Why Every Joke, Tweet, and Essay Whining About How 'Cancel Culture Is Very Bad' Is Very Dumb, Explained

Illustration for article titled Why Every Joke, Tweet, and Essay Whining About How 'Cancel Culture Is Very Bad' Is Very Dumb, Explained
Screenshot: HuffPost UK

Jackson was walking down the street, headed to The Container Store when he saw his friend Timothee approaching. He hadn’t seen Timothee since two summers ago, when they both were stagehands on Bat Out of Hell: The Musical, so they were happy to see each other. Timothee also appeared to be eating a taco.


“What’s going on, man?” Jackson said as they embraced with a man hug.

“My man, Jack! Things are good? How about you?” Timothee replied, before apologizing. “Shit. My bad if I got taco juice on you.”

“It’s cool,” Jackson said while laughing. “And if you’re doing as good as that taco looks, you’re doing better than me.”

Weirdly, Timothee’s mood immediately shifted. He wasn’t angry. Just seemed pensive. Rueful, even. This alarmed Jackson.

“Wait, you good? Did I say something wrong?”

Timothee sighed, took a beat, and answered.

“It’s nothing you did. I’m just upset that I’m not allowed to eat tacos anymore.”


“Huh?” Jackson replied, confused.

Timothee explained. “Everyone keeps saying ‘You can’t eat tacos anymore’ and it really bums me out. I miss the days we were allowed to, you know, just eat tacos in peace.”


Jackson laughed, as he assumed that Timothee was telling a joke that he just didn’t get. That could be the only rational explanation for Timothee’s behavior. Otherwise, why was this man, who was literally eating a taco, complaining about not being allowed to eat tacos—between bites of the taco he was currently eating?


Upon witnessing Jackson’s amusement, Timothee’s rue shifted to full-blown melancholy. Jackson was stunned by this. He’d clearly upset his friend but wasn’t sure how.

“I’m sorry for laughing,” Jackson said, attempting to calm Timothee down, “but I don’t get it.”


“You don’t get what?” Timothee shot back.

You said that people said you’re not allowed to eat tacos anymore. But you’re here, eating a taco, and no one is stopping you from doing that. There’s no taco task force patrolling the streets. No taco SWAT. You can eat all the tacos you want. And dude, you’re literally eating a taco. In fact, you just took another bite of it. It looks delicious.”


“But,” Timothee replied, “they said I can’t do this anymore, and they’re trying to stop me.”

“Who the fuck is ‘they’?” a now incredulous Jackson replied. “Who are these mysterious taco guardians?


“Well,” Timothee explained, “it started two weeks ago when I robbed this woman who was carrying a bag of tacos. Everyone was like ‘Don’t do that! What is wrong with you? Don’t eat those tacos!’ And then I got arrested.”

Jackson started to reply to Timothee, perhaps to remind him that his literal taco-eating means no one is stopping him from eating tacos—and Jackson also asked himself why he’d never noticed how dumb his friend is—but stopped mid-thought, and instead just said, “Well, it was nice to see you again.”


Timothee nodded his head, reached into his backpack for another taco, unwrapped the foil, and took a prodigious bite of it.

It was delicious.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)