Things have been slow in the Covid realm, so I’m gonna take a quick detour. Anthony Fantano, “The Internet’s busiest music nerd” has dropped yet another stupid take on twitter. I say another, because the guy consistently says stupid stuff on twitter. He says stupid stuff because he desperately wants to be famous and taken seriously, and not relegated to merely a music reviewer on the internet.
Its no different than when someone who has a viewer base solely from something like acting or music decides to start sharting their opinions out on topics they know little about all over social media. It’s a symptom of arrogance. I have a lot of online followers, therefore I must be intelligent and enlightened on all matters, even those I literally know nothing about. Therefore I must chime in on absolutely everything, all the time.
So, he chimed in and gave his melon-headed opinion on “cancel culture” recently.
Why is this an astronomically stupid take? Because when most people refer to cancel culture, they are referring to the toxic act wherein people attempt to ruin other people’s careers or even lives over things as simple as mere disagreements.
When people make these terrible sweeping generalizations that “only bad people get cancelled”, they’re being dense at best and disingenuous at worst. This isn’t just about people reacting to other people being shitheads. This post is me reacting to someone being a shithead. This post isn’t a representation of cancel culture. I’m not trying to hurt Fantano’s career or finances. I’m not trying to incite mob justice against him. I’m just expressing my opinion about him.
People regularly get doxxed (the illegal posting of personal information), simply because someone else disagrees with them online. People rat on their co-workers and try to get them fired simply because they disagree with them. People project lies into the public sphere, that often result in lives being turned upside down.
Anyone heard of Johnny Depp? He’s this guy whose last wife made up lies about abuse that were spread via publications and social media. Despite the fact that there was no credible evidence of abuse other than allegations, Depp’s image and career were impacted. Everyone was bandwagon hating on this guy for months. The Harry Potter cult even spearheaded petitions to get him removed from a Fantastic Beasts film.
Turns out, his ex-wife Amber Heard was the abuser, being caught on audio recordings stating as much. Whoopsie! She also attacked him on one instance that almost resulted in him losing part of a finger. So all those people jumping to conclusions and clamoring for mob justice were wrong? The mob isn’t always right? Who would have figured?
This is what people who complain about cancel culture are fighting against. This isn’t simply about individuals being held accountable for things they say or do. They’re against this unthinking mob justice wherein people who should probably mind their own business feel the need to interject themselves into conflicts that don’t involve them. They are obsessed with feeling like the judge, jury and executioner. It gives them purpose.
The people engaging in this behavior don’t always do their due diligence to make sure they have the right person. They’re not particularly concerned with the ethics behind what they do, and sometimes just engage in this behavior for personal gain. Putting someone on blast on social media nets you a lot more “likes” than simply confronting that person one-on-one. Internet likes are worth more than another person’s well-being to many an online narcissist.
This isn’t a harmless endeavor. Numerous people have been bullied into suicide by this “culture”. Countless people have been wrongly accused of things they didn’t do. At its worst, it often devolves into a type of witch-hunt.
This dipshit recently used her platform as a game designer to direct her mob of followers after someone involved in a hit-and-run. Problem was, the person she accused of the crime wasn’t even involved:
Turns out it wasn’t a “white supremacist”, but some random black dude in the car, who was later arrested.
This isn’t the first time she’s been a horrible person online either. This is a pattern of behavior and not just a one-time thing. She never faces repercussions, and never learns her lesson. She’ll continue to behave like this because it draws traffic to her account. She just locks her account when inevitable backlash comes her way, then goes back to being an asshole when the coast is clear.
This is why random people with an online presence shouldn’t attempt to be detectives. Leave this kind of thing to the people who are actually trained to do this. The empty online validation isn’t worth the life you may put in harms way to obtain it.
Which brings us back to Anthony Fantano. His tweet above is especially stupid because he himself was a victim of this cancel culture.
In late 2017, the publication The Fader produced a hit-piece accusing Fantano of being alt-right. Alt-right is a cutesy euphemism publications and pundits use to legally skirt calling someone a Nazi. Richard Spencer is alt-right. Anthony Fantano is just a run-of-the-mill leftist. He also has a black wife, which in a non-stupid world should probably discredit him from being alt-right, aka a Nazi, aka a white supremacist. We live in Stupid World™ though, so inconvenient facts don’t matter.
He was accused of being alt-right because he had a second YouTube channel called “thatistheplan” wherein he posted meme videos. Anyone with a functioning brain would have seen these videos and realized they were just comedic meme videos. But because he had Pepe The Frog™ in a video or two, obviously he must be alt-right. You can click here to read what I wrote back in 2016 about the idiocy surrounding Pepe being deemed racist, if you’re in the dark on this subject.
Why would Fader publish such a blatant hit-piece? The writer was new, and this was his first published article for the publication. Online media thrives on click-throughs and ad revenue. A hit piece on a famous person will definitely rack up the numbers and make a name for some budding young nobody journalist. That article blew up at the time and led to negative repercussions for the music nerd.
So given all this, you would think Fantano would be fairly well-versed on the dangers of cancel culture. You would think that since he had once been a target and dealt with the negative effects, he would be against “cancel culture”. Well, you would be wrong. Here is how he handled people calling him out for his hypocrisy:
That is him calling people “bitch boys” for pointing out it’s somewhat hypocritical for him to downplay cancel culture as merely a reaction to people being shitheads. The guy literally had to cancel a tour over a hit-piece and the ensuing backlash. He had to do damage control in the wake of the article to clear his name. Even Vince Staples called him out for being “alt-right”, which no doubt had an effect on him:
As news spread of the previously cancelled Fantano seemingly cheer-leading for the very thing that cancelled him almost 3 years ago, Paul Joseph Watson joined the fray:
Paul Joseph Watson then proceeded to pivot to insulting Fantano’s looks and saying his wife is ugly, because Paul is a dickhead. The above exchange however, is one of the few times Mr Watson has actually had a good point.
Anthony proceeds to dig the hole deeper:
Rodrigo, aka the guy who called Fantano a “bald retard” makes a good point. Anthony seems to be making the case that his cancellation was no big deal because he simply had to lawyer up to get his life back in order. Ok then. Also, cancel culture is somehow a product of capitalism (what?), and capitalism is to blame for everyone not being able to lawyer up over a false accusation and cancellation. There’s some serious mega-brain logic going on here.
He also responded to someone posting a Pepe meme with this:
As we already established above, he was called alt-right 3 years ago in an article for having cartoon frogs in a video he put up. So is he being disingenuous here, or is he admitting that he was alt-right three years ago when he posted those “frog memes” on his YouTube channel? I’m gonna put my money on disingenuous.
It might just be that he posts this stuff for validation. His original tweet ended up getting 25k likes. Getting that much validation is probably a factor in someone deliberately downplaying something that personally affected them. He’s not the only person who lends credence to this theory. There are a lot of people claiming cancel culture doesn’t exist, who were singing a different tunes earlier on:
Interesting. The thing that doesn’t exist, existed when you tweeted about it numerous other times, all of which are searchable on your twitter page.
Cancel culture is a myth guys! I was guilty of engaging in it a mere 5 months ago, but suddenly it doesn’t exist now. It’s a miracle guys! Cancel culture stopped existing once I simply denied it!
This kind of seems like people saying something they don’t truly believe, knowing that they’ll receive positive feedback for doing so, doesn’t it? Look at all those likes for saying something that completely contradicts what they said just months earlier. The people liking these tweets are now probably going around regurgitating these same horrendous takes, because “they must be valid points if they got all those likes”.
This got a lot of likes too though:
It seems there’s a lot of bad actors out there willing to toe a line for online validation. It’s cool though. These people will miraculously start believing in cancel culture again the second they end up in the cross-hairs. Then they’ll use their platforms to cry about how life isn’t fair, and how they’re a victim. When that happens, someone like me will be ready to supply receipts and call them out for being weaselly little turds. It’s the least we can do.