Monday, December 04, 2006

Not funny

I know this is old hat by now, but I just recently saw the cellphone video of the Michael Richards disgraceful rant at the Laugh Factory. What struck me more than anything, more than the use of the n-word which Black people are allowed to use but whites aren't, was how bitterly unfunny and stupid Richards was. It was not only that he used the slur, which he shouldn't have, but also how. He was really pathetic and godawful. Not smart, not witty, just an asshole. If you do stand up, you know there may be people talking in the room, even hecklers. The pros are supposed to know how to handle them. Mr. Richards apparently is an asshole of such magnitude, such a bitter loser, that he flew off the handle and said hideous things. As some retards on You Tube have pointed out, it is also astounding that some people were laughing at his idiotic rant, but you can also see people leaving, and you can hear some mild booing and the sound of the wind slowly getting knocked out of a room. You can also hear the voice of one of the black guys telling him it was unnecessary. Basically, the guy told him he was a loser because after Seinfeld he went nowhere and was nobody, no movie deals, no TV shows, nada. I hope that hurt. I'm sure it does, because if Richards was more self-assured he wouldn't have picked such a nasty fight with an audience member.
Now Paul Mooney and Jesse Jackson want to ban the word. To me that is stupid. People know it is a charged word and they use it at their peril. Censoring it doesn't make any sense to me. According to the NYT:

...the Laugh Factory’s ban is not sitting well with all comics, including the groundbreaking comedian Dick Gregory, who was set to perform with Mr. Mooney last night) at the Lincoln Theater in Washington.

“Calling it ‘the “n” word’ is an insult,” said Mr. Gregory, whose 1964 memoir was titled “Nigger.” “It should be just as much an insult to Jews if they started changing concentration camp to ‘the “c” word’ and swastika to ‘the “s” word.’ You just destroyed history.”

He will not be joining Mr. Mooney’s boycott. “I’m going to walk out on stage,” Mr. Gregory, 75, said, “and hand my book to a white woman in the front and say, ‘Here, madam, take this “Nigger” to bed with you.’ ”

Mr. Gregory and many others are asking why stop at just one word, if purifying the comedy discourse is the goal. Why stop at protecting one aggrieved group?

I agree.

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