For as long as I can remember, Charles Barkley has been outspoken.
Sometimes I agree with the round mound of rebound, sometimes I don’t.
For instance, when Barkley was at the peak of his basketball fame, he declared in an infamous commercial, “I am not a role model.” I thought otherwise then. And still do now.
However, I am back aboard the Barkley bandwagon when it comes to his epic rant regarding cancel culture while appearing as a guest on 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny” show.
In case you missed it, here is a brief synopsis of Barkley’s best comments:
“The PC people are out overboard right now … I can’t imagine you guys doing a show every day, how crazy it is for you.”
“You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jack***es trying to get you canceled … now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks.”
“They’re coming for your head, and a lot of our bosses are cowards … I said, ‘context matters.’ They’re like, ‘context doesn’t matter.’ I said, ‘That’s total BS. Context always has to matter.’ But now, if you crack a joke the wrong way, they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no. You crossed a line.’”
Barkley is right. The politically correct crew has gone overboard. Or, as I would put it, off the deep end. It seems as if these people spend every waking moment of their lives looking for something to be offended about.
Sir Charles is also spot-on in describing how cancel culture has rained on the parade of fun and comedy. Under the dark cloud of cancel culture, comedy has taken a hiatus.
This is especially true when it comes to cutting-edge comedy. Yes, there once was a time when comedians (think of Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Dave Chapelle) were unafraid to push the envelope.
Yet, thanks to cancel culture, today’s comedians toe the line, afraid to make waves. This has resulted in a serious stifling of comedy in America. It also produces a boring culture.
Jerry Seinfeld captured this sentiment perfectly all the way back in 2015, when he said, “I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that. But everyone else is kind of, with their calculating—is this the exact right mix? I think that’s—to me it’s anti-comedy.”
Keep in mind, Seinfeld uttered those words six years ago. Unfortunately, things have gotten much worse since then.
When describing the importance of context, Barkley makes another great point.
Although the woke warriors would like to think otherwise, context certainly matters.
As author, screenwriter, and cultural critic Michael Ventura puts it, “Without context, a piece of information is just a dot. It floats in your brain with a lot of other dots and doesn’t mean a damn thing. Knowledge is information-in-context — connecting the dots. Making your own map. Otherwise we become dots, floating in a global soup. It is difficult to imagine a dot being free.”
Unfortunately, cancel culture fails to recognize the significance of context, which creates a contextual vacuum.
This is particularly ironic, in my opinion. Because it is the cancel crew who constantly tout empathy and putting yourself in one’s shoes and circumstances. Well, by ignoring context, the cancel police are abandoning empathy and engaging in the most intolerant, judgmental behavior of all.
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.