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Thursday, November 10. 2022
The Benefit of Youth
I have more or less stopped watching Saturday Night Live, but it is intriguing to read that Dave Chappelle, who I find to be very funny, is hosting. What is more intriguing is that a large part of the writing staff has said they will boycott the episode. This is a benefit of youth, and one I'm interested in because I have my own story in this regard.
One of my majors in college (I had 2) was Television Production. I wrote, produced, directed and filled various roles in the studios at the university for both class and the university television network. Top-tier stuff, mind you. The kind of stuff you watch at 1am in the dorm lobby when you're half in the bag or snogging with your latest love interest. Nevertheless, it's what you did to learn the ropes. Back then, I was hoping to make documentaries.
One day I had to prepare a news piece for the 1984 election. It was a talk show with some local luminaries talking about various topics like nuclear war (it was right around the time that ABC ran The Day After, which some of you may remember), feeding the poor/welfare, deficits, etc. Standard fodder for any political news program. One fellow who showed up hung flyers on the set showing elephants dropping nuclear bombs on poor people of the world. I took them down. He put them back up, I took them down. My job was set design and management. The producer that day, a fellow student, came by and asked what I was doing. I told him the set was my responsibility and I felt the flyers would imply a bias of the programming, and that they personally offended my own sensibilities. The producer told me to honor the guests' wishes and put them up. I told him "since this is my set, then I'm asking to be relieved of my responsibility, I'd rather sit this one out."
At this point, the professor was called in, a man I knew well and respected. I had him several times over the years and he was reasonable. He asked what the problem was, and we told him. He looked at me and said "Are you willing to take an "F" for today's class if you leave?" I said no, I didn't think that was fair (a term I believed existed back then) and that these flyers offended not only my sensibilities, but would offend those of viewers, making the program seem partisan. He nodded and said "they may, but the producer is in charge. In the real world, if you don't listen to him, he can fire you. So, if this was the real world, you'd lose your job. I'm only giving you an F for today." I nodded, said I'd accept the "F" and left the set.
Later, he called me to his office and talked with me. He said he admired my stand, and admired my sense of impartiality, but that I had a lot to learn about the real world if I thought I could get away with that kind of behavior. He was every bit teaching me a life lesson. We had a good chat, and I learned a lot from that experience. I wouldn't say I've taken it all to heart - I still stand up, when needed, to make a point. I'm just more careful about the how, why, when or where. I survived an "F" for one class, but replacing a job I lost for cause would be more difficult.
Today, that's not a problem, apparently. At least not if you're of the "proper" political sentiment. That is, not if you're Woke, CRT believing, use the right pronouns, are outspoken about how not trans/bi/homophobic you are or, at very least, a Democrat of some standing. Then you can take a stand of ANY kind, no matter how outlandish and ridiculous, and not expect many consequences and repercussions.
On the other hand, we can all see what Elon Musk is going through - but he owns his company(ies) and can do as he pleases. Within limits of government regulation, of course. But if Elon did anything remotely close to this kind of thing as an employee of a firm, he'd have been tossed aside without a thought. Even with his position, we can see how the politicization of everyday life is slowly creeping up on him. Dr. Zhivago, as a real life experience, is not far...
I don't expect the little whining brats at Saturday Night Live will be shown the door, or threatened with their jobs. They will whimper and complain and tweet and stomp their feet like the petulant little wimps they are. People will agree with them and admire their stand and call them "heroes". But if one of them were to take a stand against a skit promoting abortion rights - well, I'm sure the producers would have no problems saying "don't let the door hit you in the ass...or do let it, we don't care."
It's a serious problem of culture that we face today and it's why I continue to make comparisons between the Democrats and the Jacobins. They aren't that far apart. No, they aren't chopping off heads, YET. I say YET because if they could do that and get away with it, I know they would. For now, destroying reputations, careers, and lives is enough for them. Protecting their own, within limits, is what they do. But go astray even slightly (like Dave Chappelle did, or JK Rowling did, or Ricky Gervais did) and these people will eat their own for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are without a doubt dangerous people.
Identifying who "they" are is difficult. They hide in plain sight. In groups. "The writers of SNL" - yes, we can identify who they are, but we can't identify which are boycotting. They are often careful about how they position themselves. Plausible deniability is strong with them. Moral Superiority is their cloak. Logical Fallacies are their armor. They can do as they please until they cross the ever-changing fine lines that intersectionality creates. They are modern Bolsheviks, wrapped in a cloak of Progressivism, and hiding under the hut of the Democratic Party.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:45 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
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I'd say that the SNL writers have no sense of humor - which is curious as they are tasked with being funny.
If you live your life as Bulldog has described it, you will not have the free-roaming, protean mind to be creative in anything, much less funny.
It's not just the thought policing - it's also the crippling effect of keeping reality at bay. What the Lefties themselves, in typically narcissistic unself-awareness, call 'false consciousness'.
I've rarely watched "Saturday Night Live" - because it was rarely funny. Oh, funny enough, if you're drunk or high, but not when you're sober and awake.
That's not funny! You can't make jokes about that! I am
appalled, disgusted, outraged, and triggered!
If the SNL writers boycott ( or should I say "personcott ? ) this episode , this may be the first SNL in years to be actually funny and entertaining !
Excellent story. As for the SNL writers: if you put nothing at risk, have nothing to lose, then your action is neither courageous nor heroic.
The only consolation is that like the Jacobins before them, and Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, the whole rotten lot, the first people they'll march up the steps to the guillotine will be the fools who thought carrying water for the masters of destruction would save them.
I have taken stands on internal corporate justice more than once, and lost jobs. Sometimes I won. Generally, it was... colorful
1) During a layoff, corporate planned to stiff an immigrant who was promised pay that would go to her as soon as his paperwork was done. (The problem wasn't the layoff itself -- it was the fact she wasn't going to be paid for work already performed for which pay was promised.) I won this one.
2) A company in which I was a principle was acquired by a company that didn't stand the sniff test (the other two principles overruled me -- they were fooled, too.) As soon as the stench became obvious to me, I walked away. In an amusing bit of fate, the acquiring company went under almost immediately afterward (for fraud, not because of me), and I was the largest creditor (from the acquisition) who was not an employee at the time. So I ended up as a private individual running a bankruptcy committee for a publicly traded company -- a very educational (if expensive) experience during the tech wreck.
The thing is... if the company behaves in ways you consider to be crooked (this is not about popular causes -- this is about ethics), you have to choose between thinking of yourself as a crook by aiding or even just going along, or walking away. There's usually a price for walking away. But there's a price to NOT walking away, too. (And sometimes a criminal complaint -- I dodged a really smelly bullet later, for which I am still receiving phone calls ("do you know where so-and-so can be contacted? We'd really like to talk to him") 10-15 years later.
I have taken 3 stands on corporate internal injustice. I don't see what the SNL writers are doing to be comparable to taking a stand on injustice.
My first time was when I was asked to report on made up numbers to the Board of Directors by 2 new sales leads in their opening meeting. I had reviewed their business plan, and it was clearly wrong on many levels. I refused. They said "You lose your job if you don't." I made up my mind that I was losing it either way - so when I did the report, naturally someone noticed the things I did and asked about them. I replied "I didn't put this plan together. I did the original plan - the 2 of them replaced it with this and told me to report on it." Naturally, I was the one who was fired - but not with cause. I was given a year's salary, so that worked out pretty well.
The second time was when I was deposed on an internal case regarding a client who felt they'd been defrauded. My deposition led to the arrest and imprisonment of several people. As I told the lawyers, I had prepared the original sales offering to this client, but had seen sales management ditch it and replace it with another. That fact proved vital.
The third time was recent and I can't discuss the details of it. But the outcome was meaningful for me and many others.
Generally speaking, I know when to push back. But pushing back over my own political beliefs is a bad idea. It was when I was in college, and it is today. I may not like the politics of the modern Woke Corporation - but I can live in it and make it work for me and push back in my own free time.
The saying "Get Woke Go Broke" is real. Woke companies are facing horrible headwinds. This Chappelle thing may not end SNL, but it sure puts the zombified remains of the show on notice.
FWIW, I don't believe SNL has been funny for probably at least 15 years, if not more. It has MOMENTS of humor. If one 90 minute show has one good sketch - that's averaging better than normal over the last 15 years.
Sometimes SNL is funny though, especially recently - they've been willing to gore an ox or two and that's a very good sign to me.
I read somewhere that one of the purposes of the mob is to shift the views of the onlookers sufficiently to persuade them to join.
Mobs are scary things - they lend an anonymity that excuses a loss of inhibitions, and people do truly awful things - things from the reptile brain that are out of character for the person under normal circumstances. As Remus says - 'Stay away from crowds'. Stay away, and keep your identity, your sanity, as well as your health.
The mob has started to take on its own life in our culture, it's no longer an ugly temporary feature of disturbances. Last week college students were polled about so-called 'hate speech'. A substantial portion of them held the view that it should be a death-penalty offense. I find this chilling: Empty, eager minds that have not been schooled yet about Free Speech, it's importance in our constitutional government, its importance to liberty, its basis in our society compared to others. Now I have no idea how those questions were premised or how honestly the poll was conducted, but that's a very Jacobean response, as it pertains to what Bulldog was saying about chopping heads.
It is always important to pick your battles.
Bonzai charges don't end well.
Maybe this is what it looks like when Bulldog's "YET" gives way:
So the SNL crew is boycotting the black guy. How racist!
1. Chappelle is a talented comedian.
2. If you find a comedian's comedy too offensive, it may be because there's truth in it and that truth hurts.
I wish I could remember who said this so I could give proper credit. Paraphrased: Insanity in an individual is an aberration. In a mob, it’s the norm.