Rod Kersh
Person-centred physician

Hasn’t he been cancelled?

The joy of visiting my patients at home, photo by Rod Kersh 2024.

I don’t know the details of my daughter’s conversation with her friends.

It related to an actor I don’t know, from a show I have never watched.

He has, I understand, been cancelled.

I know that ‘cancel culture’ is discussed these days, until yesterday I had not realised that young people literally talk about it.

I do not know the details – my daughter wasn’t altogether clear either, suffice it to say, it had something to do with Judaism and Israel.

I don’t think I have been cancelled or even possess the potential.

I imagine, to be cancelled you first must be popular and with my low-profile, at least in the blogosphere I am safe.

Quel relief.

I heard on a recent Podcast with American academic and tech entrepreneur Scott Galloway that his affiliation with Judaism, the Jewish people and Israel had ‘lost him 100,000 listeners.’

I don’t know the details.

This was part of the question as to why more Jews in prominent positions had not expressed their grief at the events in Israel and Gaza.

He suggested it was the potential fear of revenue or career opportunity costs to people like Mark Zuckerberg, Sergy Brin, Daniel Radcliffe, Harrison Ford and others, if the youth, the most active users of social media decide to cancel them.

On Christmas Day, Stephen Fry gave a moving description of his experiences as a gay man and a Jew living in the UK.

I don’t think Stephen has been cancelled, perhaps.

Clearly what was said was curated, it expressed everything that the right-minded feel and believe, for example, that Hamas are the destroyers of the right and the good, the citizens of Israel and Gaza are the victims of their apocalyptic intentions.

Nevertheless, for the most part, particularly amongst young people who, paradoxically are frequently masters of nuance and subtlety, yet who have fallen on this occasion into the trap of the dialectic, good vs bad.

Tik Tok says Israel is bad, Hamas good and so it is.

I have found that young people, digital natives, are so attuned to emotional entanglements, cultural and gender identity that they are supersensitive to what is right and what is not, this perhaps is the explanation – the impassioned tend to be the most ardent supporters or detractors of whatever it is that clashes with their values.

And so, he was cancelled.

Go ahead, cancel me if you can.

I joke.

Please don’t.

I am sure, to be cancelled, even when you are as insignificant as I, must be painful.


It is said, before God created light, the world existed in a state of chaos. Tohu Va-bohu, in Hebrew.

It occasionally feels like our trajectory.

Are our lives getting out of hand or is there simplicity?

One of the reasons I enjoy visiting my older patients at home is the perceived sense of order and coordination.

They have, for the most, overcome the challenges of life and now live in what can be very constrained circumstances, yet, situations that are clearly definable, whether through the organised visits of family or carers or the arrival of the district nurse.

Their aged bubbles, which I suspect for them are too brief, represent epitopes of harmony.


When I visit my patients, I often map-out the route to their houses on my phone. This helps me arrive on time via the best route.

Yesterday I visited a few whose addresses I already knew by heart.

As I drove, I passed houses and was hit by the lives that had passed.

The house where Mr X or Mrs C lived, the bungalow, now with new tenants, the flat, long vacant. It seemed, everywhere I looked there were memories of those I had known. Their idiosyncrasies, likes and dislikes. Ghost Town. I think of the song by Madness. Only the ghosts are not of those moved to the city but moved from life into the past.

Here lived Mr A, six foot five, coal miner and artist

Here was B, electrical engineer and poet

Here C, lover of dogs; whatever happened to Rover?

D, headmistress and erstwhile actress.

E, 97 and too frail to go on,

F, indoors for a year fearing Covid before dying in hospital from the infection

G, he’s not deaf, you don’t have to shout.

H, Polio, and twisted neck.

Gone, faded.

The old farmer, tractor owner, cyclist, paramedic.

A city of the living, a town of the dead.

Our existences cycle and recycle.

A treadmill of doing and being.




About the Author
Dr Rod Kersh is a Consultant Physician working in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. He blogs at
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