For some, “cancel culture” means that someone who says or does something that is not deemed politically correct can suffer negative social or economic consequences. But for the last 150 years workers who spoke in favor of unionization or against unsafe working conditions have suffered, including losing their jobs. Blacks speaking out on a host of topics throughout our history suffered many, many social, economic, and physical consequences. Weren’t these situations the original cancel culture?

          The book I am reading “was set in Monotype face called Bell,” named for John Bell who died in 1831.

          A small warning card in English and five other languages I could not read was attached to a newly-purchased pair of beach shoes. It told me how to avoid “severe personal injury” on escalators and moving walkways. I looked again at the Crocs searching for their dangers, but I saw nothing that seemed likely to get caught in the moving stairs. Is this warning just now standard for footwear? Whose behavior changes because new shoes come with the advice about moving walkways, “Step carefully when getting on and off”?

          Does anyone like the carrot slime that develops on the “baby” ones after the package is opened?

          Brooklynites redistribute wealth not by throwing unwanted items into the trash but by placing them at the bottom of the front steps in hopes that neighbors will have a use for them. This is how I came to possess a book of excerpts from Elizabeth David’s writings, which was compiled in 1997. The first sentences of the Introduction made me wonder if the Brits today still had the same class definitions of a generation ago: “Elizabeth David was born in 1913, one of four daughters of Rupert Gwynne, Conservative MP for Eastbourne. Her mother was the daughter of the first Viscount Ridley. She had a middle-class upbringing, with a nanny and governess, and later went to a girls’ school where the food was decidedly inferior. . . .” 

          Writing on a T shirt worn by a female jogger that I don’t believe I would have seen a decade ago: “Eat pussy. Its organic.”

Elizabeth Barrett, meeting Wordsworth for the first time, supposedly said, “He was very kind to me and let me hear his conversation.”

“Why do gentlemen’s voices carry so clearly, when women’s are so easily stifled?” Sarah Waters, Affinity.

“He is a prince.” That doesn’t sound derogatory; it is, in fact, a compliment. But compare: “She is a princess.”

There was such a difference between a woman’s magazine and a girlie magazine.

I jokingly told my thrice-married friend that I would teach him all about women. He responded, “I’ve learned a lot about women. . . . I just don’t believe it.”