The conservative media has been frothing at the mouth for the past three weeks about children’s problems. The Muppets, Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, Pepé Le Pew, and even Peter Pan and Dumbo have been accused of being “cancelled” by the left. In fact, everyone is doing fine. All of the above are still available to purchase and/or watch. Right-wing pundits, on the other hand, are either persuaded — or seeking to persuade those who pay attention to them — that a generational purge is underway. And when several of them attempted to seek assistance from a specific party, it did not go well.
It all began with a promising headline in The New York Post, written by a Wall Street Journal op-ed editor, “Cancel culture is out of control — and Gen X is our only hope.” He then reached out to people of his own age to prevent marketers from placing notices about some episodes (The Muppet Show, some old Disney classics), ceasing to print a small number of books (Dr. Seuss), or simply retiring a snarling cartoon skunk. (Not to mention the non-controversy that was the Potato Head squabble.)
“We grew up in a country that didn’t ban books,” Hennessey wrote. “We all agreed that witch hunts and blacklists were bad. Censorship was an outrage. The 1980s were not that long ago. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
However, most members of Generation X were unaware of what he was talking about, possibly because too few of them read The New York Post. It was a screed filled with Tears for Fears references and lines like, “If Gen Xers want to spare our own kids having to live in the new East Germany these woke maniacs are trying to build, we can’t go on wearing our sunglasses at night.”
When Fox News reporter Gillian Turner amplified Hennessey’s message for Monday, calling on those born between 1965 and 1980 to stand up to those born between 1981 and 1996 — rather than the corporations that started this cultural war — they got a firm no.
Some reminded everyone that these were the people who invented canceling, when they called it “boycotts.”
Or other things.
Some people felt it would be more fun to ignore the generational conflict.
What’s more, wouldn’t you believe it? Ted Cruz eventually got involved.
There is, of course, another way for conservatives to avoid this: stop inciting nonsense culture wars.