On "Cancel Culture"

The Price

Somewhere between "cancel culture" and "fafo", there is "My Pillow".

The attorneys defending Mike Lindell and his business against defamation claims from voting machine companies are seeking to sever ties with the "MyPillow Guy" over millions of dollars in unpaid legal fees.

In a court filing Thursday, the law firm of Parker Daniels Kibort LLC said Lindell and MyPillow are months behind on their legal bills in three defamation cases, and they can no longer afford to represent him ....

.... The firm has been defending Lindell in defamation lawsuits filed by voting machine companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, as well as a third lawsuit brought by former Dominion employee Eric Coomer. All three claim their reputations were damaged by Lindell's repeated fantastical claims of fraud around the 2020 presidential election.

Lindell on Thursday praised his lawyers as "brave and courageous" and said he would gladly keep paying them, if he wasn't broke.

"We've lost everything, every dime," he told NBC News in a phone interview. "All of it is gone."

Lindell said his company has faced financial challenges amid the lawsuits and sustained bad publicity, to the point that he can no longer take out any loans.

"They took away my borrowing because of all you guys in the media," Lindell said, adding that he'd been "canceled" over his comments on the 2020 election.


There really is a part of me that wonders how people just can't figure it out. It will be sad if this ends up destroying a bunch of jobs in Minnesota¹, but clearly Mr. Lindell thought through such risks before undertaking his defamatory crusade against the 2020 election.

I mean, right?

It's kind of like what we tell the young people of pretty much any generation, that what they do might come back to haunt them, and compared to racist mockery, vandalism on video, and even things like rape, maybe the defamatory publicity campaign against the 2020 election was the kind of thing people might notice.

And the thing is, compared to some notorious "cancel culture", there are the business decisions public pressure campaigns have always intended to affect. With social media, of late, businesses have been deciding whether or not to risk being seen sponsoring Nazis; certain working partners don't wish to be associated with the defamatory, insurrectionist pillow company. Lindell picked a fight, staked his credibility, and lost. He had to know this was possible. And he decided it was worth the risk.


¹ cf., #274↑ above.​

Gregorian, Dareh. "MyPillow lawyers say CEO Mike Lindell owes them millions of dollars". NBC News. 5 October 2023. NBCNews.com. 5 October 2023. https://nbcnews.to/48IaQlN

A. R. Moxon↱ enumerates:

2024: I, a victim, am being shunned for my beliefs


Note for interational neighbors: What might seem a bit subtle, from half a world away, is that, depending on where we start the cycle, that lamentation could be any of the last thirty years, at least.

This particular version corresponds approximately to the Trump experience; if I don't feel like writing the masculinist version, for instance, it's also true there are too many available variations on a theme.

But if I pick December, 2017↗, for instance, then I need to go look around for however many sayings from around the time. Like 2018↗, when New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote an article about the redistribution of women as a resource to men ("redistribution of sex"). Somewhere between asking about stripper poles, or their panties, to the one, and the subjugation of women as a resource to be distrubuted among men, the idea that disapprobation is abstractly about "beliefs" is nothing more than we've heard for generations, now, complaining about, political correctness, thought police, callouts, shaming, silencing, deplatforming, and cancel culture. And I'm pretty sure, if I look hard enough, I can find the argument about why statutory rape shouldn't be illegal. And, to be fair, there is actually a joke about not taking dating advice from the guy who opens with discourse on Tanner stages, but that really should be an outlier, except child-marriage discussion out of Missouri and New Hampshire, of late, keeps that one relevant.

Recall the Trump experience. At first, it wasn't racism, but that he said what was on his mind. Then it wasn't that the supporters supported racism, but they liked that he said what was on his mind. And after Donald Trump said those supporters were racists, they kind of went all in. And these years later, sure, maybe they feel shunned for their beliefs, just like the masculinists when those bitches at work won't be friendly about their panties.

But Moxon isn't simply stuffing sosobra. Rather, it's a question of how much attention we might give in the moment, compared to, once again,


Anyway, I have no idea, at this point, which would-be rightist victim set Moxon off; again, there are just so many possibilities.

But it's worth considering, the sort of thing Moxon reminds is a significant driver of complaints about cancel culture. And always has been, though not always so blatant.

Among liberals and progressives, it is not uncommon that someone might observe the absence of otherwise common voices against cancel culture; this happens when the politics don't go well for what is, fundamentally, a conservative complaint. And the politics have gone poorly, now, for a while. In that sense, the quick redefinition of a free speech crisis at American universities is probably the most recent example. Last year, conservatives felt shamed to silence according to what they imagined other people might think. This year, their demand for censorship is nearly insatiable.

I suppose, at some point, we should try to figure out what they're calling it, next, since the whole "cancel culture" canard can only keep falling apart.


@JuliusGoat. "2016: FUCK YOUR FEELINGS". X. 24 May 2024. X.com. 24 May 2024. https://bit.ly/3QZ3W4k
What on earth did he seek to gain?

Prestige, possibly wealth, and maybe even authority.

In January, 2021, Lindell was seen entering the White House with papers discussing martial law. At first he said he had no such papers, but the words were visible in a photograph. Later, he claimed he did not write the notes and had not read them. Still, it just seems strange that he would walk into a meeting with that page visible even to a camera.

I have no idea what he was thinking, but there is in American conservatism a certain projection of confidence that they somehow cannot lose.

It is more likely Lindell did not really think through the potential ramifications he likely did not recognize. That is, he probably didn't expect Trump to lose, believed the hype, and never expected whatever plan they were concocting to fail.