My guests this week are Clementine Morrigan and Jay, co-hosts of the F***ing Cancelled podcast – which examines the phenomenon of cancel culture through the lens of 12-step recovery and trauma-informed reparative justice.
This is the last show of the current season + it’s safe to say I’ve been feeling quite nervous about airing it!! After all, criticizing cancel culture, or even siding with other people who do, is a sure-fire way to get cancelled. But what I value about Clementine and Jay’s approach, is what they bring to it from their 12-step work – which puts a big emphasis on “keeping your side of the street clean.”
This means living in integrity, taking responsibility for any past actions that may have caused harm and making the necessary amends. Which is the goal of many a cancellation, but this often gets lost in the fear-based feeding frenzies that we see erupting online – where the erasure of a specific individual can become a placeholder for the sustained and sensitive work of looking at why certain attitudes and behaviors persists and how this can be addressed at a systemic level. In the episode we discuss:
-The contrast between culture of shame and blame in some online social justice movements and the reparative amends-making of the 12-step program.
-Living in fear of being “found-out” for past bad behavior.
-How getting sober helps us live in integrity – and be the moral judge of our own behavior.
-What they term “the nexus” – and how it has enabled the rise of cancel culture.
-The addictive nature of social media and online mob mentality – and what makes us susceptible to this.
-Why yelling at each other on the internet is not how we enact social change in the real world.
-Why cancel culture mimics the dynamics of an abusive relationship.
-How to build nervous system resilience so that we can engage in the difficult conversations that are necessary for progress.
-Why our political work should not be part of our personal brand – something we use to get more follows and likes (and sponsorship dollars).
-Why cancel culture is an outlet for an overwhelming sense of injustice, betrayal, and powerlessness about the state of the wider world.
-Why it’s impossible to change what somebody thinks by coercion – and how to model the change we want to see.
-The parallels between getting sober and opting out of cancel culture.
Big thanks to Three Spirit for partnering on this episode. Order online at www.threespiritdrinks.com and use the code SOBERCURIOUS to get 15% off.