Cancel Culture Calamity

Using my unerring powers of deduction, I arrived at the conclusion that more people would be able to hear more of my Cancel Culture speeches if I delivered them from height. So, I put a scissor jack under my Cancel Culture Soap Box. The good news is it worked.

The bad news is I’d set the jack on a 45-degree incline, neglected to set the brake, hit a top speed of roughly 80 miles an hour on the way down the incline (given the mass of the jack and yours truly, along with the remarkable lack of friction due to the incredibly lubricated casters on the jack), and ended up breaking more bones than Evel Knievel did at Caesar’s Palace.

So, while I’m healing — and since I have to dictate even this to an ICU nurse by wiggling my ears — I’m going to leave you this week with just three things:

  1. “If now and then we encounter pages that explode, pages that wound and sear, that wring groans and tears and curses, know that they come from a man with his back up, a man whose only defenses left are his words and his words are always stronger than the lying, crushing weight of the world, stronger than all the racks and wheels which the cowardly invent to crush out the miracle of personality.” (Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer)
  2. “To create today is to create dangerously. Any publication is an act, and that act exposes one to the passions of an age that forgives nothing.” (Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death)
  3. ⤵︎


Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brien
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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  1. Interesting points Mark. Seems even Bradbury couldn’t escape the slings and arrows of cancel culture drudgery. No matter what a person does in life, it will never be enough to please everyone. Cancel culture is nothing more than a cheap shot from the intellectual gutter… shots taken from Marxist clones who fail to think, write, or speak for themselves. If we all bow down and surrender our perspectives to the next guy whining on the train, then we may as well raise the flag to full censorship and oppression. It’s so pathetic, even Dr. Seuss books are under attack. I can barely stand to read the news or watch television anymore, let alone invest my time in writing something objective. We run the risk of being labelled “privileged” simply for having the ability to use our minds as God intended. It’s near pointless to raise your voice in a sea of screaming toddlers, so let them have their tantrums and dull crayons. They will color the world with their self-righteous opinions and arrogance, never stopping to think whether they are right or wrong… only that their impulsive brainwashing must be obeyed… that they must serve their extremist masters to silence those who have a differing viewpoint. So much for intellectual freedom in America, welcome to 1984…

  2. I have always loved that tantrum by Mr. Bradbury. Good thing he is dead as if he wrote that today he’d be in hot water. I still can’t help but feel that the overriding sentiment with cancelers is that they would rather muzzle those with whom they disagree because they can’t mount any kind of intellectual counterpoint. Silence those you oppose because they might make rational points to disinterested parties. These are interesting times that we live in. I think we might have to become more active and ardent in our defense of free speech, as being a silent bystander is only serving those who would shut us all up. It would be much more interesting if it weren’t so terrifying. I cling to optimism, but the grip is slipping, as are our freedoms.

  3. I am increasingly concerned that “cancel” has quickly migrated — under the radar for most people — from words to action. To wit:

    • There are some 253 bills now going through Republican-controlled state legislatures that seek to limit / restrict (aka “cancel”) voting rights.

    • The U.S. Senate continues to hold itself hostage to the filibuster that prevents meaningful discussion and action on (aka “cancels”) all non-financial bills.

  4. Hey, Mark.
    Either other people’s perspectives are worth our attention or they’re not. One of the dangerous shortcuts of non-thinking is to slap a talking-point label on what we either don’t like or don’t accept (e.g. ‘cancel culture,’ ‘right-wing media,’ ‘nattering nabobs of negativism,’ ‘white privilege’ and the list goes on). These shortcut assemblages never do justice to humanity. People have every right (and write {sic}) to criticize any of us, especially those of us with enough talent and ego to broadcast our ideas. I was an SF nut as a boy and read everything that Bradbury, van Vogt, Clarke, Burroughs, Anderson, Saberhagen, Farmer et al. created. I loved the stories, and I, even back then, tried to disentangle myself from the political views (especially Bradbury) that did not sit well.
    “I would like us to do something unprecedented,” James Baldwin wrote in 1967, “to create ourselves without finding it necessary to create an enemy.”
    Be no less happy this afternoon than this morning.