As cancel culture marches forward with increased momentum, artists are hiding in their foxholes, afraid of being ostracized for a flippant tweet written during their brazen-faced youth. Actors lose jobs, professors get fired and classic films are banned for portraying outdated ideals that don’t fit today’s sensibilities. The safest move is to cancel all forms of culture.
Shakespeare can be deleted, not because of the debate as to whether “The Merchant of Venice” is anti-Semitic (I don’t think it is), but because it is written in English, which excludes people who don’t speak English. His sonnet “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” offends and excludes the other three seasons. Schoolchildren should replace Elizabethan drama essays with analytic critiques of “Love Island” episodes, which shows great family values by not insisting on outdated concepts like monogamy or fidelity.
The instruction manual for 2021 is Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451,” set in a society that burns books, although it doesn’t give any instruction for Kindles. Every schoolchild can be issued with one copy, a box of matches and the instruction “burn before reading.”