There are few groups less deserving of my sympathy than Twitter mobs.
Not only are they repulsive and cruel, but the average Twitter mob is as uncultured as a witch burning mob. They have little understanding of liberty, free speech and creativity. This is because a Twitter mob stands for nothing except for tearing people down.
So when I got the news that JK Rowling, a well-known author, is ‘cancelled’ for a ‘problematic, harmful opinion’ I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. Let me say this clearly: Everyone is entitled to any opinion. Especially authors. People shouldn’t be forced to think a certain way, or to talk in a particular fashion.
Snowy Fictions, this blog, has always stood for free expression and speech. Why? Because it creates a more honest society. If the opinion of someone is so offensive, then we shouldn’t punish them. We ought to debate them, to challenge them, and to educate. This impulse to punish others is nothing short of sadistic. Individuals have the right to think however they want to.
I firmly believe in open discussion. Yes, there are bad ideas in the world. The good news is that they can be easily defeated with science and logic. Whilst I understand that not everyone is open to debate, I think alot of people are when they have deeply held convictions.
Not everyone is going to change their minds, and nor do they have to. Again, people are under zero obligation to think, or believe, a certain thing.
Honestly, this decrying of ‘problematic, harmful’ opinions draws clear parallels with the Satanic panic, the Red Scare, and the witch hunting era of the 1600s. We aren’t learning from history. Instead, we are repeating it. That’s bad for humanity, it’s bad for liberty, and it is clearly bad for the arts.
If you are an author, I implore you to upset and offend as many members of the Twitter mobs. Challenge the status quo. Disrupt the narrative that authors are better off not changing the world. Now is the time for strong voices who aren’t afraid of being burnt at the stake.
The art of fiction will be better for that. I’ll finish this blog post with a quote from Salman Rushdie, a favourite of Snowy Fictions.
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”Salman Rushdie, who knows what’s up.
Until then, be as problematic as possible.
Comment below with any thoughts you have!