Professional Hatemonger Gavin McInnes Devastated To Find There Are Social Consequences To Being An Asshole
There is a lot of space to have conversations about "cancel culture," whether it is a force for good or for bad or even whether or not it even really exists (I contend it does not, on account of all those canceled people still being around, but reasonable people can disagree). One thing we can all know for sure, however, is that Gavin McInnes is not a victim of it.
Despite the fact that nearly all outlets considered to be anything close to mainstream have wisely chosen to steer clear of Gavin McInnes, The Spectator USA — the American branch of the conservative British magazine that once published the likes of Evelyn Waugh, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Graham Greene, and Joan Collins — decided to go all in and publish an essay he wrote about being a victim of vicious cancel culture mobs. Indeed, he literally titled it "The mob and me: my life in the crosshairs." Oh, the humanityl.
When people talk about "cancel culture," the implication is that good people are just straight up having their lives ruined over small missteps and accidental infractions and bad things they said when they were young and stupid. The implication is that it is not warranted or that it is an outsized and unfair reaction, a bandwagon people are hopping on because they simply want to be in with the in crowd, and the in crowd is outraged all the time about everything. This is what McInnes is hoping people will believe happened to him. It is not.
In order to even be "canceled," I would imagine that one would have to start out with some amount of goodwill. You can't just start out being an asshole and go "GUESS I'M CANCELED!" when people think you are an asshole. That's cheating.
And yet he writes:
Well, as someone who has been canceled, I can tell you this culture is far from over. Just because some millionaires were able to take a hit, it doesn't mean there aren't thousands of others annihilated by the mob rule of the radical left. I'm the co-founder of VICE media, yet I turned to conservative politics after September 11, 2001. Since then, I have become a well-known pundit on the right and have hosted various shows on the outskirts of entertainment. I also started a men's club not unlike the Knights of Columbus called the Proud Boys.
Oh yeah. A men's club not unlike the Knights of Columbus. Now, I am not a big fan of the Knights of Columbus for a variety of reasons, but I have yet to see the Knights of Columbus pull any shit like this.
Anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention to the radical right in the last few years knows damn well that the Proud Boys are not just doing charity and marching in parades while wearing feathered hats. No one is buying that. He can say it all day long, no one is buying it. Not because we are part of some mob that is out to get him, but because we have eyes and ears and are relatively conscious.
I'm used to being an outcast. In 2014, my ad agency was shut down because I wrote an article entitled 'Transphobia is perfectly natural'.
Maybe you read that article, maybe you didn't. I did, because I've been on this beat a long time. To this day, it is one of the most vile and hateful things I have ever read. I'm not going to quote it at length, but here's one sentence to give you the gist of things:
Ripping your vaginal canal out of your fly doesn't mean you are going to start inventing shit and knowing how cement works.
And that, I assure you, is not even close to the worst of it.
The levels of outrage were relatively normal until October 12, 2018. That night, I decided to talk at Manhattan's Metropolitan Republican club to celebrate Otoya Yamaguchi, the Japanese student who assassinated the head of the Japan Socialist party with a samurai sword in 1960. It was a raucous, ribald talk that had the audience in stitches (check 'Gavin McInnes Otoya Yamaguchi speech' on YouTube). Trump supporters aren't allowed in comedy clubs anymore, so seemingly serious political speeches are the only place we can tell our jokes.
Oh please. Unfunny people have always had to find places other than comedy clubs to tell their jokes. It is the way of the world.
But McInnes misrepresents this as well. First of all, I don't even want to know how many fainting spells it would cause were Leftists to start going around being all YAY LEON CZOLGOSZ about shit. Second, he celebrated a guy who murdered someone for his beliefs and then, subsequently, his minions brutally attacked a bunch of protestors who were a block away from them. That is what happened. That is not a normal thing that people do — rather, it is a thing about which normal people say "Wow, that's really fucked up."
McInnes then goes on to describe the ways in which being "canceled" has affected his life, like it's some episode of Intervention and he's going to send "cancel culture" to a rehab in Florida. Mostly the way it has affected his life is that no one wants to be around him or hire him or be in the same bar as him or be around his wife or even his children. I feel bad for the children, on account of how they have a father who is such a horrible and repulsive human being that people around the country skeeve him and that's not their fault, but other than that, he's pretty much brought this all on himself.
He is the one who made the choice to have a career where he says horrible things about people all the time and starts violent hate groups, and the world told him no. He wasn't canceled any more than the Westboro Baptist Church was canceled. Just like Westboro Baptist Church, he decided to make his personal brand hating marginalized people and saying appalling things. And now, perhaps he must consider that there is a reason why the Westboro Baptist Church mostly keeps to themselves on their compound in Kansas.
Gavin McInnes is an asshole who did asshole things and now no one wants anything to do with him. That is not cancel culture, that is human nature. That is the normal way to react to someone who is being an asshole, especially when that person has every intention of continuing to be an asshole.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse