We told you about this earlier in the week: Harper’s Magazine published a letter featuring about 150 signatories that will appear in the October print issue, and basically it expresses concern over the rise of the so-called “cancel culture.” The article includes this:
The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes.
After the story was made public, some signatories wanted out after seeing who else had signed.
Among those who spotted the irony was William Shatner:
So there’s this Harper’s magazine open letter against cancel culture. Apparently a number of authors signed it; it was published. And a couple signers saw the other signers & objected and now want their name removed. ?? Isn’t that exactly what you signed up against???♂️?
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 9, 2020
Proud of my fellow Montrealer today, willing to boldly go where no star has gone before https://t.co/9Rsf6Z5akL
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) July 9, 2020
Even Captain Kirk gets it! https://t.co/CVfgstKApI
— Joseph Massey (@jmasseypoet) July 9, 2020
This is pretty spot-on. https://t.co/XSMd9ugMOo
— Dr. Implorable (@DocPGraham) July 10, 2020
Exactly. Irony is dead. https://t.co/cyYqJwX0bu
— David Holland (@DavidHolland) July 9, 2020
“It’s dead, Jim.”