The current era of cancel culture has found another target, one who is already familiar with outrage, comedian Dave Chapelle. His new special on Netflix has apparently ruffled more than a few feathers of some sensitive folks.

I could care less what a comedian says in a stand-up special, good ones more often than not push boundaries and make the audience uncomfortable at times. Humor is an outlet, sometimes dark or unconventional, but a necessary valve on society. Comedy was once place where men and women got on stage and said uncomfortable things in a way that made people laugh. These uncomfortable things need saying, but saying them in a way that evokes mirth or absurdity combined with their unconventional way of seeing the world, comedians allow society to have a healthy outlet in an increasingly unhealthy, politically correct culture.

We now have a professional mob on the left to police our culture, erasing people for heretical actions against today’s celebrated dogmas when anyone crosses some imagined line of offense. Boycotts are organized, social media followers mobilized (many purchased) and messages get amplified. The offended are featured on national news shows demanding apologies and penance, though zero paths to redemption for those who are deemed beyond deplorable.

How about everyone just possibly grow up and quit acting like a bunch of spoiled teenagers who think the world needs to bend to their whims and feelings.

Someone who is looking to be offended will always find something or someone offensive. It’s practically a law of human nature.

The speech police are ever vigilant for any instance of misogyny, transphobia, climate change denial, xenophobia or racism. Usually if the scolds find something problematic to the culture, it’s probably more on target than not… and effective.

Chapelle has had no problem drawing criticism - and ignoring it - and has walked away from a huge payday in the past when he thought he would lose his creative freedom. People who don’t sell out are dangerous creatures to the mob. They aren’t beholden to favors… or falling out of favor with the “A-Listers.”

We have outrage perpetuating culture because the elites find morality in calling out offense. Virtue signaling to others of their tribe that their belief is most pure and more righteous, and their voice most necessary. We have provided the authority to the mob, after acceptance of each firing, cancellation and statue removal. They in turn must find more offense and the cycle continues spiraling further and further out of control.

True offense is shielded and protected by this signaling mob. It happens behind the scenes while the worst perpetrators are toasted and celebrated for supporting the right causes and having the correct political opinion. We idolize money, fame and celebrity. We confer authority on these people because they hold a degree, appear on a screen or are published.

They hold society accountable to rules they are absolved from. It’s an American aristocracy, and a class system that benefits greatly from the politically correct gatekeepers and virtue signalers.

Unfortunately society has realized that when you can’t beat them, you join them… and the race to the bottom continues.

Until there is incentive to cancel the canceling it will continue. The mob must have its scalps.

Never could I imagine that I would be missing the green trees and humid afternoons of Tennessee as much as I do after two weeks in California. And while I love seeing all the trucks and activity that surrounds my grandma’s ranch during the summer when there is so much happening on the ag lands that surround us… there is something to be said for the buzzing cicadas that populate my yard back home.

After being gone from California for a year, the reminders that I’m not in Tennessee anymore are plentiful.

Holy cow, all the people. You forget some about traffic after traveling the quiet back roads in the South. Everywhere you go in California there are people… and cars.

And, after stopping for a caffeine fix in the form of an iced coffee the other morning, I actually managed to stop myself before asking the girl in the window for a straw. I almost made quite the faux pax, outing myself as one of those horrible environmental disaster deniers. Although I did question the morality of skipping the straw when my iced coffee was handed to me and I noticed the cup and lid were both made of clear plastic.

After a few conversations with friends and family who have stopped by to visit I realized how easy it was to get used to the less restrictive daily life in the South… where putting up a shed doesn’t involve 10 trips to the city planners office, governors are found in the state capitol - not  in shower heads and low flow toilets - and the garbage service comes to pick up large items destined for the dump for free.

Biggest change to get used to all over again… remembering that $20 won’t get you anywhere near a full tank of gas.

My seasonal allergies that ended up being year round in California have retreated to a more manageable few weeks in the spring and fall even though pine pollen is no joke in the South. But after two short weeks in the Central Valley I have doubled my allergy meds hoping to stave off the inevitable havoc the dryness is playing with my sinuses.

I’m not sure I will ever get used to living in a state where the average rainfall was 132” over the last year, but the alternative of dust and smog that welcomed me back to the Golden State was easier to forget. And the shock after leaving the acres of green trees and hills as we drove to the airport in Nashville to wake up to the much dryer foothills looking west… well, it was something.

Sometimes the grass really is greener on another side.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at tbutero@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 862-2222.