Cancelled by coronavirus
Calling off my book launch was tough, but this crisis made me appreciate what’s truly important
I long for those heady, happy days of 2019 when ‘cancelled’ innocently referred to someone being hounded out of their job by thousands of ideological fanatics because of their opinion; rather than its 2020 meaning of “being called off”.
Everything has been cancelled until at least June. Literally everything. Hundreds and thousands of weddings, holidays of a lifetime, sports events, plays, TV programmes, concerts; everything. I feel for them, even for those things that usually irritate. I’m not a fan of Eurovision, for example, but I can appreciate that so many people have put their everything into the event, and for many it will be a crushing blow.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
I sort of empathise to some degree because I’ve been working on a book for years and years, hours upon hours, and which was finally finished around the last days of 2019. I put a lot of work into it, to the detriment of everything else. My father cut off his head and fried it in garlic in the hope of attracting my attention; I scarcely looked up from my work. Etc etc.
But just around the same time as those final corrections were being put in place, medical authorities in a Chinese city called Wuhan began noticing a cluster of pneumonia cases – and the rest is history. Now we’re in this strange new situation, and I’ve finally started to appreciate that cliché “like living in a bad dream”.
Like other authors, I cancelled my book launch because I didn’t want to spread the virus and risk more lives; all TV and radio interviews have been cancelled, and now Amazon will stop restocking books.
I don’t feel at all hard done by. Every author is in the same position and it’s far, far worse for people in other artistic industries; for playwrights and theatre producers it’s just heartbreaking. And, of course, this all pales compared to what medical professionals are going through.
While I was very anxious about the publication, of scathing reviews, terrible sales and general public humiliation, this crisis has at least had a small salutary effect, making me appreciate what’s important; if everyone I love comes out of 2020 healthy, I will consider it a good year for me. Besides which, not everything is in our hands and sometimes, for all our great abilities as a species, we’re still at the mercy of powers and forces greater than us.
When these dark times are over, we will also really appreciate normal life in a way many of us haven’t for some time — the freedom, the company, the prospect of watching the football or seeing a band, or enjoying a beer on a sunny day with friends. And that day will come. And when it does, you will all buy my book.
I hope to attend one of Titania’s book burnings in my home town soon: nothing really exciting has happened here since some witches were hanged in the 17th century. I will, of course, be bringing my old JK Rowlings along!
Some of these responses are as funny as the review. But I guess it just shows how far we’ve come when people think it’s a real review.
A real review! And on white paper, no less! I giggled first at the irony, and then cried a little inside when I realised you appear to be correct.
Apparently you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think. First one to the bottom of the purity spiral wins! 😉
LOL – favourite book review ever! i’m reading the madness of crowds right now and it is making me vomit but this suffering accrues to my wokeness account
Problem is, although disguised as satire, many of the views stated actually are used by the undemocratic mob ranting about “rights”, we may not have the Stasi but we do have the “Woke” brigade who can spot an outrage at 1000yds and descend on all who do not follow their religion of correct thoughts and actions- understand one thing, people can identify as whatever they like, but they will still be people.
Ah yes, the book about the death of Conservatism, published in the week when the Tories (according to Mathew Goodwin elsewhere on this site) hit 52% in the polls. When Trump is almost certainly on course to win again and Bernie Sanders’ campaign ended in disaster. When three of the four most popular parties in the Netherlands are centre right or even extreme-right. When a recent poll put Le Pen on 43% in a run-off against Macron, who himself is not exactly left-wing economically. When the Sweden Democrats are leading the polls in Sweden on 27%. When most of eastern Europe – including its young – is becoming increasingly conservative. And one could go on.
This article reads as if it’s satire but the byline suggests that it’s genuine. If it’s satirical then it’s hilarious, if it’s genuine then it’s awful… either way I’m rather surprised that UnHerd would allow something so apparently devoid of independent thought, and full of baseless speculation, to be included on the site.
“Nor is it confined to the Left: neo-Nazi groups offer some of the clearest examples of purity spirals”
… which suggests that it is confined to the left.
This is terrible, if I look closely I can almost see that “lady’s” nipples and
surely being an ecosexual vegan intersectional feminist is a bit 2019.
Your very own non sequitur (sorry for using Latin but it is the difference between uneducated and, well, educated): “He completely fails to understand the fundamental point that gender is an arbitrary social construct and has absolutely nothing to do with “biology” (except in the case of trans people who have been born in the wrong body).”
‘Latin’ equals ‘educated’ – hmm, interesting idea. Considering the words ‘chromosome’ and ‘biology’ come from Greek stems, though, I’m going to have to disagree just a bit. If it were me, I’d include our Aolean friends’ lexical influences; then again, maybe I just have an irrational love for the word ‘lemma’.
It does not seem that Doug is going to have his collar felt any time soon, despite the disgraceful: “My daddy knows someone high up in the Crown Prosecution Service”. I thought the attitude where spoilt, entitled brats believed their daddies could reshape the world any way their darling offspring wanted, died decades ago when Roald Dahl wrote about Verruca Salt in his wonderful Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Clearly the mentally lives on in those most divorced from all reality.
I therefore suspect that Titania’s ludicrous complaint to the old bill ended up in the round filing cabinet in very short order.
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe