"Outrage culture," "cancel culture," call it what you will. It's authoritarianism for people that think they have real power because they have social media accounts. In reality, all they really have are social media accounts. But in groups they wield enough power to make established celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, apologize for things that people used to find funny that might've happened over a decade ago. Essentially, these social media parasites have ruined a good portion of comedy.
A growing number of average people and celebrities have realized this phenomenon and they're seemingly not afraid to call it out either in general or when they see it in practice. Take longtime actor John Malkovich, for example.
Malkovich spoke with the New York Daily News in an article published on Thursday about his new Netflix show, "Space Force." The 66-year-old Illinois native spoke about the dangers posed to the medium of comedy.
"What’s funny yesterday becomes illegal today and the person uttering it must be canceled," Malkovich said. "Outrage culture is as strong as it is toxic."
That's unfortunate since comedy, stand-up and improv comedy in particular, thrives off of pushing the envelope of what is funny and what isn't. Making jokes about our everyday taboos gives those topics less venom in the bloodstream of society. After all, free speech is there to protect the speech you don't like, not the speech you do like.
Malkovich seems to understand the problem that social media mobs pose to pretty much everything. Group think is what kills individuality.
"Part of what makes (comedy) difficult is also the tidal wave of idiocy that can be created on social media in a day...the outrage mob," Malkovich told the Daily News.
Malkovich isn't wrong. Especially on platforms like Twitter, you could see so many stupid and ignorant responses to whatever it is you're looking at that it can sometimes feel overwhelming.
The "tidal wave of idiocy." I might have to use that.