David Chappelle versus Jonathan Gruden!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2021

The Way We Look to Others: Long ago and far away, we knew future comedian Dave Chappelle, if only the tiniest tad.

He was still a high school kid performing at open mike night. We were the most gigantic star the Washington area had ever seen. We're fairly sure that our recollections are accurate in these ancient matters. 

Helen Lewis lives across the pond; she writes for The Atlantic. In her latest essay—an essay about Dave's latest "controversial" special—she actually has the nerve to remember and mention this:

LEWIS (10/13/21: Artists tend to be annoyed when critics grade their work on its political content rather than its technical and creative choices, and yet responding to The Closer any other way is hard. The special draws its energy from one of the hottest debates in popular culture, about competing claims to victimhood. Its jokes about LGBTQ people have led to boycott threats, calls to remove the special from Netflix, and even the brief suspension of a transgender Netflix employee who protested the special. In GQ, the writer Saeed Jones declared, “I feel like a fool to have rooted for Dave Chappelle for so long.”

I find myself startled by some of this reaction. I loved Chappelle’s Show, which ran from 2003 to 2006, but here’s a typical punch line from one of its most beloved recurring segments, “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories”: “Bitches, come over here and show Charlie Murphy your titties!” And here’s another: “Bitch, come over here and have sex with Charlie Murphy.” Was this what Jones had been rooting for? Did none of the recent critics of The Closer notice the way Chappelle has always talked about bitches—sorry, women? And yet that tone never stopped me from enjoying his comedy—or acknowledging that his jokes about white women came from his perspective as a Black American man...

We'd actually be less accepting than Lewis—but in her essay, she has the nerve to adopt a nuanced approach. She also has the nerve to mention the types of things Dave has frequently said on the comedy stage, with large numbers of people watching and with young people drinking it down.

On this side of the pond, our own tribe—the Utterly Faux Highly Principled Tribe—has agreed that we must never remember or mention such things. Instead, we'll agree to pretend to be deeply, passionately upset—but also, to be shocked, shocked—about and by the formulations which appeared in Jon Gruden's childish and unfortunate but private and personal emails.

Translation:

One guy is lionized for saying such things out loud in front of millions of people. The other guy is assailed for saying unfortunate things in an undisclosed number of (private) emails, which no one saw until the peeping Toms (as opposed to the Uncles) chose to go nosing around, as we Dimmesdales like to do.

This is the opening chapter in a long-running "story" called The Way We Look to The Others. Will your lizard allow you to see the way our horrible tribe sifts facts and plays these utterly stupid, wholly unprincipled, self-defeating games?

Will your lizard allow you to see that? Because everyone else can see us when we're doing these things, and this helps explain why some of The Others vote for Donald J. Trump.

By the rules our tribe has established, one guy gets to say certain types of things; the other guy does not. Can you see The Way This Looks? Will your lizard allow you to see it?

Fuller dislosure: We don't mean this as a knock at Dave, or as a knock at Gruden. By our lights, it would be better if Dave—and a million other people—hadn't said those types of things, especially in public, and if our tribe, clownishly self-impressed as it is, wasn't so clownishly phony. 

Meanwhile, can you see The Way This Looks to Others? How hard can that possibly be?

Final point: Your lizard will tell you to thrash around in search of some sort of distinction...


73 comments:

  1. "By our lights, it would be better if Dave—and a million other people—hadn't said those things, especially in public..."

    Really, dear Bob, have you thought it through? Without bullshitting in public, how would your liberal comrades virtue-signal? And without virtue-signaling, how could they exist? For that's your team's whole raison d'etre, dear Bob...

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  2. ma0 ma0 * ,!, ,!,

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  3. It's funny to see liberals talk about the hunter Biden laptop story as being a non-story because there is not absolute proof after taking unsourced allegations as proof in the Trump Russia non-story for years and years.

    And it's true they don't even think about it or connect the two different reactions.

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    1. Bravo deflection, masterful, Hunter is on your mind. Find out the facts and keep us updated. Bidengate?

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    2. Benghazi Hearings, Benghazi Hearings, send Anonymous at 4:00 PM right over.

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    3. Deflection from what?

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    4. Could be worse. You could think people voted for Trump due to their economic condition.
      At least there is a place called "Russia".

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    5. Deflection from what?

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    6. Steele is saying this week that he stands by the contents of the Steele dossier. Those contents were sourced and they were also investigated independently by our own intelligence agencies and substantiated.

      The casual repetition of the lie that Trump didn't collude with Putin shows that @4:00 has a right-wing agenda that includes spreading propaganda about Hunter Biden to smear Biden and camouflage Trump's wrongdoing.

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    7. 4:00,
      If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.

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    8. Did Steele say his dossier approved Russia and Trump colluded? No he didn't because it didn't and the collusion narrative was invented by Hillary Clinton and was always absurdly false.

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    9. So incredible you idiots still believe the propaganda.

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    10. I can't really blame you. It comes from the very top machinery of power in the world. It makes sense that you would buy it. Plus it helps you avoid the realities of why Trump was elected.

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    11. But all your responses are beside the point. The fact that Russia and Trump did not collude is beside the point. The point is liberals now are asking for a higher standard of proof regarding the laptop then they ever did regarding the false collusion story.

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    12. Just switch the characters - if it was Biden or Clinton accused of colluding with Russia with the exact same set of facts, you would passionately be arguing its falsity and absurdity (rightly).

      If it was a Trump boy with the laptop - same set of facts, your fangs would be out and your mouths would be watering at what a scandal it is.

      You're all boring idiots.

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    13. Trump asked Russia to help him damage his political rivals in public. He later claimed at one point he was joking, which he clearly wasn’t. Those making it about other things are silly traitors.

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    14. What is your basis for claiming he clearly wasn't?

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    15. All of the evidence of Trump's collusion is evidence that he clearly wasn't joking when a asked Russia to help: "Russia, if you're listening..."

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    16. What evidence of collusion?

      Mueller report page 2: "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

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    17. So when he asked that he still needed their help? And he decided to seek out in public on tv? Do you know how stupid you are?

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    18. He had a billion dollar campaign with help from top experts from Google and Facebook, helping him sway voters opinion on social media, he had billions of dollars of free publicity from mainstream cable and broadcast networks, he had an entrenched very well organized ecosystem of right-wing websites like Breitbart helping them sway voters opinions, he was filling stadiums to maximum capacity wherever he went yet he felt he needed help from russia and decided to ask for it in public on tv? Do you know how stupid you are?

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    19. Russia helped fund and coordinate that social media campaign. That WAS established by the Mueller Report and the troll farms and Russia-affiliated tech firms who did that work were identified and sanctioned. Money from Russian oligarchs was directly funneled to GOP candidates via money laundering by the NRA. Polling data was provided to Russia by Trump's campaign to help them target the right states and districts. The many favors Trump did for Putin are the quid-pro-quos. All of this has been reported by reputable news reporting. Denying it makes you sound like the stupid one in this room.

      Mueller declined to state that Trump colluded, but that was because he was a Republican working for the Trump administration, not because there was no evidence of collusion. He left it to readers of the report to connect the dots and those who are not Trump's minions or right-wing trolls (like you) have done so.

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    20. And that is the basis for a claim that Trump clearly was serious when he asked for Russia's help on national TV in front of an audience of millions? You don't realize how stupid you are.

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    21. I could see where a room full of stupid people would think that I'm stupid. That makes perfect sense.

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    22. So funny you idiots still fall for this total nonsense. You should read the report written by Thomas Ferguson. "Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games." It will help put your stupidity and idiotic beliefs in context.

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    23. Non-Mueller-Report-reading moron:

      Page 16:

      "The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation. "

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    24. Republican voters were amped-up by Trump's bigotry because that is all they care about.
      The more time that passes, the more obvious this truth.

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    25. They also cared about something Trump talked about over and over. The effects of globalization on their lives. Playing a race card is great for the Democratic leadership because they don't have to address this issue which they can't and could never because they are beholden to global corporations and it's also good for Democratic rank and file like yourself because it helps you avoid the fact the party to which you give your allegiance can't and won't do anything about it and therefore helps you avoid coming face to face with the reality that you are completely powerless.

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    26. There you go, 4:00.
      8:21 found something even more ridiculous to believe in than Russiagate.

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    27. "They also cared about something Trump talked about over and over. The effects of globalization on their lives."

      Nice try. Do you work for the corporate media?
      I ask, because they seem to love to be gaslit about nonsense like this.

      Once more for those who don't pay attention:
      Trump larded his Administration with globalists and gave corporations a HUGE tax break, and Republican voters cheered him on.

      On the other hand, when Trump lost an election because black people's votes counted, they tried to overthrow the Capitol.

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    28. He spoke to the issue time and time again on the campaign trail and it helped get him elected. Once he was elected he turned on his voters as you say. That was a much much more interesting story for the media to pursue over Russiagate, the story they pursued with a vengeance. But the corporate media and corporate Democrats and Republicans prefer to keep the globalization issue completely off the table and hidden and are able to do so with the assistance of idiots like yourself. Your ignorance is not my business.

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    29. He also wore his bigotry on his sleeve. Did that help him get elected?
      Did you notice that after he turned on his voters, as you say, he romped his way through the Republican primaries, was chosen as the GOP's Presidential nominee, and increased his vote totals in his re-election bid?

      Add it all up, and you'll find you're going to need to troll harder.

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    30. 9:08,
      Relax. I have more understanding of the negative affects of globalization on the citizens of the USA in my pinkie finger, than all 74.2 million Trump voters do combined.

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    31. "He also wore his bigotry on his sleeve. Did that help him get elected?" Yes, for sure. He turned on them and addressing the issue of globalization after he was elected president numbnutz.

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    32. You're the troll and the plutocrats adore your dismissal of globalization as ridiculous nonsense. Go for it though - you'll see how it works out for you.

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    33. 9:24,
      Globalization isn't ridiculous nonsense.

      The ridiculous nonsense is that Republicans voted for Trump due to globalization.

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    34. Easy to say, difficult to square with reality. Have a nice day idiot.

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    35. If Trump doesn't get the 2024 Republican nomination for President, it will be because GOP voters found a bigger piece of shit to vote for, and NOT because Trump is a globalist.

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    36. Exactly, they will play to them about globalization like Trump did and they will probably be black then you'll have to pull something else out of your ass to blame it on fucking moron.

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    37. There is nothing more relaxing than the silence that comes from Republicans about Trump larding his cabinet with globalists and giving them a HUGE tax break.

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    38. 9:58,
      Blacks don't have "economic anxiousness". That's why they overwhelmingly reject Republicans at the polls.
      What do you think all the voter suppression of black votes by GOP legislatures is all about?

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  4. His greatest sin is not being funny.

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  5. Helen Lewis speaks for herself and not any tribe, much less our tribe. She likes Chapelle. Many other people do not. But there is inconsistency in her beliefs because she is expressing her own opinions.

    "One guy is lionized for saying such things out loud in front of millions of people."

    Liberals do not, as a group, "lionize" Chapelle "for saying such things out loud. If they like him, it is perhaps despite his saying such things, not because of it. Unless they are also trans-phobic themselves.

    If Chappelle were talented, he could presumably present a comedy routine without gratuitiously insulting people who are different from him. I haven't ever been a fan of Chappelle (and I am liberal). Tastes in comedy vary. But an insult to a group of people is an insult, whether it is framed as comedy or not, and there exist many black people with homophobic and trans-phobic attitudes. It is not OK to hurt people under the guise of "just kidding, can't you take a joke" any more than to do it directly as an act of hate.

    Gruden's emails were not childish but hateful. Most children are better behaved and it is an insult to kids to lump them with a bigoted adult like that. But Somerby is just trying to minimize the behavior of Gruden and Chapelle in today's essay because he doesn't think hate should be castigated in our society, whether it leads to hate crimes up to and including murder, or not. Because trans people have a very high murder rate (as victims) and that is encouraged by permitting outspoken hatried of the kind Chapelle expressed in his show.

    There is a brand of comedian who thinks that anything goes in the name of humor and anything less is censorship. I disagree strongly with that attitude. Whatever else Lenny Bruce was, he wasn't a bigot or homophobe. And he WAS funny. You can be a decent human being and still do stand-up comedy, if you try.

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  6. "The other guy is assailed for saying unfortunate things in an undisclosed number of (private) emails, which no one saw until the peeping Toms (as opposed to the Uncles) chose to go nosing around, as we Dimmesdales like to do."

    Each of those emails was sent to someone who DID see what was written. In that manner, a corporate culture that encourages hate speech is fostered. There is no such thing as a private email in a corporate or business setting. And that is surely no excuse for bad behavior, or no one would ever prosecute pedophiles, since their harmful acts always occur in private too.

    Somerby is being an unspeakable ass again this week.

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    1. It’s not endorsing Gruden’s behavior to point out that his speech had to be ferreted out or leaked by an insider.

      Chappelle’s routine was national television.

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    2. He was apparently behaving like a bigot out in the open among his work colleagues and someone didn't like it so they outed him. Just because someone doesn't turn you in, doesn't make it right. It creates a hostile work environment for anyone who is make uncomfortable by such behavior and of course makes it so no one who is the target of such bigotry has any shot of working there.

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    3. Chappelle's routine was streamed not broadcast on TV. The streaming services like to shock people, as their way of attracting an audience.

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    4. Anonymouse 6:40pm, no one said otherwise. Your complaint with Somerby is a straw man.

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    5. I’ve seen Chappelle promoted on Comedy Central.

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    6. Yes, but that is not where this particular special was produced and shown.

      Also, the point made by @6:40 is that privacy cannot be claimed when there were clearly recipients of those emails in a work environment. Somerby said otherwise.

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    7. I’d there’s no standard of privacy for corporate emails does that mean that I would be held unaccountable if I into them?

      What if I merely shared them all with Julian Assange?

      Your point is overstated and it’s beside the point as to what TDH was blogging.

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  7. I’ve just seen brief clips of Dave Chappelle and I’m not very comfortable with bad language unless it’s used in making a point beyond being shocking.

    For example I think there may be the exception Somerby expects to hear.

    If the Charlie Murphy character is some sort of celeb, that’s how a lot of those guys do act. If you are Harvey Weinstein or Louis C.K. and your way of wooing women is the drop your pants and show them what they aren’t missing, then Chappelle is making a point.

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    1. The complaints against Chappelle aren't about his Charlie Murphy routines, to my knowledge.

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    2. The Chapelle Charlie Murphy routines are on Youtube - search for 'Chapelle Rick James', they are over the top hilarious. Bitch!

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  8. The two stories have zero to do with each other, which is why Bob doesn’t examine them in any serious way. He now emphasizes the Coaches privacy, which is a valid point, but is also designed to short shift the content of the emails. So said emails give us a glimpse into the way, say, a slob like Mao actually thinks and speaks in confidence to his fellow slobs? No honest person could conclude anything besides “probably.”

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    1. So “slobs” like Mao are the point of this story? Regular-Joe Maos are pretentious and covert?

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    2. I was using Mao as an example of a typical reactionary creep and how his private conversations are no doubt even more demented than his posts here. The second part of your comment doesn’t make any sense.

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    3. In the video linked, what ESPN’s woke analysts were saying about the emails was that this sort of attitude was rife within the top of their industry. They weren’t bemoaning the slobs behind the cameras, but the guys in front of them and in the executive suites.

      Now you’re trying focus it on average Joes as though average joes care to act one way in public and another way in private.

      These aren't parents in Alaska that they’re bemoaning. Its their white bosses and it’s the people who run sports teams.

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    4. This does not relate in any way to what I wrote, you seem to be grafting some bullshit working class right resentment vibe as a reflex onto something unrelated to it in any way. But it’s hard to tell. If it helps, I have no idea if Mao is a billionaire or living off a fake injury claim (yes, more likely) but I do know he’s a slob, and probably worse among slob pals.

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    5. “ This does not relate in any way to what I wrote, you seem to be grafting some bullshit working class right resentment vibe as a reflex onto something unrelated to it in any way.”

      No, what I wrote utterly related to what you said.

      The thing you’re accusing me of doing, is precisely the “vibe” you took on as to the “slobs” involved and is what I called you out over.

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    6. You are babbling incoherently. First I pointed out Bob’s silly reach in linking these two stories that have zip to do with each other. On this you have nothing to say. Then I moved on to the thornier issue of the Coach being a slob, if not a racist slob, and how it probably relates to other disgusting people like Mao, and why the case did give us a glimpse into how such an obvious degenerate speaks privately. On this matter you …. babble incoherently. I understand not much logically can be said in defense of such people, but it’s pretty clear now you hang out with them a lot.

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  9. This is why it matters what stupid fucks say in their private emails:

    "Well, this isn’t funny: Nashville-based comedian Joshua Black said a woman falsely accused him of breaking into cars at the apartment complex they both live at. She said he fit the description of the suspect. It turns out that he didn’t.

    Newsweek reports that Black, who is a Black man, recorded a portion of his Wednesday exchange with the woman and posted it on TikTok. He said that he didn’t know the woman before the incident and hasn’t heard from her since."

    The description of the actual thief was of a white kid on a bike with a red backpack.

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    1. No one said that what Gruden and company wrote to each other hunky dory or unimportant.

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    2. Is 'Joshua Black' a pseudonym of one Jussie Smollett?

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    3. Joe Biden is a synonym for "President of the United States".

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    4. Personally, we think of Rapist Joe as the father of the greatest painter evah, whose super-amazing painting literally fly off the shelves for $500K/piece.

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    5. Joe Biden?
      He's the guy who won that landslide election for President, last year, against the GOP nominee.

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    6. Bob’s post does pretty much argue that the coaches emails are bad but don’t really matter. I would disagree in a broad sense, but he probably should have been allowed to keep his job. Among decent people, he had been humiliated already.

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    7. No, Bob did not minimize or condone the emails.

      He contrasted the outrage over something that had to be drug up from the dark, with the laughter and acclaim for a comedian who turned that same mentality into a comedy act.

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