We’ve been hearing more and more about how cancel culture (i) exists and (ii) is evil. And my reaction is, paradoxically, to dispute both of those claims: I don’t think it really exists, and, if it does, it’s hard to characterise it as a bad thing. Or even as new.
I’ve written a paper from a Liberal Jewish perspective examining ‘cancel culture’ from Moses to the Mishnah to the present day. I quote the Talmud and the Canadian Supreme Court; I go on a glamorous [hypothetical] journey from Wolverhampton to Sussex to Lod.
You can read my paper below or by clicking here. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of the issues I’ve raised.
Aside from the exhaustion of 11 months with a new (and increasingly athletic) baby, it’s been quite hard to know what to do for this year’s Channukah parody blog.
I was going to riff a bit on that part of the Channukah story where they had a massive oil shortage, but then the autumn happened:
Then I was going to do an inspiring piece about the significance of Channukah as a festival of freedom. But then the spring happened:
Then I was going to do a funny sketch about that part of the Channukah story where autocratic leaders put pigs somewhere that they didn’t belong… until November happened:
Then I was going to do a thing about how Channukah teaches us the importance of allowing people to mix cultures and have complex melting-pot identities, until it turned out that Owen Patterson wanted to identify as an MP and also as a dairy consultant.
One of the most heartening stories of the year, though, was Stella Creasey’s powerful campaign to be allowed to take her (very cute) baby into Parliament with her, despite a ludicrous outdated rule forbidding this. And although Martin from Twitter was fully behind the no-children-at-work policy…
…he did get me thinking: why wouldn’t people elect him? It could hardly do a worse job of running things than the current government, and frankly if the House of Commons consisted solely of irascible, needy, screaming people behaving like babies, we might struggle to notice the difference.
How might the Commons’s agenda change if the infants were in charge?
See? Much better.