Monday, November 20, 2006

Racial Rant

It's not just that Michael Richards uses the "N" word when he goes off on a heckler, which could be bad enough. To me, it's the first statement he makes on this video.

16 comments:

  1. i would think that's about all we'll be hearing from michael richards.

    and the first seinfeld star passes into pathetic quasi-obcurity.

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  2. i can't wait to watch this when i get home. why do they all go off the deep end eventually???

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  3. Someone should stick a fork in him - 'cause he's DONE.

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  4. I heard he had to cancel his booking for Showtime at the Apollo. But seriously folks, how coked up was he?

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  5. I watched it on CNN yesterday twice with my jaw hanging open, as I watched a career come to an end.

    I worked with him once before and I can see where he could have gone off on a heckler. He has a major ego. But I have to believe it was an attempt at "edgy" humor gone horribly wrong. Oy.

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  6. mel gibson, michael richards... it is frightening to hear what people say when you scratch the surface. this sort of hate doesn't just come out of thin air...

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  7. Off topic:

    K -

    1)did you ever tell us where you used to work?
    2) what are some details of your weekend away a week or so ago?

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  8. hi kirin,

    funny you should ask. i have drafts of both of those topics in the works.

    the second is full of pictures.

    coming in the next day or so, i promise!

    (thank you for caring.) :)

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  9. oh no....not pictures.

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  10. What struck me (except for the lynching thing that is) is when he says "that's what happens when you interrupt the white man".

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  11. To be quite honest, I think the more telling thing here is not Michael Richard's behavior, but that of the audience.

    It's pretty clear to me that he was trying (however poorly) to turn the situation into a joke.

    The audience is laughing after the fork comment. It's not until the heckler says "That was uncalled for" does the rest of the audience suddenly get uncomfortable.

    Comics are social commentators, and have been for as long as people have been laughing. Look at some of the Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy routines and see if they are any less offensive. They really aren't.

    The problem here is that we are all so namby-pamby about what we say to each other now that people are easily offended.

    It's terrible that after all these years THAT word still has that much power. You would think as a society we would have evolved past that.

    Mel Gibson, on the other hand. His situation was totally different. I don't think anyone can make the argument that he was telling a joke to a cop.

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  12. nate - i hope so. (also, look for a post soon about foreheads.)

    kris - i firmly believe that Celebrity is a very, very hard thing for the human ego to manage well. few have the mental capacity (or emotional maturity) to deal well with it...or the ebbing of it. michael richards is the one using the term "washed up." just, issues.

    caroline - amen.

    theboy - well, there is that. obviously some mind-altering going on, in one form or another.

    mom101 - i honestly think he went off the deep end and then tried to reel it in as 'edgy'...but not before the situation was out of his control.

    blynne - i totally agree. that wasn't just some accidental swearing.

    em - consider yourself warned.

    kaia - i KNOW. as though this is HOW IT IS.

    jester - i hear what you're saying, but disagree. i think given the context, he THOUGHT he could get away with it in an edgy way, and the audience tried to go with him. it took me a few seconds of listening before i realized there was NO PUNCHLINE. i believe the laughter that came later was out of uncomfortability. having been at oh-so-many comedy shows, it does sometimes take a second to realize when a comedian has lost it (and isn't just playing a character or telling another joke).

    it was NOT JUST the use of the "n" word at all. it was that it was intended to be used as an insult. that the heckler deserved to be removed because he was a nigger and because the nigger was interrupting "the" white man. and "hanging upside down"? that's lynching he's talking about, as though this were a common type of thing to say, a commonplace insult.

    i don't care about his use of the "n" word. i think his unabashed -- and wow, old school -- racism came out in other ways.

    his apology only reinforced how out of touch he is.

    regardless of motive, it was shameful.

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  13. uh...yeah. Jester - it's the intent, more than the word. Racism is clearly not something you just "evolve" past.

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  14. I don't think I'm missing any point here... I just think the whole situation has been blown completely out of proportion.

    A 'washed up' comic making controversial (racist) statements on stage in response to a heckler versus a hugely successful actor/director whose last film blames the Jews for the death of Christ making anti-Semitic declarations to law enforcement.

    Why is it surprising? Why is it news?

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  15. I think the difference, Jester, is that while the suffering of Jews throughout history has been vast, Christ as the son of God is a belief based on faith - whereas the suffering of African Americans throughout this country's history is based entirely on fact, and has nothing to do with a religious "myth" that isn't shared by most of the world.

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  16. Serrephim - I wasn't debating the suffering of Jews versus the suffering of African Americans. I don't think there's a scale for suffering, or if there is, it's not something to think about.

    I was debating the media frenzy created over washed out comedic actor versus big time Hollywood actor/director.

    And meanwhile, THIS is what makes the news when there are so many IMPORTANT stories that get no air time. October was the deadliest month in Iraq. Halliburton, the price of gasoline, Kevin and Britney's sex tape. You know... the important stuff.

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