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Well no, the Dixie Chicks spoke out about our soldiers being killed overseas for no reason. THEY were the patriotic ones. Not the crazies who cancelled them. And what is with us having to explain what free speech means to adults every other day on the internet? It's really sad how few older Americans understand what free speech means. Free Speech has NOTHING to do with private companies choosing what to publish. NOTHING. It has to do with the government silencing or punishing unpopular speech. How many times does this need to be explained? I get that you don't like people boycotting things you like but that's capitalism. People have been "cancelling" since the first seller opened shop. And again, the Dixie Chicks weren't "pushy". Young men and women were dying because of an unjust war which was justified by lies. I get that conservatives only talk about liking the military. But the anti-war activists walk the walk.
 

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And what is with us having to explain what free speech means to adults every other day on the internet? It's really sad how few older Americans understand what free speech means. Free Speech has NOTHING to do with private companies choosing what to publish. NOTHING. It has to do with the government silencing or punishing unpopular speech. How many times does this need to be explained?
You're confusing the social concept of free speech, which goes back to the ancient Greeks, and government censorship of the press, but otherwise, on most of your greater points, I tend to agree with you.

BTW, the Chicks bombed because their fan base didn't agree with their sentiments. That's also capitalism -- you have to consider your prime sales demographics. We deal with that in indie publishing all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 · (Edited)
I'm done with this thread now, but here is my parting shot.

As far as I can determine. Yes, people have been ostracized since the beginning of time for their views and morals. For some it meant getting thrown out of the clan on orders of the Chieftan to fend for themselves, exiled, blackballed, a loss of status, or even put to death for their contrarian views to those that had power over determining culture. Hell, you can even be put to death now in some countries.

However, what is happening in todays society to bring about a culture shift, particularly in the US and the UK, deserves a descriptive term of "Cancellation Culture," brought about by "Woke" activists rather than the powers that be, "Woke" is another term that deserves to have been coined, because it is specific in the way these activists seek to bring about change not by force of revolution, but by changing mindsets through the backdoor of education and using the internet for their voice..

As regards literature, books and writing have been cancelled, or censored ever since there were scribes. Even the Bible as we know it has books/gospels removed, or omitted depending on which denomination you follow, initially at the behest of a the Roman Emperor Constantine under a council of church leaders. Germany had mass book burnings of anything considered Un-German that didn't align with Nazi ideals .heralding an era of state censorship and cultural control. None of this was brought about by activists, but by the powers that be.

Education systems have always been a prime mover in setting cultural progress that align with the state. Take the UK. In the days of Empire and their four tier system of education. Secondary high schools provided the soldiers. Technical high schools provided the engineers, Grammar schools provided the captains on up, and private schools provided the higher ranks to maintain a class system, loosely based on intelligence, with all curriculums geared to instilling the students superiority in the world. In the US from what I can see it was segregation by race in schools and elsewhere, enforced by the law of the land that perpetuated the superiority of the largely white population to the detriment of the non-white population.. The UK has never had that problem, but clearly that situation in the US was reprehensible and needed a culture shift. Thankfully, activist protest and the immediacy of media getting out events to the nation brought about the start of change, which still has some way to go.

Cancel culture merely defines the modern day version of what is mentioned above, but not instigated by those in power, but by those of a like minded mindset as to how we should think and what we should say in an clandestine attempt to change culture through both the education system and using the internet as a voice to exert their will. Some of it I agree with, but it is in danger of taking it too far if it veers too far become akin to blackmail of the mind to stifle creativity in literature. I just hope it doesn't lurch too far to the extreme when it comes to literature as it has done in China, where nothing gets published that hasn't been scrutinized by cultural editors.
 
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I'm done with this thread now, but here is my parting shot.

As far as I can determine. Yes, people have been ostracized since the beginning of time for their views and morals. For some it meant getting thrown out of the clan on orders of the Chieftan to fend for themselves, exiled, blackballed, a loss of status, or even put to death for their contrarian views to those that had power over determining culture. Hell, you can even be put to death now in some countries.

However, what is happening in todays society to bring about a culture shift, particularly in the US and the UK, deserves a descriptive term of "Cancellation Culture," brought about by "Woke" activists rather than the powers that be, "Woke" is another term that deserves to have been coined, because it is specific in the way these activists seek to bring about change not by force of revolution, but by changing mindsets through the backdoor of education and using the internet for their voice..

As regards literature, books and writing have been cancelled, or censored ever since there were scribes. Even the Bible as we know it has books/gospels removed, or omitted depending on which denomination you follow, initially at the behest of a the Roman Emperor Constantine under a council of church leaders. Germany had mass book burnings of anything considered Un-German that didn't align with Nazi ideals .heralding an era of state censorship and cultural control. None of this was brought about by activists, but by the powers that be.

Education systems have always been a prime mover in setting cultural progress that align with the state. Take the UK. In the days of Empire and their four tier system of education. Secondary high schools provided the soldiers. Technical high schools provided the engineers, Grammar schools provided the captains on up, and private schools provided the higher ranks to maintain a class system, loosely based on intelligence, with all curriculums geared to instilling the students superiority in the world. In the US from what I can see it was segregation by race in schools and elsewhere, enforced by the law of the land that perpetuated the superiority of the largely white population to the detriment of the non-white population.. The UK has never had that problem, but clearly that situation in the US was reprehensible and needed a culture shift. Thankfully, activist protest and the immediacy of media getting out events to the nation brought about the start of change, which still has some way to go.

Cancel culture merely defines the modern day version of what is mentioned above, but not instigated by those in power, but by those of a like minded mindset as to how we should think and what we should say in an clandestine attempt to change culture through both the education system and using the internet as a voice to exert their will. Some of it I agree with, but it is in danger of taking it too far if it veers too far become akin to blackmail of the mind to stifle creativity in literature. I just hope it doesn't lurch too far to the extreme when it comes to literature as it has done in China, where nothing gets published that hasn't been scrutinized by cultural editors.
You sure are being vague about what you think is being forced into American education or fueling 'CANCEL CULTURE' in the UK.
 

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I wonder, can anyone give some specific recent examples of cancel culture as it pertains to books?

A few writers here have alluded to not writing something they otherwise would have, but they left it very vague - if you're one of those writers, could you tell us what it is you didn't write? What kind of topic or character or theme are you wary of writing?

Or could someone point us in the direction of a specific book that was "cancelled"? (Ideally one that was unjustly cancelled, rather than just a normal capitalist decision by a profit-seeking business not wanting to lose money due to changing market conditions.)
 

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The biggest example I remember was a YA Fantasy series by a Chinese author. People objected to the discussions of slavery in the book/world because some characters were entrenched in the beliefs of the system. Others though it was cultural appropriation, which is ridiculous with the history of slavery in China.

The book was Blood Heir. I believe the author and publisher both agreed to shelve it but who knows how that conversation actually went.

It was discussed a bit here at the time. I'm sure there are old threads. What I remember was the criticism coming from people who hadn't read the entire book/had only read passages.


I do think it matters that fear of cancellation is causing writers to avoid potentially loaded topics. It's not that criticism or boycotts are wrong. It's that the discourse is black and white and unforgiving. That makes it hard to write with shades of grey. And that nuance is necessary for mature, interesting stories.

Is this fear reasonable? Maybe, maybe not. I always try to push boundaries in small ways and no one has ever dragged me on Twitter. But no one really talks about my genre on Twitter either.
 

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I wonder, can anyone give some specific recent examples of cancel culture as it pertains to books?

A few writers here have alluded to not writing something they otherwise would have, but they left it very vague - if you're one of those writers, could you tell us what it is you didn't write? What kind of topic or character or theme are you wary of writing?

Or could someone point us in the direction of a specific book that was "cancelled"? (Ideally one that was unjustly cancelled, rather than just a normal capitalist decision by a profit-seeking business not wanting to lose money due to changing market conditions.)

I don't think this book was cancelled due to changing market conditions. It seems more likely that it's the author being cancelled in this case rather than the content of the book. But who knows.
 

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I haven't seen anyone give a single example that's different than any sort of boycott that's always been done. Consumers have easier ways to mobilize now with social media. Before the corporations could mobilize their message through nationwide ad campaigns but now consumers can mobilize through social networking. Through that effort, things people don't like get talked about, just like they would at the water cooler, Sunday brunch, etc. The only reason the idea of cancel culture exists is because people who didn't have the power to mobilize and oppose power structures before now have a bit more say.

Cancel Culture is a buzz phrase to inspire fear and outrage among right-wingers in the U.S. It's always been about customers in the market making economic decisions. But the genie has left the bottle, and we the people have a strengthened voice now, some don't like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 · (Edited)
You sure are being vague about what you think is being forced into American education or fueling 'CANCEL CULTURE' in the UK.
Nothing vague about it at all, it's there for all to see without giving specifics. If you want to train an dog, the best time to start is when they are puppies. It' more difficult for older dogs, because they are fairly set in their ways. Hence the division on the subject in society. How's that for vagueness? ;)

Majority of teachers say children from the age of five should be taught to protest climate change

North Korean deserter slams US woke education.

The educators are themselves subjects of the evolution within the education system right up to university. Each generation of educators take wokeness a step further, some of it well intentioned, Sometimes it's a logical requirement, but at times it leads to extremes where politics are involved. From the education system the mindsets spread to the population and industry leaders, until the older population die off and the new culture is set with a different mindset.

There are as many books taken off the schools' shelves in the US as there are from the shelves in the UK. History is viewed completely differently. Questions of gender as it related to literature, students being judged by essays using as few gender descriptions as possible. The list goes on.

I don't have a political interest other than an interest how culture is changing. The reason for the thread was to gauge opinion from others for a dystopian book I'm writing in relation to a question "What if?" and where all this could be going if taken to the extreme.
 

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Cancel Culture, as a phrase, is about the power of social media. The underlying mechanics may be the same, but the use of social media is new, relatively speaking. And the specific trends are specific. If you don't want to dive into the details, don't, but don't claim you know enough to say this isn't worth discussing.

I think the effects of Cancel Culture are overstated but it's still a worrying trend.

A boycott is of a product that exists. Calls to cancel/pull before publication are closer to prior restraint. It's not government interference, but it is still an attempt to silence someone before they speak.

Again, it's not specifically a free speech issue, because it's not government action... But in the larger scheme, it is a free speech issue, because calling for the cancellation of views opposed to yours is an anti-free speech position. It's encouraging an environment where there's a right POV and other ideas are silenced.
 

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Nothing vague about it at all, it's there for all to see without giving specifics. If you want to train an dog, the best time to start is when they are puppies. It' more difficult for older dogs, because they are fairly set in their ways. Hence the division on the subject in society. How's that for vagueness? ;)

Majority of teachers say children from the age of five should be taught to protest climate change

North Korean deserter slams US woke education.

The educators are themselves subjects of the evolution within the education system right up to university. Each generation of educators take wokeness a step further, some of it well intentioned, Sometimes it's a logical requirement, but at times it leads to extremes where politics are involved. From the education system the mindsets spread to the population and industry leaders, until the older population die off and the new culture is set with a different mindset.

There are as many books taken off the schools' shelves in the US as there are from the shelves in the UK. History is viewed completely differently. Questions of gender as it related to literature, students being judged by essays using as few gender descriptions as possible. The list goes on.

I don't have a political interest other than an interest how culture is changing. The reason for the thread was to gauge opinion from others for a dystopian book I'm writing in relation to a question "What if?" and where all this could be going if taken to the extreme.
1. Articles like that never explain how a survey was taken, so pass on that. I still don't see why it's wrong for children to be more involved in a crisis that will greatly affect their way of life.

2. A North Korean deserter becoming popular over dudebro outrage and possibly getting monetary compensation from it is just her settling into America. I'm pretty sure one teacher not wanting to teach it isn't going to harm Jane Eyre's rank as 81 in Classic Literature on Amazon. Said dudebros also learned the name of a second female author besides Ayn Rand, so like win-win.

3. I find it funny that you're looking for worst case scenarios of "what if" for a dystopian story when many people already experience it through the things you want to stay the same. It just happens to people you don't seem to acknowledge. The world is a pretty big place when you're not wrapped up in fear of change.
 
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Discussion Starter · #92 · (Edited)
3. I find it funny that you're looking for worst case scenarios of "what if" for a dystopian story when many people already experience it through the things you want to stay the same. It just happens to people you don't seem to acknowledge. The world is a pretty big place when you're not wrapped up in fear of change.
1&2 Your observations are the problem with giving examples in answers to questions off the hoof ,of which there are many everyday in news articles and giving the impression of gathering at a pace.

3. Not sure I can get my head around what this is saying. I don't recall saying I was against change, merely pointing out the changes in culture and possibly literature.
 

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As Crystal said, it's somewhat disturbing when there are calls to cancel books before they are released officially, or even after they're released in many, if not most, cases.

Face it, the vast majority of books in today's vibrant publishing culture have a fairly short shelf life. Any book that appears to be shocking or construed as a no-no will be history in a couple weeks, especially in a publishing culture where a given author must publish a new book every month or so, or fade into the pile of new product that appears nearly every minute at the online retailers.

The books that will be recalled 10 years from now as outstanding and important literature will be few and far between, as they always have. Most books will be simply forgotten -- whether good or bad.

That said, the problem I personally have with 'cancelling' or banning speech is that it implies that the average consumer is so ignorant as to not be able to discern for themselves what is good, what is bad. It takes away, or reduces that choice. Why did so many in power think that Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn was so dangerous that it was banned in the US for 30 years? When it was released finally, did the world stop spinning? Nope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 · (Edited)
I wonder, can anyone give some specific recent examples of cancel culture as it pertains to books?

A few writers here have alluded to not writing something they otherwise would have, but they left it very vague - if you're one of those writers, could you tell us what it is you didn't write? What kind of topic or character or theme are you wary of writing?

Or could someone point us in the direction of a specific book that was "cancelled"? (Ideally one that was unjustly cancelled, rather than just a normal capitalist decision by a profit-seeking business not wanting to lose money due to changing market conditions.)
I don't know about how these came about to be banned or challenged and they only refer to schools and libraries that had challenges made against them, not that they were actually banned from sale or distribution as you can see the Holy Bible is among them. This list is compiled by the American Library Association office. This is a top 100 list from 2010 to 2019. Since keeping records from 1990 there have been over 6000 challenges, though the association says that many go unreported and their are likely 80% more challenges. The information is public. Type in "List of cancelled or banned books" in your browser and there are more specific examples. No doubt there will be quite a few bestsellers among them. I can even see some that have been made into films and successful TV series..

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  2. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  7. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  9. Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
  10. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  12. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  13. I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
  14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  16. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
  17. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  18. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  19. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  20. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg
  21. Alice McKinley (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  22. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
  23. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  24. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
  25. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  26. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  27. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
  28. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  29. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  30. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  31. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
  32. It's a Book by Lane Smith
  33. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  34. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  35. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
  36. A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
  37. Bad Kitty (series) by Nick Bruel
  38. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  39. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
  40. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  41. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey
  42. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
  43. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
  44. A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
  45. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  46. Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
  47. In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco
  48. Lush by Natasha Friend
  49. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  50. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  51. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  52. The Holy Bible
  53. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
  54. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  55. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  56. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
  57. House of Night (series) by P.C. Cast
  58. My Mom's Having A Baby by Dori Hillestad Butler
  59. Neonomicon by Alan Moore
  60. The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake
  61. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  62. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  63. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  64. Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle
  65. Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia
  66. Fade by Lisa McMann
  67. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  68. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  69. Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
  70. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  71. House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  72. Jacob's New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
  73. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  74. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  75. Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter
  76. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
  77. Stuck in the Middle by Ariel Schrag
  78. The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
  79. 1984 by George Orwell
  80. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  81. Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
  82. Awakening by Kate Chopin
  83. Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  84. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  85. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  86. Glass by Ellen Hopkins
  87. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesle´a Newman
  88. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  89. Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans
  90. My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
  91. Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
  92. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology by Amy Sonnie
  93. Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judith Schachner
  94. So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  95. The Color of Earth (series) by Tong-hwa Kim
  96. The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  97. The Walking Dead (series) by Robert Kirkman
  98. Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
  99. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S Brannen
  100. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
As an example of something I edited, I had a conversation between two African Americans. They used the N word as used in rap music in the conversation. I decided to change to something more acceptable and used by all, even though I had personally heard it being said between two individuals.
 
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A surprisingly long run for a thread on a controversial topic, but there's now too much in here that has nothing to do with reading, writing, or publishing. Those of you who kept it on-topic, thank you.
 
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