What a coincidence... I was just reading the bit of William Goldman's wonderful Hollywood memoir, "Which Lie Did I Tell?" where he talks about The Princess Bride. And what do I find on the internet? The Princess Bride for $5.99 with free shipping. Use code 85704.
W. Kamau Bell is one of San Francisco's top standup comedians, and a good friend to The Sound of Young America. He wrote this provocative note on his myspace blog, and I thought it was perfect to share with you. What do you think?
Sarah Silverman is racist.
I put this sentence at the end of a bulletin I posted recently. And the funny thing was the amount of responses that I got to that comment and not to the bulletin itself. (Though at this point I don't even remember what it was about either.) I put it in randomly. It was a thought rolling through my head at the time, but not because it was a "joke". I actually do believe it.
ANYWAY... Here's my point. First of all despite what people may think since I am a comedian, I don't have any INSIDE information as to her racism. (I have only met her once BRIEFLY several years ago, and like much of that alterna-stand-up crowd, she seeeeeeemed nice at the time... but then why wouldn't she?) I just saw her movie, Jesus is Magic, and I was... well... not so much stunned as I was disappointed in how racism is apparently becoming chic amongst the hipsters. (I guess if they can make Coldplay hip ANYTHING is possible.)
Watching her act I was just left cold by how racist jokes are apprently OK when they come out of a mouth of a beautiful woman who allegedly coats them in IRONY, but somehow when Larry the Cable Guy does his red state/redneck jokes(some of which are racist), David Cross and Lewis Black speak out aganst him in Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone is the same magazine that places the mantle of both Lenny Bruce AND Richard Pryor on Silverman's shoulders.
To quote Eddie Murphy in RAW, "GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!"
Sarah Sliverman NO PERCENTAGE of either Lenny Bruce OR Richard Pryor. (I have to believe that she would admit to this.) Those tw GENIUSES used the topics of race and sex to criticize the status quo AND to further the discussion of these topics along, not to just titillate as she does.
There is NOTHING wrong with titillation as long as it is not dressed up as intelligent social criticism.
It's not that I don't think she is funny. I GET THE JOKES. In fact, that is most of my problem... After listening to all of her racist jokes in her movie, I walked out thinking, "I GET IT, SARAH! All the stereotypes about black people are TRUE. Thanks for the update." I'm sure many would say that I am missing the ironic twist... YOU'RE CORRECT! After five or six of her jokes supporting the same stereotypes that have been perpetuated in the U.S. for four hundred years, I COMPLETELY MISS THE IRONY. Her comedic point of view on race seems so simplistic and unevolved. I would think her act was BRILLIANT... if she was twelve... or if it was out of the mouth of a comedic character who is CLEARLY an idiot... you know, like Andrew "Dice" Clay. His first album is still hilarious
The experience of watching her movie was all made the more pathetic for me due to the fact that these jokes are performed in front of a mostly white audience. (I say mostly, because I did actually see ONE black guy in the audience. And yes he was laughing... maybe because he came with white people.)
The ultimate tragedy of this is that Hollywood clearly not only condones this, but sees it as brilliant. In a time of incredible comics like Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and... (Well, I guess that's all we have for now.) who are clearly links to Bruce and Pryor AND are working hard to advance society's conversation about race it is painful to see Silverman SOOOOO celebrated. I will conclude with what I often say in situations like these, if me and all my friends (comics, performers, musicians, and artists) were as successful as her I wouldn't even blink an eye at her antics.
And YES, I know her act isn't all about race, but anyone familiar with her knows that it's basically 70% jokes that put down women and 30% jokes that put down minorities.
I'll leave it to someone else to cover that other 70%.
Kamau can also be heard regularly with Kevin Avery on Live 105's morning show in San Francisco, reviewing movies as "Siskel & Negro."
If you really want your own Maximum Fun Club card, but you came into this thing post-TSOYA listener survey, then email me with the subject Maximum Fun Club. Include your mailing address, please. If you filled out the survey and included your address, you'll get one when I do the mailing in a few weeks.
Watch this, and tell me this man isn't a Great Genius of Popular Entertainment.
In other news: he may or may not be a child molestor, and his racial identity is deeply problematic. Let's focus on his dancing.
Will it work? Who knows. My feeling, based on the fact that it's been pushed back several times, is that it may not. It was a bit grotesque in half-hour form... I can hardly imagine watching that character for ninety minutes. Of course... I'll be there opening night.
Our pal Hound provides us with this astonishing information regarding brewing plans to object to the release of Eugene Mirman's new DVD, "En Garde, Society!"
Followed By A Party For Eugene Mirman's New Album En Garde, Society!
Funny guy Eugene Mirman has a new full-length comedy album, En Garde, Society!, coming out May 9 on Sub Pop records. The 2 disc CD+DVD set features a CD of live standup, plus some in-studio recordings, a DVD with eight films including Michael Showalter's parody/tribute to Eugene, and liner notes by John Hodgman.
To protest his continuing success, The Onion is organizing a rally against Eugene on Monday, May 8. Meet at the southern end of Union Square. At 7 p.m., we will march east on 14th St. two blocks to the nearest bar. Protest signs will be provided.
Once we arrive at the nearest bar, the protest will quickly dissolve into a celebration for Eugene's new album, En Garde, Society!, at which point we'll drink and make merry. Can you keep a secret? We didn't think so, but we'll let you in on it just the same. Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields) will guest DJ later in the evening.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Because we are great supporters of free speech and believe in democracy (and stealing the ideas of others), we would like your help in staging similar protests in the following cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle. Please get in touch with our mobilization specialists if you are interested in helping to organize an anti-Eugene protest at an as-yet-to-be-revealed location in any of those cities at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, because we are also great believers in the notion that likely none of you will do this for free, protesters will be rewarded with a copy of our new DVD comp, Acquired Taste, and some other free crap!
If you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, or Seattle, and would be interested in protesting Eugene Mirman and his various shenanigans, please contact email@example.com NOW!
A friend of mine offered to help me integrate this page more tightly with the main TSOYA webpage. While that's going on, pardon our dust, as there's no testing with blogger, only doing.
Within a few months, we should have a whole new webpage, but this should be a nice upgrade in between.
By request, a free MP3 of our theme song, "Maximum Fun." I wrote the theme with my pal Dan Grayson -- he basically wrote the music (I'm musically illiterate, but provided some guidelines and pushed and pulled a little), I mostly wrote the lyrics (we changed a couple things to make them easier for Dan to sing). He plays all the instruments, and we recorded it in his little home studio. I'm singing backup vocals and playing cowbell.
Check out Dan's band The Karabal Nightlife
I love Cee-Lo, and have since the Goodie Mobb days. His appearances on the Dungeon Family album outshone Big Boi and Andre, and his solo albums, while uneven, had given me hope he might just have a truly great record in him.
Apparently that record is NOT Gnarly Barkley, his collaboration with producer Danger Mouse.
And why would it be? Who is Danger Mouse, anyway? Did anyone actually hear The Grey Album? It wasn't very good. It was certainly no White Albulum, I'll tell you that much right now. It was the sort of record that people who don't actually like hip-hop buy, so they can talk about how they like "some hip-hop, like Jurassic 5."
My suspicions about this new project seem to be becoming real... noz writes over at Posse on Blogway:
Non rap listeners and critics eat this garbage up because they’ve just been waiting for a project from a rapper that would prove that they are not narrow-minded, but isn’t so rappy. These people are the worst types of music listeners in the world and need to just own up to being square ass square butts (or racists) who can’t fuck with rap already. They are no doubt very impressed that a rapper was able to have such wide lense musical perspective to not only know, but to cover a Violent Femmes song, as Gnarls Barkley does. Odds are these are that people lack the perspective to realize that there is a reason that nobody remembers any Violent Femmes, except for that one song.
Noz' piece is very illuminating. You should read it.