I OFTEN wonder what it’ll be that gets me cancelled. I’m not referring to the more traditional definition of being cancelled; having a TV or radio broadcast pulled from the air due to viewer apathy or Piers Morgan, but instead the more recent application of the word, ie. bringing someone’s life or career to a screeching halt over some dodgy joke they hit out with years ago.

At this point I feel I have to establish that I’m not one of these people who goes: “I miss the old days when you could joke about things” or “the PC brigade are ruining everything” – or my least favourite turn of phrase on the social medias: “Stop the world, I want to get off.” Honestly, would you rather be hurled into the cold, unforgiving vacuum of space than read some nonsense clickbait article about kids being taught modern gender definitions? That might actually be an agreeable solution for everyone, however they choose to identify and all that. I also don’t really subscribe to a current vein of comedy that seemingly goes out of its way to push these buttons in an attempt to come across as edgy. From what I’ve seen that usually amounts to saying things along the lines of “vegans, eh? Aren’t they weak?”

However, I can’t deny that practically every time I go to send a tweet I hesitate and think about who could possibly get offended by one of my tepid remarks. For one thing, I originally typed the word “lame” instead of “tepid” in the previous sentence before realising that some would deem that word as disablist, perhaps rightfully so. I will say that I have at least one disabled friend who wouldn’t care about the use of the word. I’m not saying he speaks for an entire group, but I do know that the one thing that offends him more than anything is when people are offended on his behalf, or at least proclaim to be.

I recently had a faint brush with this strange online hysteria. I tweeted a relatively innocuous joke, if you can even call it that, and apparently irked someone on the other side of the Atlantic. It went thus...

“Why do Americans pronounce Craig as Cregg? It’s written down for them and everything.”

As lam... tepid an observation as this may be, it went mildly viral; and modern rules dictate that the more eyes are on something, the odds are some of those eyes will screw up in sanctimonious indignation. A lady from New York quoted the tweet and added a short rant about how I was “dialect shaming”. I didn’t even know dialect shaming was a thing, mostly because it totally isnae. I’ve Googled and the closest thing to it is a Wikipedia entry on “linguicism”. I refuse to discuss such a matter solely on the basis that it was hard enough to spell “sanctimonious”. Looking at her account afterwards I noticed she incurred a tiny backlash of her own, and responded to it by proudly declaring she had angered a bunch of white guys. She was white, by the way; I know this is totally irrelevant information, but that’s the point I’m trying to make.

This minor experience with the odd touchiness of online culture wasn’t exactly a scandal of Kanye proportions, but it did make me think about things I’ve said, written, or even attempted to rap in the past and how they might be perceived differently if they were put out there on today’s social medias. I honestly think a fair amount of political correctness and less marginalisation are good for the world; there’s a reason the idea of progressiveness contains the word “progress”. I’ve done my own soul searching and atonement for things I previously might have thought were funny, and actually did a fringe show a few years ago which picked apart the lazy edginess of my character-based humour. I think the audience members that came throughout the month mostly agreed with my assessment, both of them seemed to enjoy it anyway. I wasn’t quite woke before it was a thing, but I drowsily came to. I don’t know if continued “dialect shaming” would be enough to be cancelled, but that American would definitely not enjoy some of the videos I’ve done; particularly ones that were filmed around a place she would wrongly call “Glass Cow”.

The online world might not be a safe space for people to explore darker corners of what they think is funny, but I do know that comedy clubs are generally a place where everything is still fair game. On that note, my monthly show “Comedian Rap Battles” is on this Wednesday at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow, and as much as the phrase makes me cringe, it really isn’t for the easily offended. I also host three episodes of the broadcast version of the show on BBC iPlayer right now. Look it up before it definitely gets cancelled.