November 28th, 2006


Is you a racialist?

I wrote this in response to icis_machine, but it's something I've been thinking about, so I'll post it here as well:

Michael Richards shot off his mouth. The NYPD shot and killed an unarmed black man. Which should I care more about?

As regards Michael Richards and Mel Gibson: I'm not so much interested in the right or wrong of their situations. I mean, how courageous is it really to come out against racism and anti-semitism? The more important question is what do their outbursts say about their imaginations? I believe they're sincere when they say they're not anti-semetic or racist -- per se. They're privileged rich white guys, they think the rest of us are extras in the movie of their lives -- their prejudices don't stop with blacks or jews -- it's pretty much global.

What their outbursts say is that when you strip away their inhibitions, there's no worthwhile shred of personal character left, and out leaps some 1952-vintage redneck named Cooter. The absolute poverty of their imaginations in extremis makes me think there's much, much, less than meets the eye. I've been really angry and gotten into shouting matches with people and the worst thing I've ever called anyone is fat. In my family, people generally get more inventive when they're mad, not less.

What this really shows is that both of those guys have their talents, but no soul to back it up. Push them too far and they're eleven years old spouting ugliness they don't even understand.

And Jesse Jackson: Please. You just look like a cheap publicity hound. Didn't you once call NYC "Hymie Town?" You are no better than Michael Richards, and he at least simulates the appearance of remorse.