Iliza Shlesinger kicked off the second week of Jimmy Kimmel’s vacation by guest hosting Monday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, and I liked what she had to say about cancel culture.
“When the internet first started it was a whimsical way to chat with your friends, send your life savings to a Nigerian prince, and Limewire entire Third Eye Blind albums. it came to your house on a CD and it was enjoyed sparingly, but then came Twitter, and things got messy people. Got messy at first we were excited. We were like oh wow I can tell Quiznos they suck while I’m on the toilet. What alien technology is this and we began to publicly post whatever we thought whenever we thought it. A 700 Tweet thread about which Del Taco sauce is the worst, go for it! Some dick is kicking your seat on a Delta flight to Houston? The world must know about this injustice! That dress is black and blue, you idiots. Tweet. Oh no, she brought up the dress. It all seemed like a good idea at the time but so did having the words JUICY spelled out on all of our butts right: Remember the early 2000s? and as Twitter got bigger, it became a place for serious conversations about our culture. Unfortunately many of us put as much thought into our tweets about social justice issues as we did those Quiznos toilet tweets, and those thoughts are now coming back to cancel us.
What most of us didn’t realize was that by posting every one of our thoughts on a whim, we were permanently linking our names to ideas that should have been taken as seriously as bathroom graffiti, and with everyone being so connected and compounded by the fact that we’re all stuck at home and angry. When something happens there’s peer pressure to comment on it right away. We’re expected to have these fully-formed omniscient bulletproof unassailable hot takes on every topic in real time at all times that will stand the test of time or just like do a weird TikTok dance. Savage! And as a result no one takes a minute to gather facts, ask questions, or wait 24 hours for a story to develop. We just jump in! Trying to say something profound based on very little information. You guys, meaningful statements take time to craft. ‘That’s one small step for man’ took days to come up with and it still left out women. We’re all at the mercy of the petulant internet mob’s demands. Tell us your opinion now so we may screen grab it and ruin you for it as soon as anything good happens in your life. And that’s where we get into trouble, because stupid thoughts don’t age well, and we are all guilty of this. We have all Tweeted stuff that felt fine at the time but we wouldn’t tweet it now. Like this: ‘Man that pedophile island seems amazing hashtag private plane life.’ Right? and today it’s like how could we have known back then that private planes were so bad for the environment? And because the first rule of the internet mob is you’re not allowed to change, you’re tied to your dumb thoughts for all of eternity because the internet doesn’t care that you’ve grow, expanded your mind, or have a more complex understanding of life and that you haven’t had a juicy brand, but since 2010, the internet only remembers you as you were. It’s like talking to your parents. They always remember you at your worst and you can’t change…
…But here’s what i’ll say to the internet: Internet, people should be allowed to evolve and not have their career ended by something they drunkenly tweeted in an Uber X after a fall out boy concert in 2015, hypothetically. And look there are people who actually want to hurt others and they have a pattern of saying horrible things and using social media to spread hate. So yes, roast those people. Roast them over the open flames of social judgment. Roast them! Roast them right out of the oval office! That’s my only president joke. Hey red states! But the rest of us are constantly learning new things about the issues other people face. Black Lives Matter. Trans rights are human rights. Feminism. Anti-semitism. Islamophobia. Xenophobia. People who are in long-committed relationships with their furniture. Most people like to think that what they know is good enough and that most people probably feel the same way as them. It’s what stand-up comics count on, but we need to chill with cancelling everyone, because soon there will be no one. I think we should support people who change their opinion for the right reasons because it means they cared enough to read a book or to talk to a person who’s different from them and they’re trying to do better. But like low-key, if you used to think climate change wasn’t real and now you do, like, I still don’t want to hang out with you. The truth is we should all be working every day to learn and evolve as much as we can, so remember it’s not your fault that you grew up not knowing something. But it is your fault if you don’t continue to try and learn anything.”
Here’s her whole monologue.