Consider this view without considering the source: “Liberals have become utterly, pathetically illiberal, and it’s a massive problem. This snowflake culture that we now operate in, the victimhood culture…everyone has to think a certain way, behave a certain way, everyone has to have a bleeding heart and tell you 20 things that are wrong with them. Liberals are getting it so horribly wrong. It’s [grown into] a kind of version of fascism. If you don’t lead your life the way I’m telling you to, then I’m gonna ruin your life. I’m gonna scream abuse at you. I’m gonna get you fired from your job. I’m gonna get you hounded by your family and friends. I’m gonna make you the most disgusting human being in the world.”

Couple this with a Bret Easton Ellis remark from last month:  “This is the one thing that has bothered me the most about the left. And as a creative it is something that worries me. I often wonder how you can be a writer, an artist, a director, a filmmaker, and ally yourself with a party that is basically subsidizing an authoritarian language belief on what you can say and what you can’t say and how you can express yourself or how you can’t express yourself.”

And a quote from Sarah Silverman on a recent Bill Simmons podcast: “’Righteousness porn‘ is ‘really scary and it’s a very odd thing that it’s invaded the left primarily…it’s like, if you’re not on board, if you say the wrong thing, if you had a tweet once, everyone is, like, throwing the first stone. It’s so odd. It’s a perversion.”

There’s no question about the accuracy and legitimacy of these opinions. Having tasted wokester “cancel culture” myself a few months ago, courtesy of the Sundance People’s Committee, I’m naturally susceptible to such views. And to the gist of quote #1. But quote #1 has a problem, and that’s the person who said it. Not to mention the talk show that this person said it on. So when you pull it all together and weigh the political schemes and ramifications, I feel obliged to distance myself from quote #1….even though it’s a fairly accurate assessment.

This is a chickenshit way to react, agreed. That’s because I’m torn and afraid at the same time. We’re living through a time of terror. Lillian Hellman would be appalled, not to mention Dashiell Hammett.