Why is it that people these days feel a need to create cutesy sayings that could be otherwise defined without completely re-writing the English language? A week or so ago, I puzzled and pondered over being called ‘woke’, which made no sense at all either grammatically or in terms of syntax. I am awake most often, and I awoke this morning, but … que es esto ‘woke’??? Okay, so I figured that one out with help from both Merriam-Webster, Google, and a few helpful readers. Before that, there was ‘social distancing’, which is just a nice term for ‘stay away from people’. More than a few times, I’ve been labelled a ‘snowflake’, which I always take as a compliment, for snowflakes are beautiful and unique, but I’m told it isn’t intended as a compliment. How I long for the good ol’ days when people just called me “bitch” and I knew what they thought of me.
Today’s latest, and I’ve heard it bandied about a few times, but only today did it fly onto my radar, is “cancel culture”. What the SAM HELL do these people even mean? Okay, back to my ol’ friend Google, who tells me that ‘cancel culture’ “describes a form of boycott in which an individual (usually a celebrity) who has acted or spoken in a questionable or controversial manner is boycotted.” So … why the hell didn’t they just say that??? Is this a generational trick to try to exclude us older folks from the conversation?
I go on record right now, today, at this very moment, as saying that if people must speak in these evasive terms, then I do not choose to take part in the conversation. I could wipe the floor with those who think this is cute … remember, I came of age in the 1960s when “Lay it on me, man”, and “All show and no go”, and “Let it all hang out” were the buzz phrases of the day.
The first time I heard of ‘cancel culture’ was a few weeks ago when it was used by Ivanka Kushner, after she was uninvited to give the commencement address at Wichita State University in Kansas, in part because of her father’s unfeeling responses to the murder of George Floyd, and in part because they realized that Ivanka cannot relate to the average person just finishing college, walking into the world of uncertainty. She was, after all, born with a silver spoon in her mouth and has never … not one day in her life … been deprived or denied anything she wanted.
Speaking of Ivanka …
On Tuesday, Ivanka apparently became the unofficial spokesperson for Goya products! Now, you may or may not know that many of us, this writer included, are boycotting (cancel culturing???) Goya products after Goya’s CEO, Robert Unanue, praised Donald Trump, saying …
“We are all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president.”
This after Trump said of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. …
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
You just keep on praying Mr. Unanue, because while I used to use Goya rice and beans in my cooking … I will never again purchase your products.
But, Ivanka and Donnie have both endorsed Goya in the past week …
The United States Office of Government Ethics has this little rule called the Hatch Act that says, “Executive branch employees may not use their Government positions to suggest that the agency or any part of the executive branch endorses an organization (including a nonprofit organization), product, service, or person.”
Hmmmm … but the rules of ethics don’t really seem to apply to Trump & Co, do they? Remember just a week or two after Trump’s inauguration, when his ‘senior advisor’, Kellyanne Conway, publicly promoted Ivanka’s line of apparel and other over-priced junk? That, too, was in violation of the same ethics ruling, yet Kellyanne is still part of Trump’s entourage of clowns and has paid no price for her perfidy. Neither I’m sure, will Ivanka. Rules, in the world of Trump, are for us peons, made to be disregarded by those of wealth and power.
But back to ‘cancel culture’. If I choose not to buy Goya products, or shop at Wal-Mart or Home Depot, or eat at Chick-Fil-A because the people who would profit from my purchases support an ideology that I find offensive, that is my choice. I am making a consumer choice based on my own values. My purchasing power is my voice. I am not canceling anybody’s culture, but rather am refusing to support those who are racist, homophobic, or abuse their employees. Period. No need for cutesy labeling. It seems to me this is just another way to further divide the populace of this nation, as are the other labels that people have dreamed up for those who don’t agree with them, or don’t act the same or believe the same.
Meanwhile, both Donald and Ivanka are in violation of ethics rules and both should be officially censured, or better yet, fired!