Unpopular opinions are the spice of life. And who doesn’t like spice? Besides people living with irritable bowel syndrome, of course. And the English.
But let’s ignore those contingencies for now. If everyone feels the exact same way about something, it fades out of our active attention. No one spends much time talking about how awesome “blue” is or how much they just love oxygen, for example.
Now, if someone piped up with a hot take on the uselessness of O2, they’d stand out against the backdrop. When a talking plant has an opinion, after all, we instinctively listen. (Source: Little Shop of Horrors).
I have a weird confession to make.
It’s going to come as a shock, so I hope you’re sitting down. You probably are, as it’s hard to walk and read at the same time.
Okay, here goes: I haven’t seen that movie.
I know, right?! Crazy. You know the one, the one with that one guy? The one where they go places and do stuff? Yeah, never seen it.
And I’m constantly, irrationally embarrassed by this fact.
The act of “canceling” people is as old as civilization itself.
Sometimes we canceled people via exile. Sometimes it was through removing their heads from their bodies. But the reasoning was always the same:
You did something that badly compromises our community’s shared values, so you gotta go.
Before humans started divvying up the hunting versus the gathering, we already had the basics of a limited social contract. It went something like this:
“What’s up, fellow hominid? Here’s my offer: in honor of the fact that you look vaguely similar to me, I won’t kill you when you turn your back. In consideration thereof, kindly don’t kill me when I’m not looking, either. Sound good? Kthxbye.”