I shared with a friend the blog post sacred song, about ishtadevas and re-finding a lovely tune I’d lost, but mostly about being accepted no matter what. When I shared the post, I realized that although I don’t use the words, it’s about cancel culture and unconditional love.
I made a zine some months ago, to love: abusers in radical spaces. It’s really important to me, and I worked on it for years. I don’t think the term cancel culture appears in the zine, but it’s a lot about that.
Getting nixed, bullies, and what to do with abusers who will just go elsewhere and do the same things to unsuspecting people who have to go through the whole process we did. But also false accusations, witch hunt drama, being found guilty by association, and losing resources and connections because someone decided we connected with someone we shouldn’t have. We loved someone too long or too much, who was accused of doing wrong.
Since when is love wrong? If someone’s not approved, they’re supposed to be struck from the loved list immediately? Yes, Santa in the sky is keeping track of who’s naughty and nice. Shun first–ask questions later. Or shun them all–let God sort it out in the end.
I’m sorry that communication is so terrifying that most people will just stop speaking to someone, rather than have a difficult conversation to sort out what really happened, or even who’s accused of what. Our culture has failed to supply us with the tools we need to talk honestly about things we might disagree about. So sad, we feel such scarcity that we have to hold tight to what little we have, and can’t risk losing anything by telling the truth.
Grateful that the small Ming and Laura-Marie family is about truth.
Feels dudeish to me, cancel culture’s rigid hate. Not to say any gender of person owns hate. But you know I have a lot of mother energy. I got no kids, but nurturing and loving are fun, for me. I have breasts that can comfort–I know how to care, touch, listen, and cook delicious veg foods.
A mom is usually going to love all her kids, good and bad. Are moms going to decide a kid is bad and stop loving or feeding them? Maybe sometimes, or a mom can be abusive or fucked in the head to begin with. But a main part of momming for most moms is unconditional love.
If a kid behaves badly, we’re not supposed to abandon them. I like the cliche of the mom protecting her kid who’s on the lam. A cop comes to the door, looking for the kid, and the mom who’s usually honest sweetly lies backwards and forwards, to protect the kid, who’s crying in the basement.
If someone comes to a Food Not Bombs serving, they don’t need to fill out an application to eat, proving they’re not a bad person. The default is anyone can eat.
Does the earth only give her resources to good people? Obviously not. The sun shines on everyone.
I want to love first, ask questions later. People are varied, complex, rich, creative beings. Most of us have made a mistake or two. I’m forever grateful to the people who’ve forgiven me, for my mistakes.
I can love anyone–strangers, opponents, friends, people I deeply disagree with. Recreational love is fun for me, and the freedom to enjoy conversation with all sorts of people. “We’re just breaking bread together–we’re not getting married,” is a sentence I’ve spoken to comfort anyone who was worried about who I was meeting with.
We don’t have to agree on everything to get along, and there are no perfect people. Anyone who seems perfect is probably dead and being lied about. I need fresh air and sunshine on my life and ideas. Staying closed up and talking only to myself is a disaster.
Thank you to musician David Rovics for this post Confessions of an Ecumenical Leftist about some of these ideas–he helped spark response ideas in me. Cancel culture and unconditional love are important because they determine how we do community and come together to resist violence. Thank you for considering love as an antidote or at least a balm against the poison of simplistic dismissive shaming.