The Boy Who Cried Woo
Last week, I had an online run-in with some Joe Rogan ride-or-die folks that was more than a little dizzying. (It’s actually still going strong last I checked.) I guess you could say it was a different kind of Joe Rogan Experience. With reading comprehension seemingly at an all-time low, the angry folks, whom I came to refer to as the Brogade, seem to have collectively jumped to the conclusion that I was in favor of censorship based on an essay I wrote when, quite simply, I was reminding people that the words we use have consequences, whether it’s having media consumers believe deadly disinformation or holding those who spread hate-speech, lies or the like responsible. That is not censorship. That is called being a grown up and knowing you can’t spew anything you want without there being consequences to it. (Not that there really were to Rogan and his reported $100 million contract with Spotify.)
That’s it. Hardly the silencing, punishing tyranny the Brogade would have you believe with their onslaught of histrionics and accusations. The fact that these nearly exclusively Caucasian folks are so eager to put themselves in the role of being oppressed, persecuted victims of abuse and discrimination is nothing new and something to study when we don’t have a global health crisis breathing down our necks. Let’s put that one on the back burner for now.
I am not under any illusions at this point that vegans will maintain higher standards than the general population with regard to believing and spreading misinformation about the pandemic and vaccines or centering themselves as victims. I checked: Many of the commenters who were in attack mode self-identified as vegans and also post vegan content, including the ones who called me, the granddaughter of Eastern European Jews who were lucky enough to evade the pogroms through sheer circumstance, a nazi and a fan of the Gestapo. Let that sink in: I was called a nazi for reminding people that speech has consequences, both to the speakers and those who receive it, something not lost on anyone who is actually educated about Germany in the 1930s and how fiery, demonizing propaganda paved the way for killing millions of innocent people and justifying it.