As a long-time fan of the Yogscast, many of the videos he was in were dear to me, and much like these wayward fans, I didn't know how to grapple with his cancellation.
Is it wrong to watch those videos and reminisce?
How do you navigate this confusing new media landscape, where your choices are dictated not by quality, but by morality? Can you stomach what these people have done, for the sake of your own nostalgia? Will you make any reach you can to excuse them, just to ease your own conscience? I don't think you should lie to yourself like that. Frankly, there's a simpler solution here, and I'm ready to sell it to you for only a moderate price!
'yeah fuck nick rob but i loved car boys'
This is still a thing you can say about basically anything. It never stopped being a thing. That whole 'separate the art from the artist' crap has some merit, even if the other side of the political compass mostly seems to use it to justify horrible things. 90% of people pretty much get it immediately, and if you're going to be seen watching something shitty, this should definitely be your go-to.
Discourse is fucking exhausting. Go have a real milkshake and stop fighting over the most minor shit imaginable.
You can denounce a creator while still enjoying what they created. You can even denounce parts of a work while still liking the rest of it. Hell, you could denounce an entire work and still be a fan! Lord knows I still love Homestuck! Be mindful to not support really awful authors and their future endeavors, but, jesus christ, this isn't The Good Place. You're not being scored. You're not going to go to hell because you like Kill Bill. Chill the fuck out, call Jontron the sleazebag he is, rewatch his banjo kazooie episode anyway, move on with your life.
You don't have to have a 'strong stance' on everything. Your moral character is not being degraded because you like something that is, quote unquote, Problematic™️. You aren't going to get caught by Kant's ghost for liking Stevens Universe and not living every second of your life as morally as a saint. There are actual Nazis and shit out there, and you're worried about how your soul measures up against 'em for watching a Youtube video?
Let yourself have one tiny little vice like everyone else in the world does and, instead, start to focus on actual problems. Like those Nazis I mentioned! You'll probably feel a lot better and get a lot more done if you do.
...This is advice I've started taking myself, so I hope hearing it from another person helps. Take a step back and evaluate how much you really care, and if it's worth it to lose sleep over an issue. If not?
Thank you for reading the Inquirer. I eagerly await my incoming cancellation, and I'd like to see my third 'banned' role in Penny's Club on my desk by next Tuesday, extra custard-y.
SATURDAY, MAY 16TH, 2020