We’re on notice, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Our every word and deed is under strict scrutiny, and woe to you if you step across the line. This is what awaits offenders: criticism, cancellation, and elimination from the public sphere.
You’re on probation, citizens, and we’re watching you ... always watching.
(It’s better when you say this in your head with the voice of Roz from Monster’s Inc.)
And it’s not just what we say and do: our thoughts, our very subconscious, are suspect. No matter what you do or say, you can never atone for your unconscious bias.
In fact, you’re on double secret probation, citizens, because we know what’s in your thoughts you scoundrels.
(It’s better when you can imagine this said by Dean Wormer in Animal House)
It doesn’t matter what our intentions are: offense is in the eyes of the beholder. It doesn’t matter if we never crossed the line: a critical theorist can put that line wherever it needs to be. It most certainly doesn’t help to deny our thoughts are suspect: that’s just what a guilty person would do.
So if our intentions don’t matter, our actions don’t matter, and our very denials are proof of guilt, it’s time to be like Delta Tau Chi fraternity in Animal House. As Otter puts it so memorably:
They’re gonna nail us no matter what we do, so we might as well have a good time.
Go ahead, live your life. Ignore cancel culture so it can die the ignoble death it deserves.